Posts Tagged 'Ambient'

Trouble Books – “Dead Bee in a Golden Bowl”

My good friends and personal favorite Trouble Books have recently released their third LP, Concatenating Fields. After their fantastic 2010 second album Gathering Tones, and one of the best records of 2011 in their colab album with Mark McGuire, the husband-wife duo calls their new outing “definitely the best Trouble Books album yet.” The bedroom-pop feel hasn’t changed much, but in “Dead Bee in a Golden Bowl,” they are striving for something that feels more natural than everything else they’ve done. Dulled bass beats, minimal drum machine, pretty synth lines, and of course their almost-signature harmony style, this track finds TB sounding as comfortable as they ever have. One big thing to be stoked about is that they went for high-quality and had Concatenating Fields mastered by James Plotkin and the vinyl cut at Dubplates and Mastering in Berlin. These are the go-to guys in the ambient/drone scene for vinyl, and they’ve done pretty much every Editions Mego release and mostly all of my Emeralds vinyl. Go and order the LP from Bark & Hiss, limited to 300 copies.

Stream Radio People’s Hazel LP

A couple weeks ago, I posted about the second track, “A Vague Year,” from Cleveland’s own Radio People’s album Hazel out on Mexican Summer. Now you can head over to Self-Titled Mag and stream the entire album and read about Sam Goldberg’s thoughts behind each track. Hazel is availalbe digitally and on vinyl from Mexican Summer’s Shop.

Radio People – “A Vague Year”

STREAM: || A Vague Year ||

I previously posted about Radio People’s upcoming album on Mexican Summer, and now you can hear a track from Hazel courtesy of Altered Zones.  Much like a slow-builder from his other project, Mist, “A Vague Year” proofs to be a melodic, sky-high prog venture that feels like it should’ve been on the soundtrack for Apollo 13.  Hazel will be out on August 23 and you can preorder from Mexican Summer now.

Trouble Books and Mark McGuire 2nd Pressing Preorder and “The Golden Waste”

The first pressing of the collaborative album between the Akron husband-and-wife  ambient-pop duo Trouble Books and Cleveland guitar-celeb Mark McGuire of 250 copies went extremely fast. So don’t miss out on the second pressing on transparent orange vinyl, which is up now for preorder at the Bark & Hiss store.  And if you want my opinion, this is one of the best albums of the year, if not the best.  If you haven’t heard it yet, listen to the second track on the album, “”Song for Reinier Lucassen’s Sphinx,” below.  And listen to the Altered Zones premiered track “The Golden Waste.”

MP3: || “The Golden Waste” ||

MP3: || “Song for Reinier Lucassen’s Sphinx” ||

Radio People LP on Mexican Summer in July

Cleveland electronic-guru Sam Goldberg is a popular guy within the ambient/drone scene right now. Only a couple weeks after the release of his collaborative effort with Emeralds’ John Elliott, Mist’s House, Sam’s solo project, Radio People, has an upcoming album release on the always popular Mexican Summer.  The LP, called Hazel, will be out on July 27th.  More word to come when tracks are released and a preorder is available.

Trouble Books & Mark McGuire – “Song for Reinier Lucassen’s Sphinx”

Genre: Ambient, Drone, Pop
Year: 2011
Location: Cleveland, OH/ Akron, OH
Label: Bark and Hiss

MP3: || “Song for Reinier Lucassen’s Sphinx” ||

Akron husband-and-wife duo Trouble Books and Emeralds’ guitarist Mark McGuire have teamed up for a collaborative LP, take a breath and let that one sink in for a minute. They just released the first MP3 from the album, “Song for Reinier Lucassen’s Sphinx,” for your listening and downloading pleasure. It’s filled with the things that made me love both bands in the first place, from Trouble Books’ glittering synth loops and serene vocals, to McGuire’s instantly recognizable guitar lines. Trouble Books & Mark McGuire will be out on Bark and Hiss, and we should see a vinyl release in late May.

Comfort Clouds – “I’ve Been Searching”/”33.3% Older Than I Am”/”Text Messages!”

