Escape with ambient musician Memory Scale’s latest album

Memory Scale is the project of Arnaud Castagné, coming from Bordeaux, France. He composes mainly alone but sometimes produces with other musicians, especially for live performances. Memory Scale is a cinematographic universe based on sound textures and synthetic melodies, mixing electronica and ambient to create a hybrid and contemplative pop.

As a link connecting two decades of electronic music history, “The Shadow And The Shape” brings us back with a touch of nostalgia towards the electronica of the 90s and the early 2000s.
The nine tracks of this new album roam the paths taken by Tycho, Boards Of Canada, Floating Points and Lali Puna, and remind us of the finest hours of labels such as City Center Office or Morr Music whose legacy is beyond doubt.

Originally published in audio cassette format and reissued at the beginning of the year as digital release, “The Analog Sunset Memories” already revealed subtle production of the artist from Bordeaux. With the EP “Exit” released in 2019, at the crossroads between leftfield electronic and indie pop (ambient pop ?), the excitement level was rising.

For the Memory Scale project, Arnaud Castagné surrounded himself by artists and musicians including Taylor Deupree as mastering engineer (electronic musician and founder of the American label 12k, also known for his collaborations with Ryuichi Sakamoto, Marcus Fischer, Stephan Mathieu and others), Guillaume Flamen on keyboards and Nicolas Godin on drums & guitar. These last two also team up with him on stage.

Enigmatic and timeless, “The Shadow And The Shape” aptly describes misty mornings, a threatening sky tinged with white and gray and charged with melancholy, like a sweet poetic and subtle parenthesis.

Memory Scale, or when the machines touch the soul.

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Ambient musician Sam Prekop announces new album: Comma

Following the recent announcement of his new album Comma, Sam Prekop has shared new single “Circle Line”. The track evokes the relentless forwarded motion of commuter routine, traversing futuristic cityscapes illuminated in glistening neon as Prekop focusing his prismic synthesiser loops around a newfound rhythmic pulse.

On writing the track, he elaborates: “Circle Line” was the first piece written after having my Roland Juno 106 repaired, which had been out of service for years. Being a polyphonic synth, which the modular is not, it made for quite a different approach here. The predominant element is the rhythmic chord foundation, which all of the other elements are directly responding to. Another differentiation from the other pieces on the record is that there are three key changes that in my mind make the piece feel like a miniature suite. I wanted the piece to feel quite sparse and open. The “solo” voices are mostly atonal and gestural, until the end where the sequenced line carefully follows the key changes.”

Sam Prekop’s boundless imagination is guided by his strong sense of melody. For more than 25 years, as a solo artist or as part of The Sea and Cake, Prekop creates a singular sound that is both inventive and warm. New album Comma takes Pekop’s electronic music experiments in a surprising new direction. Working extensively with beat programming for the first time, Prekop uses rhythm as a narrative tool, tapping into electronic music’s romantic and emotional qualities. Comma embraces the analogue synthesizer’s often unpredictable nature, imbuing the record with a decidedly organic feel even while working within the relative rigidity of beat architectures.

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Producer oblyx is not okay in song ‘Walk On’

Credit: Wide Eyed Studios

Everyone feels alone at one point in their life, but the current global pandemic has strengthened this feeling for a lot of people. Some people like music producer oblyx uses his creative outlet to express his loneliness at this time. A.Room shares, “As he has previously mentioned, that the alias oblyx is a way for him to express and document his feelings on life and its challenges.  ‘Walk On’ is Johnson implying that he has hit rock bottom during this global pandemic and that isolation has got its hooks into him.”

Since the 1st of January 2018, Oliver Johnson has shared a song each month, using the name oblyx. His music chronicles his life’s trials and tribulations. The music producer shares his thoughts on the single “Feelings of despondency after a period of solitude and reflection. Optimism gives way to reality.”

Everyone hurts and bleeds, no matter who you are in this life. The music producer vents about his defeat to the emotional impact that the forced isolation is having on him, creating a work that is relatable and emotionally raw.

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Luke Howard announces new album

Named after a quote by composer and academic David Toop, ‘All That Is Not Solid’, is his most audacious and exciting album yet.  It documents the four concerts Howard played in January of wholly improvised music. The result is Howard at his purest, highlighting his breath-taking melodic talent. The four weekly concerts at Melbourne classical venue Tempo Rubato in January from which these records stem, saw Howard freely improvise for an hour, before a second half of his existing tunes. The shows took place while bushfires raged in Australia. They were nearly cancelled because of the heat, but offered solace and comfort to audiences when they went ahead.

