I interviewed Scottish ambient guitarist Ralph Kinsella about his new album Lessening, the philosophy of his music, and the influence of living near where The Wicker Man was filmed.
Since retroactively invented genres are all the rage these days – nobody at the time talked about minimal synth, or freakbeat, or junkshop glam – it’s tempting to float a comprehensive coinage. Synthedelia, anybody?
… the tug-of-war between the off-putting and the inviting is a sweet spot
My latest #Worktones exposé features the new music releases from Autechre, Oliver Coates, and a lovely debut from a musician named Giadar. 🎵
That Jethro Tull cover art link I posted the other day inspired today’s blog post, and I threw a story about flat-fee remixes and wisdom from S. Godin and D. Sivers in there, too.
Given the haggard figure he created, we mused that he might eventually embody his own artistic creation — a destitute, howling figure draped in rags and huddled in a darkened street corner.
Today’s 8sided.blog round-up: Spotify pulls the rug out from under SongShift, the niche monopoly of ice cream truck music boxes, and Yoshiaki Ochi’s organic ambient music.
The latest episode of my email newsletter, Ringo Dreams of Lawn Care, has launched into space.
Topics: cassette culture, dingdongs, dramatic spiders, Night Flight.
It’s in your email inbox now or you can read it online HERE. 🚀
(I am so angry right now that I don’t have one of these.)
I’m excited to announce Lessening, the debut album from Scottish guitarist + ambient producer Ralph Kinsella. These ten tracks are warm and gorgeous, distinctively musical among the parade of beatless, textural music. Since I received Ralph’s initial album demo a few months ago I haven’t stopped listening. An antidote to lockdown — this is travel in a small room.
The last paragraph of the press release does a great job of describing Ralph’s music:
Kinsella’s guitar is the even thread, sometimes bare and then often processed, awash in texture and synthetic glares. Tracks like “In the In-Between Light” use the guitar to express enormity — of space and emotion — before the song is gently brought close by calming lines and reassuring synth patches. There’s also a soft tension in songs like “Lung Noises,” sharing the masterful slow build of the shoegaze genre’s finest practitioners. Lessening’s closer, “Born on the Cusp,” offers a resolution — chiming guitars and reverberant tones signaling both loss and promise. This is the sound of an uncertain present feeling its way to that better world.
Let me know what you think! Have a great weekend. 🚀
I spoke to Orlando DJ provocateur Kurt Rambus about his high concept EP — The Misadventures of Hayek Von Pinochet and his Men Of Action — and how he defies the constraints of genre.
🔗 → Blog Notes: arguing on the internet, John Cale sings again, and Khotin joins the Boards of Edmonton.
In the exceedingly small chance that you end up in a fruitful back and forth with a dingdong, it’s likely you’ll look back on that tête-à-tête and wish you had been doing literally anything else with your time.
A documentary revisiting the seminal works The Plateaux of Mirror (1980) and The Pearl (1984), by artists Harold Budd and Brian Eno. Rare interviews and anecdotes from the artists accompany a fan-crafted selection of favorite tracks, along with dreamy footage.
🔗 → ECHO
In lieu of an email newsletter this weekend I posted a round-up on the blog that mentions jazzy typography, 23-member K-Pop groups, ambient music from Thailand, and … email newsletters. Boy George makes a hidden appearance.
Sound is an effective contextualizer, and inventive sound design can transform a visual storyline into something heightened and unreal. It’s a fun trick played on our brains.
Perhaps this is Hollywood’s greatest achievement: It gets us excited about our dystopian future. The world might be ending, but at least it’s an ending that’s entertaining to watch.