Airplay: Robert Scott Thompson – Arcana on Galactic Travels

WDIY 88.1 FM "Galactic Travels" Top 20 for June, 2014.
Shows #896 to #899; 5-June-2014 to 26-June-2014
Reported in non-ranked, alphanumeric order.
Compiled by Bill Fox

This report is also available at these locations: Bill’s Blog | WDIY Galactic Travels information is available at these locations: RSS News Feed | MySpace | Facebook

The Special Focus for June was Robert Rich.

AirSculpture - Graveyard shift - none
Andrew J. Douglas - Blossom River - Jennica
Audio Mace - Electro Pieces - Ek Balam
Chronotope Project - Dharma Rain - Udana Music
Claudio Casanueva - Soundscapes - none
Cosmic Ground - Cosmic Ground - Studio Fleisch
Cosmo Moose - Cosmic Invasion - none
Craig Padilla - Sonar - Fruits de Mer
Green Isac - Passengers - Spotted Peccary
Neuronium - ExoSomnia - Neuronium
Neuronium - Nocny Lot - Neuronium
Node - Node 2 - DiN
Onewayness and dRachEmUsiK - Immeasurable - Onomastic
Robert Rich - Calling Down the Sky - Soundscape Productions
Robert Rich - Nest - Soundscape Productions
Robert Rich - Open Window - Soundscape
Robert Rich and Faryus - Zerkalo - Faria
Robert Scott Thompson - Arcana - relaxedMACHINERY
The Tangent Project - LIVE The Gatherings 04.12.2014
deeperNET - Impossible Landscapes - Spotted Peccary

Airplay: Night Tides w/ host Renee Blanche

Night Tides on KCURThanks to Renee Blanche for featuring Relaxed Machinery releases almost every week. We can’t thank her enough for her support!

June 15, 2014:

  • Arbee & Specta Ciera – Elemental Gathering
  • Robert Scott Thompson – Arcana
  • Steve Brand, Roy Mattson – Meltstream

June 8, 2014

  • Robert Scott Thompson – Arcana
  • Steve Brand, Roy Mattson – Meltstream

June 1, 2014:

  • Arbee & Specta Ciera – Elemental Gathering
  • Robert Scott Thompson – Arcana

May 18, 2014

  • Arbee & Specta Ciera – Elemental Gathering

May 11, 2014

  • Arbee & Specta Ciera – Elemental Gathering

May 4, 2014

  • Arbee & Specta Ciera – Elemental Gathering
  • Steve Brand from our reBOOT 6th Anniversary Compilation

April 27, 2014

  • Arbee & Specta Ciera – Elemental Gathering
  • Peter James, Eyes Cast Down from our reBOOT 6th Anniversary Compilation

April 20, 2014

  • Arbee & Specta Ciera – Elemental Gathering
  • Steve Brand, Roy Mattson from our reBOOT 6th Anniversary Compilation

April 13, 2014

  • Arbee & Specta Ciera – Elemental Gathering
  • Chris Russell, Eyes Cast Down from our reBOOT 6th Anniversary Compilation
  • Ran Kirlian from our reBOOT 6th Anniversary Compilation
  • Apne Sinn from our reBOOT 6th Anniversary Compilation

April 6, 2014

  • Arbee from our reBOOT 6th Anniversary Compilation
  • Loren Nerell from our reBOOT 6th Anniversary Compilation


Review: Robert Scott Thompson – Arcana by Textura

rM0039_RST_Arcana_300x300Robert Scott Thompson: Arcana 
Relaxed Machinery


Electroacoustic composer Robert Scott Thompson has built up an impressive discography over the years, which might make it difficult for someone coming to his music for the first time to know where to begin. As it turns out, his latest collection, Arcana, would seem to be as good a point of entry as any for a couple of reasons (even if Thompson himself cites The Silent ShoreFrontier, andAt the Still Point of the Turning World as Arcana‘s kin): its breadth, for one, given that its nine pieces cover many of the stylistic bases touched upon in his previous recordings; and quite simply its quality, as the material is at the same high level in terms of compositional writing and sound design as his best work.

Issued on ambient composer Steve Brand’s Relaxed Machinery imprint rather than Thompson’s own Aucourant Records label, Arcana is, according to its creator, an example of “classical ambient,” a style of long standing that emphasizes languor, nuance, and subtlety over epic, beat-driven structures in its arrangements of synthesized and acoustic—prepared piano among them—elements. But while percussion might play a lesser role on the seventy-minute set, it’s not wholly absent as Stuart Gerber is credited with contributing percussion samples and performances to the album.

Regardless of the ambient character of the material, Arcana ‘s tracks, each one a distinct world from the others, overflow at every moment with detail and incident. The seeming pluck of a string instrument (though it may well be a keyboard) drifts across the oceanic expanses of the shimmering title track, for example, whereas cowbells tinkle o’ertop a base of synth washes and cavernous rumbles within “Night Has a Thousand Eyes.” During “Liminal Worlds,” wordless choral voices intone amidst sparse Rhodes patterns and echo-laden synthetic flourishes, while an Asian character seeps into the material during “Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight,” arguably the album’s most sonically rich soundscape.

