ICELANDIC TAPES, Günter Schlienz

“… this is “journey music“ in a literal sense. Schlienz and his partner Hanno Braun actually recorded the piece in the loneliness of Iceland’s high plateaus, nearby active volcanos and in the midst of stony deserts – hence the title…”

It plays like archive telemetry from a 1970s expedition to another world.

It’s also available on cassette, but I would have paid real money for a CD release.

nimiia vibié: Jenna Sutela

Aspiring to connect with a world beyond our consciousness and our planet, nimiia vibié sounds the interactions between a neural network, audio recordings of early Martian language, and microscopic footage of extremophilic space bacteria. Here, the computer is a medium, channeling messages from entities that usually cannot speak. However, it is also an alien of our creation. 

Drawing on nimiia cétiï, Jenna Sutela’s project on machine learning and interspecies communication, the record manifests a more-than-human language. This language is based on the computer’s interpretation of a Martian tongue from the late 1800s, originally channeled by the French medium Hélène Smith and now voiced by Sutela, as well as the movement of Bacillus subtilis, an extreme-loving bacterium that, according to recent spaceflight experimentation, can survive on Mars. The bacterium is also present in nattō, or fermented soybeans, a probiotic food considered as a secret to long life. Beyond Bacterial-Martian culture, or Martian gut bacteria, the project attempts to express the nonhuman condition of computers that work as our interlocutors and infrastructure. 

(from the statement on the Bandcamp page for this wonderful thing)


I fell in love with Elegi’s VARDE years ago, because how can you not love a record that starts with the sound of someone digging a grave in packed snow? So I’ve been filling in gaps in Elegi’s catalogue. The CD of this arrived the other day, and I’m just getting around to playing it tonight. It is a magnificently devastated sound, and has been haunting the office marvellously tonight as I sit here and think about the past and the future.


What are you doing today, Warren? I’m trying to do damage control in the smoking rubble after a project exploded this week and listening to lo-fi Finnish blues, what about you? (The CD arrived today, thank you IKUISUUS label, you are doing great things)


Who I recently discovered via ALL IS QUIET AT THE ANCIENT THEATRE.

My music usually evolves from a story, often about a place I’ve visited, enhanced by the help of the imagination. The story will develop while I improvise and immerse myself deeper and deeper into the piece, using a kind of tone painting to express this. 

Behind the Spider Web Gates draws inspiration from a house I happened upon in rural southern France last year. An imposing, dramatic, tall dark Gothic house with mysterious, black spider web-shaped gates at the entrance to the grounds. 

It is indeed gothic and spiderwebbed – the attention to sonic detail is exquisite, as is its carefully constructed form. It’s a twenty-minute journey through imagined space, and towards the end I’m sure I can hear the gates creaking. Utterly transporting.

Improved my trashfire of a day no end.

THE WHITE HORSE OF THE SUN: David Terry & Eye Spirit

This is amazing. Almost two hours of ecstatic drone. I’d kill to have this on a 2CD set. It’s been on the player all evening while everything else has been going nuts and it may have kept me sane. Or sent me to space through a portal in a hillside. One of the two.

IMAGINARIUM: Dancing Deadlips

This is fascinating. Field recordings, atmospherics and crepitation, whispers and incantations. The sun just went down here and I feel like this is why.

WAKE UP LAKE, WAKE UP: Lake Mary feat. Inner Oceans

Okay, so I guess I’m just doing summery drone-tropical-folk music today as I trawl through the back end of my Bandcamp saved-for-later queue. But this starts off beautiful and unfolds around the 10 minute mark into magnificent sun-dappled euphoric glory.