All posts tagged experimental

Katzgraben – S9


I might be going a bit soft of late, or perhaps just seeking out a non-pharmaceutical antidote to the thrust and bluster of modern life, but I’ve found myself increasingly drawn towards more tranquilizing sounds; textural exploratory ambiences, drumless lullabies.

As part of my daily treatment, I’ve self-prescribed Katzgraben – a duo of João Tiago and Ricardo Peixoto who find themselves perpetually disconnected in a geographical sense, except for around twice a year when they join together to create stirring, evocative sounds. Combining electronics with a natural flair for swells of guitar feedback, on a superficial level at least Katzgraben appear to pitch somewhere between Stars Of The Lid, Hermoine Harvestman and the more sedative side of Growing. The first of these artists in particular naturally gravitate towards night-time listening, whereas S9 seems more suited to daylight hours – an odd synaesthetic quality, these elegiac soundscapes are brought to life against a visual backdrop gently cast shadows and the natural breezy sway of fauna.

It’s music to soothe, but more importantly music which can reinvigorate one’s sense of the here and now.

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Mike Phillips



Clarity is a rare and wonderful thing… when the fog parts from before your eyes to reveal an overwhelmingly clear vision. If like me, you’ve experienced depression, you’ll know just how difficult it can be to find it… every little negative thought compounds daily, making a light at the end of the tunnel seem so painfully out of reach. Music has always been a way of breaking that spell, certain voices and sounds together just seem to fill me with hope. I feel this way about Huh, the début song from QUALIATIK.

An experimental electronica project from Philadelphia’s Arielle Herman; it’s hard not to be excited.. her exquisite falsetto vocals seem to swirl around in melancholy before soaring away into another dimension, a rap chorus bursts the track into life, playful… restless, teeming with tension. As a demonstration of her ideas and ambition, Huh is a stunning statement of intent.

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Phill Young

1-800-LIPSTICK – Eleven


Dark to the point of being genuinely disturbing, the crushingly bleak witch beats of DMR aka Daria Ramone seep silkily into your soul, extracting all colour until all that remains is a strobing montage of monochrome ghostly detritus. Debut long-player The Falling Body follows on from a string of excellent EP’s which themselves are well worth exploring; this time out however something feels more taut, more focused.

There’s a sumptuous weighty density to Eleven, cold slow beats striking unholy accord with an articulate mesh of sustained gothic synth sounds. The key choral vocal lines sweeping the track to it’s all-too-soon denouement are devastatingly spooky – like the more melodic sections of James Cargill’s Berberian Sound Studio soundtrack turned up a few notches.

You’re not going to find any stock can-tricks here, it’s just pure unadultered sonic malevolence.

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Mike Phillips

Whisper Kid – Calliope


Hailing from Los Angeles, Whisper Kid is a diverse and experimental musical project fronted by Rhea Tepplim. Content to let the music do the talking Rhea maintains her distance; her SoundCloud profile lists no other band members or collaborators and provides no links to social media, websites or anything that might offer clues in solving the riddle.

The mystical and slow-burning, psych-infused Calliope builds on this enigmatic theme with its opening shroud of amplifier hiss, atmospheric slide guitar and buried lead vocals – it gives little away. There are hints of early Cat Power, The Velvet Underground and The Breeders, especially in the lush Kim Deal-esque vocal harmonies. It’s hypnotic and strikingly pretty, a raw recording brimming with spiritual leanings that rewards repeat listens – art for arts sake and that’s the purest kind there is.

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Paul Baird

Tom Hardwick Allan – Sea Glass


Manchester based Tom Hardwick Allan is continuing to create alarmingly beautiful pieces of work, tiny glimpses into a man experimenting with his own mind. Sea Glass with looped vocals and almost spiritual moans, builds slowly into something heavenly. It takes a while to break through its delicate nature but it’s certainly worth the effort

Displaying full textural glory in 11 minute composition When You Die I’ll Think of You In The Sky, his music is uncompromising, incorporating elements of both noise and drone. These recordings might be challenging but it won’t be long before his ideas are transforming into something more accessible and ultimately more relatable.

After witnessing 2 truly compelling live performances in recent weeks, I’m starting to believe that Hardwick Allan is undergoing a musical development that could see the birth of a voice to believe in. Deep in tone with a rare affecting quality: it is this instrument he needs to uncover and find confidence in.

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Phill Young

Eyes & No Eyes – If No One Else Saw It


I have been following Brighton’s Eyes & No Eyes since they began as the solo project of frontman Tristram Bawtree. Developing into a full band shows a clear progression from early records. Their debut single, If No One Else Saw It (Willkommen Records), is five minutes of somewhat experimental folk music, drawing on their folk origins with the addition of a neo-classical string arrangement and noise inspired guitar work.

With ‘If No One Else Saw It’ Eyes & No Eyes are firmly in place as part of the Willkommen Collective. Their first album is due for release later this year, alongside talks of an experimental EP.

Alex McKenzie