Uppsala Solemne: an alternative approach to dark ambient

As some readers of this page might have experienced, I just recently happened to mostly be into netlabel music, for a bunch of different reasons, including the inability of most of nowadays “music marketing” structures to really come up with interesting new acts and styles – which, then again, is not all too surprising in a musical world in which even “alternative”, “post rock” or “indie” mostly seem just genre descriptions rather than outlines or definitions of something new, interesting, inspired.

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ghostlike ambient and art: “incubi succubi”

A few days ago, while browsing archive.org I stumbled across “Incubi Succubi” by Daina Dieva and Svart1. Somehow, this 25-minutes beast of an ambient track has caught my attention and been played quite a couple of times ever since. Initially, this track partially reminded me of Vangelis’ incredible soundtrack to “Blade Runner”, but “Incubi Succubi” is way more, way stronger in some respects: The course of a nights worth of dreaming, travelling through its different stages from nightmare to relieving wake-up in the morning, captured altogether in soundscapes somewhere between (dark) ambient, industrial and folk. Ethereal, somewhat distant voices (I don’t want to call them “vocals” as I don’t know whether there are any articulated lyrics), deep distant drums once in a while, all kinds of noises and sounds, and an overall construction of “atmosphere made sound” all around this. A perfect soundtrack to a movie taking place in your head, and you decide what kind of movie this might be. And, asides being a great audio track, thanks to stumbling across this release I also learnt about Daniele Serra, a truly interesting artist, and I dared to discover more musical doings both by Daina Dieva, most notably darkwinter dw056 (another rather strong ambient production), and the doings of Svart1, a very effective merging of audio, visual, … into one working “whole”. A good way to spend a winter evening, I guess. ;)

Kalte – “Claciations” : wintry sound environments

Music to code to, in some way: Browsing the darkwinter.com archives, I stumbled across “Glaciations” by Canadian ambient/electronics twopiece Kalte. The page says it all, I guess:

Inspired by the isolation and emptiness inherent in the Polar Night, the Toronto-based electronic duo Kalte has released “Glaciations”, a series of five sound environments made up of cold elements and deep darkness. Drawing from a range of organic sound sources which have been altered and reassembled, “Glaciations” immerses the listener in a space that evokes the feeling of solitude and glacial winds, where dark tones drift through the soundscape, shifting in subtle ways.

Go get your headphones and check it out. ;)