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New and Experimental Music,
Art & Technolgy

Top Albums January – March 2024

Welcome to Soundologia’s quarterly top list of 12 albums published on Bandcamp between January and March 2024. The list includes a broad range of genres and sub-genres, such as chamber music, abstract electronics, algorithmic composition, tape music, drone, glitch, field recordings, ambient, soundscapes, improvisation, spiritual, post-industrial, and power electronics. Each album presents unique sound experiments in its own way.

We highly recommend listening with headphones.

Free improvisation is showcased in both the music and the spoken/acted gestures, allowing for an authentic and heartfelt experience. The voice takes center stage in this album, guiding the flow of the music while being accompanied by other instruments, creating a profoundly engaging form of communication. The combination of piano, strings, percussive effects instruments, and circuit sounds blend together to create a unique mix that gradually builds up into repeated fragments reminiscent of ostinatos. The voice serves as the narrator, effortlessly expressing a wide range of emotions and experiences through muttering, mumbling, stuttering, sizzling, screaming, and crying. This allows for a genuine and sincere portrayal of human feelings and fantasies.

In addition, when you purchase, you will receive eight tracks with special binaural mixes for each track, enhancing the overall listening experience.

This edition contains ten piano and electronic miniatures numbered 13 to 22. The collection begins with three piano pieces that intertwine different motives and drone sounds in a slow-paced manner. “Miniature 16” introduces electronic instruments with a recurring drone base sound and percussive loops that bring variations. The background features glitchy sounds echoing on top of intriguing harmonic progressions, creating a tense atmosphere. “Miniature 18” showcases cool synth sounds with subtle resonance movement, while “Miniature 20” offers a beat that accompanies oriental sounds, making it suitable for an opening act at a show. Each miniature has its own unique artwork.

Have you ever thought about exploring the vast factory and capturing the mesmerizing symphony of different machines working in rhythmic harmony? Imagine stumbling upon the factory workers who, like the rebellious Luddites of the past, fiercely rejected the use of cost-saving machinery and clandestinely destroyed these mechanical marvels in their raids across England. This inspired the sound material for the album Concerto for the Machines of the Future. The artists from Penúltimo balneario have skillfully harnessed electromagnetic frequencies, rollers, springs, satellite dishes, threaded rods, PVC tubes, marbles, keys, old car license plates, pillory, combos, DIY microphones, cassette tapes, PC heatsinks, and intercepted radio signals. The pinnacle of this audacious endeavor is Karma Ludita, where a soaring soprano voice improvises enchanting ornaments.

Trying to capture the essence of the music is like trying to catch a flowing, vibrant elixir. The latest album by Berlin-based saxophonist Otis Sandsjö and his collaborators embodies this feeling. Published on the beloved Finnish label We Jazz Records, this album is a mesmerizing blend of liquid jazz sounds. The album is filled with layered liquid jazz sounds, where ideas evolve and are recycled as short riffs. While the acoustic instrumentation forms the core, it’s beautifully enhanced by electronic elements and live drums. With its infectious energy and vitality, this album is a perfect companion for any weather. It seamlessly combines the raw spontaneity of a live band with the meticulousness of studio production, creating an electrifying experience that may come alive once again on stage.

The experimental album Graviton captivates with its unique blend of live drums and electronic drone sounds. Pierre Vervloesem and Teun Verbruggen have crafted eight tracks that draw inspiration from the realms of quantum gravity and string theory. Each musical segment, whether the intricate drum patterns, ethereal drone sounds, or glitchy effects, is treated as an independent particle, resulting in a ritualic sonic journey. The tempo fluctuates gracefully throughout the track “Dmitrii Blochintsev,” while the LFO adds movement and dynamism to the synthesizer sound. The title pays tribute to the Soviet physicist who significantly contributed to nuclear physics, quantum field theory, nonlinear optics, and acoustics. Another homage is found in the track titled “Planck Scale.” Drum patterns range from slow jungle beats (in tracks “Gravitoelectromagnetism” and “Gravitino”) to faster drum and bass rhythms (in tracks “Dmitrii Blokhintsev” and “Gluons”). The album has many syncopated drum fill patterns and free improvisation rhythms.

