1. Shackleton (with Ernesto Tomasini) – ‘You Are The One
This is a nice track from the new album ‘Devotional Songs‘ by UK artist Sam Shackleton better known as Shackleton. A nice mix of dark music, with Eastern influences and inspirations, not only for newcomers, but for fans of Dalis Car and Japan as well as new age fans of artists like Kitaro. Another reason to purchase this LP is the label:Released by Honest Jon’s Records, the label, established by the famous English record shop and Damon Albarn!

John Pallas

  1. Floating Points – ‘Kuiper

Manchester’s classically trained musician and producer Sam Shepherd was mainly a neuroscientist student. He initially considered music just a passion for his spare time. Since 2009 he has started exploring the different fields of house, techno and downtempo music through his DJ sets and several EPs (the ‘Vacuum EP‘ above all) .

His vivid mind and his thirst of pushing himself beyond his boundaries, not dissimilar to the one of fellow musicians Caribou and Four Tet, will carry him to form a sixteen-piece ensemble (basically old friends from University) in order to complement the electronic and the acoustic, the digital and the analogue.

His research and experiments on the perfect alchemy of sound will culminate in last year’s widely critically acclaimed debut album ‘Elaenia’ and the following high-praised full-band live tour.

Kuiper’, the 18-and-a-half-minute-long title track of the new EP, is a further amazing imaginative progression, slowly building the groove with a drum machine and sparse electronic bleeps. Soon the bass line and the live-sounding drums take the reins, supported by the other instruments of the long journey into an epic sonic odyssey where a beautifully crafted blend of kosmische rock (Neu!), psychedelia (echoes of early Pink Floyd), jazz, post rock, even progressive will astonishingly reach the perfect climax of pure overwhelming bliss of the senses before fading into an hypnotic, relaxed orchestral jazz coda, the peace and fulfillment after such an intense but sublime aural orgasm.

On the other hand, who better than a neuroscientist to perfectly know the cathartic use of music  to cure the human pain…

Fabrizio Lusso

  1. Tom Trago & Pisetzky– ‘Perù
From compilation ‘Broken Promises EP‘ on Kompakt that launches this series with collaborations of different musicians from the globe. Melancholic vibes, deep ambient atmospheres,by Tom Trago and Pisetzky, ‘Perù is a strong exotic track not only for summer!

John Pallas

  1. PIPE’S NOT DEAD ! – ‘The Place Where Time Stood Still’

Italian Bucarest-based multi-instrumentalist and pipe-smoker Massimiliano Nardulli is not a young hopeful, but a ‘no longer young’ talented musician who has always fought for his music from the early days— when he played bass in a darkwave band in Rome— to his relentless travelling around Europe.

The usual ups and downs, the temptation to give up and to sell all the instruments; but suddenly when everything seemed lost, he found an unexpected creative artistic environment in Bucarest and the spark was back.

He started to compose new stuff again and a project, called PIPE’S NOT DEAD !, with Berlin-based Italian long time friend Gabriele Saffioti started taking shape.

Initially they were conceived as proper songs with vocals, but later the duo opted to develop them as instrumentals.

Part of their debut four-track EP titled ‘We Are No Longer Young But We Are Not Dead Yet’, ‘The Place Where Time Stood Still’ starts with an electronic carpet that defines and builds the atmospheric mood for the introduction of a gentle reverb guitar sound, indebted to shoegaze bands like Slowdive, that will lead us to a hypnotic dreamy mid-tempo trip into gorgeous and unexplored territories of nostalgia, beauty and bliss.

So what if we’re no longer young? We are still dreamers after all…

Fabrizio Lusso

  1. Phelios – ‘Tharsis’

Phelios give us a taste of the latest huge compilation, ‘The Echoing Black‘, on their track ‘Tharsis‘. Kalpamantra, a net label known for finding new and quality dark ambient talent, teams up with the monolith Malignant Records to release this compilation, featuring 34 exclusive tracks from Malignant artists. Phelios is the perfect start to ‘The Echoing Black‘, as it slowly rolls outside the deep abyss of our universe. As we reach Earth, chaos is sure to ensue.

Michael Barnett

Compiled by John Pallas, Fabrizio Lusso & Michael Barnett