Friday, June 19, 2020

Albums for these Stressful Times

Today I want to try something a little different: I want to provide some ambient album's that I think are fitting for these times, both thematically and due to their escapist nature. These albums are all dark, surreal, and dreamy, three words that basically sum up this year as a whole. I've been listening to these to help me get through all of this mess, and my hope is that they can help others in the same way.

I've recommended this album time and time again. I think I've mentioned before that it's my all time favorite album, and for good reason. It's a dark, dreamy, thematic album that has helped me drift off on more than a few occasions. 

Much like the above album, this album is dark and thematic with the heavy theme of rain. If your tired of the stresses of real life and are looking for an album to help you escape into a different world, one of dark streets and never ending raindrops, then this masterpiece is for you.

Much more dreamy and traditional-ambient-like than the first two albums, TOWERS is a wonderful four part journey through unique soundscapes that will help you leave the world's problems behind, if only for an hour or so.

The City in Rain provide exactly what you'd think: a journey through a dark, rainy city. This album is one of my more recent finds and I must say, I've loved it every time I listen to it. The atmosphere it sets is simply amazing.

Like every other album on this list, HK takes place in a city, specifically Hong Kong. It's use of fuzzy sounds, synths, and your typical city samples all blend together to create a dream-like feeling. If your looking for an album to truly escape into, this one is right behind 2814's 新しい日の誕生.

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Meta: One Year!

Well today marks the day: one year ago I started up this little website o' mine.  I've evolved in that year, both as a music fan and as a person in general, but this site has stayed pretty consistent, and I'm happy with that.  Sure, the posts weren't always regular, and the gaps were sometimes large, but I always had this place in the back of my mind if I found a new album and thought to myself "huh, this is really good, I want to share this with someone".

I know not many people visit here, but it's still been fun.  I still remember the initial boom of users when I posted my link to r/vaporwave; I was so happy that people were actually enjoying what I had created.  I also remember the thrill of my first comment as well as seeing my link posted on (shoutout to vaporgirl for her awesome site!).  So, to anyone over the last year who has left a comment, shared my site, or just simply read my posts: thank you!  Thank you from the bottom of my heart.  You give me the drive to continue working on this fun little part of the internet ;)


Sunday, May 10, 2020

Ambient Review: Gaze

Gaze is a BludHoney records published collaborative work between w u s o 命 and Sangam.  It's a short, to the point journey through a Cyberpunk world that, quite honestly, leaves me wishing for just a little bit more.

The album clocks in with a time of 12:06 which, in my opinion, is a bit too short for an album of this sort.  It's begging to be a long, epic, Cyberpunk adventure, but it's just not.  Although, to be fair, all twelve minutes of the experience are well worth it.  Like much of w u s o 命's work (I can't speak for Sangam here as this is the first project I've heard by them) Gaze paints the picture of a lonely, neon-lit futuristic city.  And, while many of the songs in this album are a tad repetitive for my taste, it's still cinematic enough to feel like it's telling a story.

Overall I'd say this is a nice bite-sized ambient album.  If you're pressed for time and just want to escape to the bleak city streets of the future for a few moments, then this is the perfect album for you.

Monday, May 4, 2020

Ambient Review: 小圈子

I'm back, and with a review this time!  Hopefully the two people who visit this site will be excited about that, I know I sure am.

Today I'll be talking about 小圈子 by 輕描淡寫, which is an amazing ambient album I came across on BludHoney not too long ago.  It's dark, depressing, and hopeless; basically everything I love in a good Dark Ambient album.  So, without further adieu, let's get into it.

小圈子 is a five track Dark Ambient album and, as far as I can tell, is 輕描淡寫's first and only work.  The fact that it is the artist's first work absolutely blew me away because honestly, this is up there with 2814's Birth of a New Day.  I'm not even joking, I love this album that much.

Now, not only is this a somber album, it's a cinematic one as well.  Every song feels like it adds on to part of a larger story, which is very difficult to do in any genre, but especially in ambient.  It gives me a hopeless, lonely, wandering feeling, like I'm a ghost floating through a rainy city at the stroke of 3 a.m.  The theme of rain plays a big part in this album, and the artist executes it perfectly.  They use rain sounds throughout the entire work, but even without these background noises I feel I would still get the sense of a dreary, rainy day through the music alone.

As many other fans of ambient, I find myself coming to the genre when I need a moment of peace.  Birth of a New Day will always be my go to, but I've found myself coming to this album very often as well.  It does what all ambient albums should strive to do and strikes the perfect balance of soothing enough to be played in the background yet interesting enough to devote your time to.

The final small point I would like to touch on is the cover art.  It is beautifully done, and simply raps up this amazing work in a nice little bow.  It captures the desolate feeling of the album with the starry sky, and the art style chosen for the face and placing of the album's title is simply perfect in my opinion.

I hope this review has inspired you to check out this album for yourself and, as myself and many others have done, lose yourself in it's somber embrace.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Meta: Quarantine Update

Yes, I'm alive.  I know I know, it's been a while.  Real life etc. etc.  But I'm here, I'm making a post!  This is happening!

I'm not sure if anyone even visits this site anymore to be completely honest, especially since I haven't been very active, but I thought I'd update it anyway.  I kind of miss writing reviews, so I think I'm going to start doing them again, it's not like I have much else going on right now.  Additionally, the one year anniversary of this site is coming up soon which is exciting.  I'm not sure if I'm going to do anything special for it, but it's a cool milestone nonetheless.

I've still been listening to Vaporwave, although I haven't been listening to many new releases.  I've really been digging a lot of BludHoney's stuff recently so I've been going through a lot of the albums on that label.  I think a few of them might be my next couple reviews.

Also, I recently saw the trailer for Nobody Here - The Story of Vaporwave and I'm really excited.  At first I was a little worried about the quality, but based off of the Indiegogo page the creators are true Vaporwave fans and know what they're doing.  I'm really hoping it actually ends up happening as we've all heard the horror stories that can come out of crowd funded campaigns.

Besides all that, not much else has been going on.  I'll try to get a review out sometime soonish for you guys.  Also, feel free to leave a comment if you visit here so I know if this place is dead or not ;-)

Thanks for reading!