This album revitalizes the music theatre genre, expanding on the foundations set by Mauricio Kagel, Luciano Berio, and other composers. Featuring eight compositions by Argentinean composers (Jorge Sad Levi, Jorge Vázques, Diego Tedesco, Agustina Crespo, José Halac, and Ramiro Mansilla Pons), it showcases the extraordinary talent of singer Natalia Cappa, accompanied by electronic sounds. The album explores a cappella music and juxtaposes it with electronic environments, taking listeners on an emotional journey filled with imagination and occasional traces of humor. The composers skillfully capture a range of styles, reflecting Argentinean culture. Each piece presents unique vocal and musical challenges that allow Cappa to showcase her vocal range and expanded singing styles (such as bel canto, recitative, and sprechgesang) and vocal techniques, including coloratura, trill, mezza voce, and more.).

Diego Tedesco’s composition “De los Sos Ojos” shines with the amalgam of different styles and articulations, bringing the virtuosity to life. It’s a fusion of various styles, techniques, and vocal effects that all aim to depict a wide range of emotional states. In tracks like “Kenkos” by Agustina Crespo and “Tres Descripciones del Amor: Cuando Todo Arde por un Apasionado Beso” by Ramiro Mansilla Pons, you’ll witness the incredible communication between different voices and voice types, including soprano, mezzo-soprano, contralto, and various electronic sounds. This album has the potential to speak a meta-music language, effortlessly referencing various styles and genres from the past. It also simulates (demonstrates) the practicing aspect of posture, breathing, placement, articulation, and diction.

Composer Osnat Netzer debuts her album, Dot : Line : Sigh, featuring Ensemble Dal Niente, saxophonist Geoffrey Landman, Mivos Quartet, flutist Eric Lamb, violist Michael Hall, pianist Marianne Parker, and the ~Nois saxophone quartet.

The opening composition, “They Bury their Dead with Great Ululations,” starts with plaintive unisons that divide and stretch against each other, leading to vigorous passagework and scurrying activity in the strings. The accompaniment grows insistent, supporting lyrical material in the winds before returning to the characteristic unison gesture from the opening. The composition “Pillars,” for alt saxophone and piano, explores various timbral and acoustic potentials of both instruments. The piece transforms as layered fragments intertwine and merge into a vibrant tapestry. Instruments engage in constant dialog, complementing each other, but at the end of the piece, they oppose one another, creating a rhythmic storm. The piece “I won’t be outrun by a cavalry of snails” for two sopranos and ensemble is theatrical, living in a fantastical, feverish space. The vocals blend seamlessly with the instrumental melodies. While the composition “Schertch (scherzo sketch)” tries to define the proper balance between flute and string quartet, “I AM FUCKING ZEN” for a saxophone quartet (played by ~Noise) is built on a short musical idea that undergoes gradual transformations. The composition “Away Dream All Away” combines soprano, flute, and violin, each displaying virtuosity and technical skill. It serves as the musical backdrop for Samuel Beckett’s text. The soprano transitions between center stage and blending in with the flute and viola, adding punctuation to the timbral tapestry.

“Just chopping it up”!

This album features exceptional microtonal music dedicated to the sixth-tone harmonium. Previously only on display at the Czech Museum of Music, this instrument is now experiencing a revival and garnering attention from professionals, musicians, and composers. In the 1920s, the visionary pioneer of microtonal music, Alois Hába, requested the building of the first model of the sixth-tone harmonium. Today, the Czech Museum of Music in Prague proudly displays the only working sixth-tone harmonium in existence, which belongs to the esteemed collections of the National Museum.