‘All That Is Not Solid’ became the natural home for ‘Antoinette Boulevard’. The only song from the shows’ second half of pre-existing pieces, the album’s joyous finale needed an audience to respond to its restless energy. “I could release a whole album of versions of ‘Antionette Boulevard’ I’ve tried in the studio,” he laughs. “That tune has been a bit of a curse before, but it worked as more of a party tune to play at these gigs. I could play it really fast, or start slow and have fun speeding it up. I’d end the shows with it, and after what could have been a melancholy night it’s good to have something to whip through.” Its video is comprised of drone footage edited by Howard of the Australian landscape, from Victoria and New South Wales, filmed by Howard’s friend Finn Robertson.

The eerily beautiful ‘Antionette Boulevard’ video is a reminder of the stark period when Howard’s ‘All That Is Not Solid’ residency took place. Howard is in awe of the resilience of people who lost their homes in the fires, noting: “Their attitude seems to be ‘Oh, we’ll pick up and start again’, when as a city dweller I’d find it such a traumatic experience.” A passionate student of climate change, Howard has explored tackling the subject in his next studio work.

In the seven years since his compelling debut album ‘Sun, Cloud’ was released, Luke Howard has established himself as one of the most important and exciting musicians in contemporary classical music. The composer has been at the forefront of opening up piano music to a new generation, while challenging the notion of what can be achieved in the form. He has twice been nominated for the Australian Music Prize. His 2019 work ‘Beating Heart Stories’ featured stunning reworkings of his acclaimed album ‘Open Heart Story’. The same year, Howard’s first film soundtrack ‘The Sand That Ate The Sea’ for director Matthew Thorne’s documentary about the Australian outback was nominated for Best Soundtrack at the ARIA Awards. He has worked on ballets with The Royal Ballet at Covent Garden and Atlanta Ballet. As well as his solo music, he leads The Luke Howard Trio and has made albums with jazz bassist Janos Bruneel and Grammy-winning trumpeter Nadje Noordhuis.

Whatever the future holds for this most restless, challenging and innovative musician, the beauty and wonder shot through ‘All That Is Not Solid’ is a stunning achievement, an album created on the spot needing years of expertise to draw from first. It sets both Luke Howard free and anyone who cares to listen.

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Okada Takuro & duenn share new ambient album

The cutting-edge ambient music from Japan brought by up-and-coming producer and musician Okada Takuro and sound artist duenn. This sound is made to be the “air”, not your “story”.

“As ignorable as it is interesting” is how Brian Eno describes ambient music.Then how should this interesting yet may be ignored sound be part of our life in2020?
Now after works by Oh Shu & BIOMAN, Jim O’Rourke, Ana Da Silva & Phew,NEWHERE MUSIC is proud to present concept album “Urban Planning” from Okada Takuro + duenn.
After Moriwaikiteiru disbanded, Okada Takuro started his solo projects with the debut album “Nostalgia”. Apart from songwriting, Okada is also active as a producer and in film score.
duenn has been working with labels from all over the world including Entr’acte(Belgium) and Past Inside The Present (US). His experimental unit 3RENSA with Merzbow and Nyantora has performed with legendary sound designer Matsuo Ohno (Astro Boy) and artist Shohei Tsuda. In recent years, duenn’s sound can be heard at galleries and exhibitions, including the latest collaboration with Shiho
It started from a sparkle in the discussion between Okada and duenn, “sound of the city” as a keyword. What should be the ambient music in our life, at our time? Through conversations, the two had made an important point, that is “complete an album with melodies by duenn and only duenn”, for so far, duenn has rarely created melodies.
The album has a precise concept, yet without much embellishment, probably because of the primitive melodies by duenn, being a freshman as a melody maker. For the listeners, the touch of simplicity may well remind them of the lullabies in their childhood. duenn and Okada also had clearly divided roles during the making, with duenn on melodies and Okada on editing and producing. It is also interesting that duenn chose to use GarageBand, a tool that accessible to all for his first melody-
making, which eventually turns out to be inevitably.
Respect of ambient musicians and contemporary artists since the 80s, Yukio Fujimoto and Hiroshi Yoshimura to name a few, could be recognized from this album. This is also the unique feature thanks to the continued crossover activities of the duenn and Okada. However, the two did not stop at admiring the masterpiece, instead, they focused on the cities in 2020s. The tracks are concise
and comprehensive of 1 or 2 minute-long echo with the artists of the subscription era.
The artists spent two years on this creation. Imagine the commuter trains, cars, your room, local park for a walk. This is the sound of city to blend into every moment in urban life.
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