Words on contemporary releases. Seeking to offer an honest description of works which manage to exist in their own space and time.
Stages of Grief vol. 1, Convalescence VA w/ O. Vaupel, Anthéne, Anasisana, Forest Management, V. Sinclair, Celer, Amethyst [Vaknar]
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Committed to the most delicate range of ambient music, Vaagner and its daughter label Vaknar exist to bring forth both represses and original works by befriended artists. Past releases have presented notoriously brilliant musicians like OAKE, øjeRum, Angelo Harmsworth, and Zen Zsigo. For the first VA on Vaknar titled Convalescence, the daughter label exclusively dedicated to original and limited edition productions, time and delay in processing grief is a guiding theme. Each artist has took the guiding theme and elevated it to a personal narrative, where each track is dedicated to someone special. Accompanied with the beautiful artwork, the narratives elevate the tape to an emotional new high, best listened during moments of retreat.
A1. O. Vaupel – At Se I Mørke
A2. Anthéne – Best Intentions
A3. Anasisana – Maubeuge
A4. Forest Management – Tangle
B1. V. Sinclair – A Saint in the Garden of Our Time
B2. Celer – Four Circles Around a Empty Place
B3. Amethyst – Blossom Palace
It was very difficult to pick a few tracks to highlight in this review, as they are all amazingly beautiful. Having said this, we begin with At Se I Mørke, the opening score of the first volume. The track is a gloomy, slow piano piece, resembling the waking after a period of darkness or absence. The lingering drones and background static enhance the grayish, heavy atmosphere. At Se I Mørke fits perfectly with his previous album For At Forevige Dette Øjeblik on the Danish label Janushoved regarding dark ambient piano compositions. Travelling on, we find Best Intentions, a haunting organ and accordion piece using its drones in a slightly different way. Halfway into the work, the drones crash and fall like waves of a North Sea during winter. Fluid sadness, understanding, contemplation are some key moods springing to mind.
Anasisana’s Maubeuge, featured a few weeks ago in a premiere on Zenevloed, takes another direction, yet continuing the atmospheres by Anthéne. Crisp field recordings of rain dripping on a window pane and splashing pools of water add freshness to what seems to sound like stretched out conversations droning in the distance. Maubeuge is a very mature composition by the young producer, indicating an immense progress made in his skill in a short time. A Saint in the Garden of Our Time furthers the sound of rain showers, water, clicking, switching to something with a lighter, speedier, hopeful feeling. Edging towards the contemporary Danish broken electronics of Posh Isolation and Petrola 80 while remaining thoroughly ambient, it freshens up the B-side.
Buy link: https://vaagner.bandcamp.com/album/stages-of-grief-vol-1-convalescence