Many a setting is peaceful, but there are some, such as “Imagination is Memory,” that suggest geological force of towering strength and magnitude, and the piano-heavy exploration “Unwoven” is similarly unafraid to wade into dissonant waters. In Thompson’s ponderous scene-paintings, icy sheets of sound stretch themselves across immense, flat surfaces. Don’t be thrown off by the ambient label associated with his music: listening to these mist-cloaked electronic landscapes proves to be a compelling and rewarding experience.

July 2014

Review: Broken Harbour- The Geometry of Shadows by historic_bruno

rM0031_Broken Harbour_TheGeometryOfShadows_300x300Lacking some magic perhaps from the previous release Gramophone TransmissionsBroken Harbour returns with The Geometry of Shadows, nonetheless a piece of fine high-quality ambient music. It retains many of the same characteristics, but obviously differs in the lack of classical samples, tending instead toward traditional ambient music. There is some influence of space ambient, but for the most part it presents a stationary and glimmering, pleasant atmosphere, rather than a more kinetic sound. Certainly, there is an uplifting feel to the whole, warm yet sparse; not as dramatically emotive as Gramophone Transmissions. It feels like one suite instead of six distinct tracks, nearly all of which are over 11 minutes in length.

The Geometry of Shadows is very cohesive, and that combined with the strong composition and excellent sound quality, earns this release an easy 4 star rating from me. It’s nothing ground breaking, but these days little in the ambient genres truly is, and here Broken Harbour demonstrate a mastery of ambient music and a unique style. Once again, music for headphone listening.


more info:


Review: Steve Brand, Roy Mattson – Meltstream by Richard Gürtler

rM_0042_Brand-Mattson_Meltstream_300x300Steve Brand needs no bigger introduction here, he is constantly confirming his reputation as one of the giants of primordial shamanistic electroacoustic soundsculpting. But Roy Mattson comes here as a new name on the ambient map. Based in Stony Creek, NY, Roy Mattson has been making music for many years, but according to my knowledge, he didn’t share it until 2013, when his collaboration with Mystified “Pluto And Charon” was released on Treetrunk Records (July, 2013). Steve Brand and Roy Mattson have met for the first time on Steve Roach’s Into The Soundcurrent workshop in Sonoita, Arizona in September, 2007. And that was the triggering point for “Meltstream”. The album comes in beautiful 4-panel digipak, for sure both artists and Relaxed Machinery deserve this catchy packaging, a way to continue!!!

10-minute opener “My Shadow And The Morning Sun” quickly shifts into gorgeously ethereal spheres, attractively melting distant drone undulations with evocative string subtleties. Drifting, expanding and peaking into heavier, unbounded realms, before inconspicuously transmuting into lushly colored primordial paradise led by tranquilly swirling, rattling and embracing cacophony of various eclectic shakers and rumbles. I am really hooked on this track!!! “Just Above Treeline” graciously floats and meanders on soothingly waving cloudbeds of gorgeously majestic pensiveness. Ancient whistles quietly sneak in during the second half and take the listener deeper into enthralling contemplative realms. “Leeward Shadows”, the longest piece clocking to nearly 15 and half minutes, immediately dives into monstrously abyssal drone depths. Watch your speakers, because that’s a really huge drone blaze, but fortunately soon joined by the graceful symphony of panoramic drifts, enhanced by intensifying blankets and pierced with mysteriously crescendoing reverberations. Crickets are awaken too during this nocturnal magic and deliver their chirping virtuosity, while assortment of bells illuminate the path to the gates… Psychically supreme and spectacularly transcendental magnum opus awaits here. Bravissimo, Gentlemen!!! “Meltstream”, the title composition, returns into earthy wistful terrains filled with warmly ebbing wide-screen reflections, masterfully unfolding into thrillingly immersing vistas, which slowly metamorphose along the way into magnificently expanding and imposingly culminating drone scenario. Another breathtaking tribute to surrounding natural wonders, more please!!! “Unlost [Strange Lights & Firefly Stars]” starts with ear-bending drone escapade, soon the journey calms down a bit, but the drifting intensity is still absolutely unfathomable and mindscaping. Lushly colored field recordings inconspicuously permeate through mysteriously dark, moonlit landscape, but then spiritedly interact with gargantuan dronewaves. Utterly embracing!!! A grand finale? Sure, it was!!!

What to add? I am short of words, because it’s the music that speaks for itself, you must fully experience “Meltstream”, because otherwise you will miss one of the most glorious dronescaping adventures released in last few years. Steve Brand did it again, but that’s nothing surprising anymore and for Roy Mattson this turned as a really great introductory performance. “The Great Hoop” was one of the ultimate sonic jewels of 2013 and now, “Meltstream”, a 67-minute long soundsculpting magic is heading for the same title in 2014. Hats off to Steve & Roy!!! The official release date is scheduled for May 30th, the countdown is running!!!