Pianist Miroslav Beinhauer (1993) is currently the sole musician in the world capable of playing this unique instrument. Over the past three years, esteemed Czech and international composers have written a new repertoire for the sixth-tone harmonium. In addition to Alois Hába, the album features composers such as Phill Niblock, Klaus Lang, Bernhard Lang, Milan Guštar, Judith Berkson, Idin Samimi Mofakham and Ian Mikyska.

Dream Signal is an electrifying fusion of vibrant abrasion, intricate abstraction, and profound weight, crafted into a whirlwind of sonic artistry by the multidisciplinary artist from South Korea, Heejin Jang. This album, released under Venalism, Edinburgh, pushes the boundaries of experimental abstract, electronic field recording, and noise music genres. Like her previous album, Me and the Glassbirds from 2023, Jang weaves textured layers and arrangements of diverse noise sounds to create an immersive experience. Brace yourself for unexpected bursts of noise and audacious auditory elements that surprise you in tracks like the invigorating “Sweet Ramp” or gradually envelop you in “This Must Be Alive.” and “수혈 Transfusion.”

Do you want to join Thaipusam, a traditional ceremonial procession held annually on the streets of Singapore?

The album is a compilation of sounds that highlight the most significant cultural events in the country, where music and chanting play a crucial role in the procession. This event celebrates the Tamil Hindu community on the full-moon day of the Tamil month of Thai, which falls in January or February. The album immerses listeners in the vibrant atmosphere of Thaipusam, capturing the intricate interactions that unfold during this festival. By utilizing audio recordings from 2011 to 2016, five tracks depict a soundscape that transports listeners into the heart of a 24-hour procession, providing an authentic experience. Vel Vel reflects Singapore’s urban environment, showcasing the unique blend of sounds, people, and music that create a harmonious atmosphere within a particular streetscape.

Tracks such as “Selegie Road” or “Dhoby Ghaut to Tank Road” are the collage of strophic poems written in a 2+2 form sung by singers or groups of people. These singers are accompanied by traditional and oriental percussion rhythms and instruments that create a distinctive and captivating experience for the listeners. In the track “Sri Thendayuthapani Temple,” you can listen to traditional instruments, including the zurna, which are imported from other regions. The album has excellent value because it can be used as a sample pack with many loops that can be recreated and reinterpreted.

A pioneering synthesist and electronic artist, Steve Roach presents The Desert Winds of Change, an extraordinary live concert recording. From the very beginning, the album captivates listeners with enigmatic and abstract sounds that gradually give way to mesmerizing sequencers, creating a propulsive musical journey. As the arpeggios gradually ascend, the subtle frequencies delicately open and close while the beat slowly emerges. Then comes the central part (“Desert Winds Part 3”), where string-like synths and bass ostinatos take center stage, continuously morphing and evolving throughout the piece. In the fourth section, a powerful bass thud reverberates in perfect harmony with synchronized sequencer cycles. As we reach the final part (“Desert Winds Part 5”), all the preceding sounds resurface, accompanied by ethereal, crystalline resonant frequencies reminiscent of a snowflake that evoke nostalgic memories of the main theme.

Transient Organ is the album by Jawad Nawfal, a Lebanese electronic producer also known as MUNMA. The album features spoken word poetry from Caroline Tabet on two tracks: “Le cou la force” and “Transient Organ.” The entire album possesses a mesmerizing strength and power that effortlessly transports listeners into a meditative state of mind. MUNMA arranges and mixes various drone sounds and repetitive loops to elongate time and expand space. Although it has a simple harmonic progression, with a single note strumming on the strings in a continuous loop, the track “Transient Organ” has subtle background noise and haunting spoken text that creates an otherworldly soundscape, simultaneously distant and intimately close. The track “Midday Shoulder Surfing” captivates with its distinctive blend of dub techno elements. Its resonating, compressed, and broad bass drum creates a powerful foundation, while its intriguing loops add an extra layer of allure.