Genre: Ambient Pop, Indie Pop, Post-Rock
Year: 2010
Location: Cleveland/Akron, OH
Label: Bark and Hiss

MP3: || “I’ve Been Searching” ||

MP3: || “33.3% Older Than I Am” ||

MP3: || “Text Messages!” ||

Comfort Clouds is “a team of scientists and engineers” formed from long-time friends and members of Ohio post-rockers Six Parts Seven. They claim that their “goal is to eventually be Steely Dan or Sade, but a bit more spectral.” That’s quite a goal, but nevertheless, the Akron and Clevelanders have crafted a beautiful pop debut, The Dinner Set, with ambient, post-rock, and jazz qualities that reflect both the fluid musicianship and amazing writing.  Comfort Clouds are part of the Bark & Hiss label collective, with other notables Trouble Books, of whom make a few appearences on this record, and Talons.  You can download the full album for $6 from BandCamp, where you can also order the CD or get it through the Bark & Hiss Store.

Mark McGuire – “Brain Storm (For Erin)”

Genre: Ambient, Drone
Year: 2010
Location: Cleveland, OH
Label: Editions Mego

MP3: || “Brain Storm (for Erin)” ||

To be completely honest, it’s a little freaky and overwhelming regarding the amount of great music has been born from the members of Emeralds. From Emeralds’ music itself, to Steve Hauschildt upcoming album on Kranky, to John Elliott’s Outer Space LP, and now Mark McGuire’s Living With Yourself LP, it’s like a never-ending wave. Check out the guitar-heavy and echo-y track, “Brian Storm (For Erin),” from Emeralds’ guitarist Mark McGuire’s new solo LP. It’s available right now from the Editions Mego Catalogue, so go ahead and order the heck out of it!

Outer Space

Outer Space is yet another musical project born from the members of Cleveland droners Emeralds, with John Elliott manning the synth-helm.  Check out the enticing amusement park video above for huge soaring track, “Memory Bomb.”  You order the LP, limited to 650 on clear/black swirl vinyl, right HERE.

And here’s the minimalist album art:

Emeralds – Does It Look Like I’m Here?

Genre: Ambient, Experimental, Drone
Year: 2009
Location: Cleveland, OH
Label: Editions Mego

MP3: || “Candy Shoppe” ||

MP3: || “Now You See Me” ||

Emeralds are easily one of the best groups to come out of Cleveland, OH in recent memory. After two amazing releases last year, What Happened and Emeralds, and a ton of CDRs, the Cleveland droners return with their newest album, Does It Look Like I’m Here?. The first thing I noticed was that the album sports 12 tracks with only one running over the ten-minute mark, a different direction from past LPs. Emeralds manages to take each track to completely blow your mind, fading in between minimalism, maximalism, and big jaw-dropping moments, with the biggest range they’ve hit to date. Does It Look Like I’m Here? will be released on May 24th from Editions Mego on CD and 2LP. Also, Emeralds supposedly have a bunch of 7″s being released through various distros, so keep an eye out for those.

Trouble Books – Gathered Tones

Genre: Indie, Ambient
Year: 2010
Location: Akron, OH
Label: Bark & Hiss Records, Own Records

01. Ascending Kidney
02. Past the New Parking Deck
03. From Colfax Place
04. Arms Full of Lemons
05. Abandoned Monorail Station
06. Tropical Islands, Germany
07. Night Indoors
08. Dazzle Ships (Parts IV+V)
09. Sudden Loop
10. Dusk Accelerator
11. Houseplants

Trouble Books are a another reason why Cleveland is a great city and not a miserable one. Since their 2008 debut, The United Colors of Trouble Books, this Akron/Cleveland duo have played show just about everywhere around NE Ohio, including outside Cleveland record store, Music Saves, on Record Store Day. And now their newest album, Gathered Tones, is being released on March 3rd. The most noticeable aspects of their new album compared to their first is how full and mature the tracks sound. Trouble Books lean heavily on the ambient elements, deep within the girl/boy vocals and relaxing guitars. There’s not too much about Gathered Tones that jumps out at you, but it a much bigger record than that. The music envelops your mind in the most graceful way possible, and puts you in this perfectly calm state. Back to Trouble Books making Cleveland great, they got this record pressed at Cleveland record pressing company, Gotta Groove Records, on super sweet GREEN VINYL! They are going to have a record release show on March 6th at Akron record store, Square Records, and then another show at the Low Life Gallery in Cleveland on March 13rd, so go check them out! You can get a copy of the LP from the Bark and Hiss Store!



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