Richard Gürtler (May 18, 2014, Bratislava, Slovakia)


More info on Meltstream:


Hypnagogue 6th Anniversary Podcast – features Andrew Lahiff

rM0030_ALahiff_InnerWorldsReturning_300x300The 6th anniversary episode of the Hypnagogue Podcast is now available and Relaxed Machinery is thrilled John chose a track from Andrew Lahiff’s “Inner Worlds Returning” – Thank you, John!  Congratulations, Andrew!  And stay tuned, because later this year Andrew Lahiff has a new album coming out on rM!

Here’s Hypnagogue’s post:

Well, happy birthday to me! The podcast starts its sixth year in production with three sets of some hand-picked favorites. As always, pulling a dozen “favorites” out of a library of nearly 10,000 tracks isn’t easy. I hope you enjoy the ride, even if I am a bit overly talky in this one. (No interruptions next time, promise!)

[ Download the podcast ]

Steve Rose, Somehow Different (Pt 1), The Diminishing Day
9.23       Lopside, Standing at the Mechanical Ocean, 37
16.22     Steve Roach & Robert Rich, Blood Music, Soma
24.05     Dave Preston, Be Alive, Be
34.08     Mingo, Translation of Lost Consciousness, The Light That Bends
40.38     Radium 88, The Irretrievable Loss of Perpetual Belonging, Escaping Tomorrow
45.35     Sensitive Chaos, Thoughts of Home in a Sandstorm, Seeker After Patterns
53.41     Jeffrey Koepper, Byzantine Machine, Momentium
1.02.00  Andrew Lahiff, Echoes of the Harmonic Canyons, Inner Worlds Returning
1.08.54  John Vorus, Cove, Transmuting Currents
1.15.44  Silvercord, Waking to Solace, I Smiled Because I Knew Death Is But A Door
1.21.44   Dan Pound, Polaris, Aurora

I got so soft-brained from the last set that when listing track names at the end I mistakenly kept saying “after” rather than “before.” But you’re smart enough to have figured out what I meant, right? And if not–hey, look! A playlist!

Review: Steve Brand – Over-Soul by Hypnagogue Reviews

pl0015_SteveBrand_Over-soul_300x300JUNE 7, 2014

Using a nine-minute track from a 2011 release as a starting point, Steve Brand expands on the idea beautifully with the three long pieces that form Over-Soul. This is a very big bit of work, a broad and cosmically panoramic thing that also manages to be as personal and spiritual as an epiphany. As Brand gently layers long pads over, through, or alongside each other and kneads their surfaces with texture, the listener cannot help but ease into a very quiet space.  There’s a slight rite of passage to go through first, however, as the opening track, “The Wise Silence,” sets about balancing shadow and light over its 21-minute run. Brand brings us in with a dark, rising tone that turns to a growling breath rich in low-end tones. It’s reasonably ominous, which makes the shift toward lighter sounds that much more potent. The shift comes and goes as the piece goes on, pulling the listener deeper into the flow. It’s remarkable what Brand achieves with what feels like a fairly slight sound-set. The layers here are not overly deep, but they’re fully effective–you feel the weight of the shadows around you, and you feel the relief of shifting away from them. “The Collective Heart” moves into a realm that is equal parts spacemusic and pure ambient, where the windy hiss of washes and high pads arrive to regulate your breathing. Brand does an expert job of handling the transition between these tracks. The calm that “The Collective Heart” eventually gives us doesn’t come immediately; it unfolds slowly from out of the darker landscape of its predecessor. There’s a nice minimal feel at play here, a cool sparseness of movement that brings its own power. Brand plays a bit with dissonance here, but lightly so, underscoring stretches with what sounds like the modified sound of a temple bowl. The ringing sound draws the attention just slightly toward it as it comes and goes. With “Unity” we are moved into a meditative space, soft and largely free of shadow. The tone here is higher overall, and hopeful, bring the proceedings to a cleansing close.

Over-Soul truly is a release that you need to make time to simply dive into. It will pull you into itself, as I said, regardless of how much attention you think you’re giving it. But this music draws out something intensely personal. It touches the listener very deeply. It is quite stirring while managing to be deceptively simple in structure. Brand’s music always carries a very honest, human feel. It’s in tune with you just as much as you are with it. While it’s his music, in listening it becomes very much yours. Set aside the time and pay close attention to the lush emotional content of Over-Soul.



earthMANTRA: Algol and Altus tracks on Hypnagogue Podcast #134

Hypnagogue Podcast Banner

Episode 134

MAY 29, 2014

It’s all music from the review pile this time out, and we’ll shift from pulsing beats to quiet piano ruminations to ambient spaces. You know, the usual pleasant voyage.

earthMantra logoDownload as