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Stasis Report: Christina Vantzou ✚ H.Takahashi ✚ More

Five new tracks added to the ambient playlist on Spotify and Google Play Music as of September 9, 2018

The latest update to my Stasis Report ambient-music playlist. It started out just on Spotify. As of three weeks ago, it’s also on Google Play Music. The following five tracks were added on Sunday, September 9. All the tracks are fairly new.

✚ “Sky Could Undress” is a remix by Christina Vantzou from Clear Language: Reworked of music originally by Balmorhea (aka Austin, Texas-based Rob Lowe and Michael Muller): balmorhea.bandcamp.com. Vantzou is based in Brussels, Belgium.

✚ “Part 3” is from The Great Lake Swallows by Julia Kent on cello and Jean D.L (“guitarist/tape machine manipulator”), with field recordings by Sandrine Verstraete, on the Gizeh label: gizehrecords.bandcamp.com. Kent is Canadian, and Jean D.L. is Belgian.

✚ “Circulation” from Low Power from H.Takahashi on the White Paddy Mountain label: chiheihatakeyama.bandcamp.com. Takahashi is based in Tokyo, Japan.

✚ “Good Intentions I” from Departures, Vol. 2 by North Atlantic Drift (Mike Abercrimbie, Brad Deschamps), based in Toronto, on the Greek label Sounds in Silence: soundinsilencerecords.bandcamp.com.

✚ “Maish” is from Salted Garden by Mark Rushton, who is based in Iowa City, Iowa: markrushton.bandcamp.com.

Some previous Stasis Report tracks were removed to make room for these, keeping the playlist length to roughly two hours (up from what was originally an hour and a half, when the playlist first launched). Those retired tracks (by Masayoshi Fujita, Forma, Peter Gabriel, Abul Mogard, and Hiroshi Yoshimura) are now in the Stasis Archives playlist (currently only on Spotify).

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The Muffled Classicism of Christina Vantzou

A track off her new album, No. 4

“So, when you play this live, you just have to figure out a way to construct a huge bell jar to put over the entire orchestra except the cello player.” That is how a friend of Christina Vantzou’s described her aesthetic back to her, per Vantzou’s own recollection when I interviewed her a few years ago on the occasion of her third album, Nº3 (Kranky). It’s an apt comparison. There is a restraint, a sense of sounds emanating down a dark hall, music heard through thick fabric, to Vantzou’s recordings, and the approach holds strong on her new album, No. 4, released earlier this month.

This No. 4 track, “Staircases,” exemplifies Vantzou’s approach. Traditional classical elements, heavy on sedate strings and a minimal piano line that descends like the title subject, are heard in a quiet but intense echo, one in which space — whether real or virtual, physical or a matter of post-production — is as much an instrument as the instruments themselves.

Album posted at christinavantzou.bandcamp.com. More from Vantzou at her youtube.com channel and at christinavantzou.com.

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Remixing the Chamber Ambient Music of Christina Vantzou

Steve Hauschildt reworks "Stereoscope"

Christina Vantzou’s first three solo albums of chamber ambient music are numbered, like Led Zeppelin’s before hers. There is Nº1, Nº2, and Nº3, the most recent of which was released late last year. Naturally the collection of remixes is seen as an iteration, not a release unto itself. Its title: 3.5. She’s assembled a great crew to rework the originals, and the first track, Steve Hauschildt’s take on her “Sterepscope,”was posted a few days ago as a promotion. Other participants in 3.5 include Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe (aka Lichens), Loscil, John Also Bennett, Tara Jane O’Neil, the Sight Below, CORIN, and Francesco Donadello. Bennett played all the synthesizers on Nº3, Vantzou told me when I interviewed her last year (“The Bell Jar Filter”). Bennett and Loscil also contributed to the Nº2 Remixes collection, and Loscil was also on the Nº1 Remixes album. If the original “Stereoscope”was quiet and unassuming, with a glitchy undercurrent that suggested rain on a living-room window, then Hauschildt’s rendition is full-on orchestral. (You can stream the original at youtube.com for comparison.)

Track originally posted at soundcloud.com/platform. The album will be available as of March 18 at christinavantzou.bandcamp.com. More from Vantzou at christinavantzou.com.

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Stasis Report: Davachi ✚ Eno/Shields ✚ Classic Oliveros ✚

Four recent tracks and one Deep Listening Band classic from 1991 newly added to the ambient playlist on Spotify and Google Play Music as of October 15, 2018

The latest update to my Stasis Report ambient-music playlist on Spotify and Google Play Music. The following five tracks were added on Sunday, October 15. Three of the tracks are from the past month, one is from the summer, and one dates back to 1991.

✚ “Full Moon Serenade” off Arrive without Leaving from Laraaji, with Arji OceAnanda and Dallas Acid, released by Flying Moonlight on October 12, 2018: bandcamp.com

✚ “Gloaming” by Sarah Davachi off Gave in Rest, released by Ba Da Bing Records on September 14, 2018: badabingrecords.bandcamp.com/album.

✚ “The Weight of History” by Brian Eno with Kevin Shields. Initially an exclusive for Record Store Day, it was released this past week to streaming services: pitchfork.com.

✚ “Triangle Waves” by Hainbach off Ambient Piano Works, released by the Seil Records label back on July 26, 2018: seilrecords.bandcamp.com.

✚ “Phantom” by Deep Listening Band from the album The Ready Made Boomerang, recorded in the Fort Warden Cistern in 1988, and released on the New Albion label in 1991. The core bands is Pauline Oliveros, Stuart Dempster, and Panaiotis, with guests Thomasa Eckert and William O. Smith: newalbion.com.

Some previous Stasis Report tracks were removed to make room for these, keeping the playlist length to roughly two hours. Those retired tracks (from North Atlantic Drift, Mark Rushton, Les Momies de Palerme, and Grouper, plus Christina Vantzou remixing Balmorhea, and a duet of Julia Kent and Jean D.L) are now in the Stasis Archives playlist (currently only on Spotify).

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The Coloration of Ambient

From light to dark

Ahnornberg’s “no return” manages an unusual combination. It bears the lightness of classic ambient music — to be distinguished from classical ambient music, which might be taken to mean ambient music with a classical-music affect, like the work of Mary Lattimore, Christina Vantzou, or Nils Frahm — even as its tonality veers into darker territory. Dark ambient is also often dense ambient. That coloration is heard here, especially in its closing minutes, but even so it never loses the fragility of the earlier portions. What does disappear is the misty figment of a melody that initially wafts through.

Track originally posted at soundcloud.com/ahornberg. Ahnornberg is based in Vienna, Austria. More at ahornberg.bandcamp.com.

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