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The music of Still reflects the circumstances in which the album came together. Aria Rostami and Daniel Longquist have already released a collaboration for Glacial Movements – the Wandering Eye album – where they focused on the Antarctic Plateau, and the best places to observe space. Yet during that work the building blocks for Still were already in place.The music explores a process of change over time, describing how time can change its motion in cases of cold weather. Because of this, each track ends up at a different place from where it started. What’s the music like? As deep as the ocean, and as slow as a huge ship in icy water. This is music that works well as background listening but reveals its intensity when experienced up close. The structures are as big as the pair’s first album – ten minutes or more in some cases – but maintain their concentrated level throughout. The use of fragments of speech in the background of Undercooled works well against the foreground and wide background elements, with flecks of piano appearing towards the end. The lovely wide outlook of Hoarfrost works well, with chords shifting very slowly and peacefully, while Crystal Gazer swirls and then settles on a harmonic bed before floating away. Does it all work? Yes. These pieces are like six massive chord progressions over a long period of time, but they link together beautifully to make one big structure. It is the coldest of ambient music – you can literally feel the ice at times! – but leaves the sort of warmth you feel when getting back indoors after a stint outside on a cold winter’s day. Is it recommended?Yes, along with the duo’s first album. It ticks all the boxes for a Glacial Movements release while keeping its own individual qualities. A subtly invigorating piece of work that makes its mark.ARCANA FM
Secondo disco collaborativo per Aria Rostami e Daniel Blomquist, questa volta dedicato all’esplorazione delle atmosfere glaciali della piattaforma antartica e pubblicato dall’italiana Glacial Movements. Si tratta, dichiara la press release, di un «ulteriore passo avanti: Still ha lo scopo di descrivere come il tempio possa modificare il proprio scorrere in caso di climi freddi». Nelle parole dei due autori: «Still è composto di alcune registrazioni effettuate durante il nostro primo anno di collaborazione (2015-2016). La traccia di apertura è stata la nostra prima registrazione in studio, tutto ciò che avevamo fatto prima era rigorosamente live. In questo progetto, abbiamo sperimentato molti approcci diversi e fatto uno sforzo speciale per ogni disco e ogni spettacolo dal vivo per farlo sembrare diverso dall’ultimo. In quel primo anno, miravamo principalmente a fare canzoni costruite per lunghi periodi di tempo – di solito diventando più rumorose e/o più intense – ed era così che avevamo immaginato il “nostro suono” in quel momento. Ciò significa anche che le canzoni che erano più sul lato ambient tradizionale non sono state inserite nel nostro primo disco, Wandering Eye. Quando Glacial Movements ci ha contattato per una seconda pubblicazione, siamo andati in una direzione diversa e le canzoni che abbiamo scelto per Still hanno catturato un nuovo spirito nel nostro lavoro che era stato originariamente lasciato sul pavimento della sala montaggio. Col passare del tempo, abbiamo iniziato ad avventurarci in nuove idee come techno sperimentale, noise e composizioni più tradizionali mentre le canzoni di Still erano una specie di capsula temporale. La maggior parte delle canzoni di Still cambiano nel tempo. I loro finali non suonano allo stesso modo di come iniziano: un cambiamento sottile, non grandioso, e nel tempo le canzoni diventano completamente altro. Per i titoli stavamo pensando al tempo che rallenta o si ferma quando fa freddo: come la vita è in pausa e come il movimento diventi difficile. L’immobilità sembra più un bozzolo piuttosto che un letargo – c’è qualcosa che cambia nel tempo – e sebbene non avessimo idea di come sarebbe stata una pandemia globale o una politica di oggi quando componevamo questo disco, il mondo di oggi ricontestualizza completamente la musica e il ritardo nella pubblicazione ora sembra appropriato».SENTIREASCOLTARE
Still is the new collaborative album between San Francisco-based musicians and artists Aria Rostami and Daniel Blomquist. It follows 2016’s Wandering Eye and will be out onf February 15th, 2021 via Rome-based label Glacial Movements. According to the press release, the purpose is to describe how time can change its motion in case of cold weather. Check the first track “Crystal Gazer“.SON OF MARKETING
DJ MAG
Ya nos avisó Aria Rostami el pasado mes de septiembre cuando participó en nuestra serie 5 preguntas sobre su anterior álbum Several Days from Now You Will Be Invited To Complete An Online Survey que tenía listos cuatro álbumes con Daniel Blomquist y que uno de ellos estaba previsto para ser publicado a través del sello italiano de ambient frío Glacial Movements. Esta semana ha sido cuando ese primer trabajo titulado Still ha visto la luz. Formado por grabaciones realizadas durante el primer año que la pareja colaboró en el estudio (entre 2015 y 2016), el primer tema fue la primera producción creada por la prolífica pareja. "Todo lo que habíamos hecho antes de eso era estrictamente en vivo", explican en la nota de prensa. "A lo largo de este proyecto, hemos probado muchos enfoques diferentes y hemos hecho un esfuerzo especial para cada disco y cada show en vivo para que se sienta diferente al anterior. En ese primer año, nuestro objetivo principal era hacer canciones que se construyeran durante largos períodos de tiempo, generalmente volviéndose más ruidosas y / o más intensas, y así era como habíamos imaginado 'nuestro sonido' en ese momento. Esto también significa que las canciones que estaban más en el lado ambiental tradicional no hicieron el corte de nuestro primer disco, 'Wandering Eye'. Cuando Glacial Movements se acercó a nosotros para un segundo lanzamiento, tomamos una dirección diferente y las canciones que elegimos para 'Still' capturaron un nuevo espíritu en nuestro trabajo que originalmente se dejó en el piso de la sala de montaje. A medida que pasaba el tiempo, comenzamos a aventurarnos en nuevas ideas como techno experimental, noise y composiciones más tradicionales, mientras que las canciones de 'Still' parecían como una cápsula del tiempo. Lanzamos más música, expandiendo nuestro sonido, y 'Still', que originalmente estaba programado para ser publicado en 2018, se retrasó aún más a medida que surgieron conflictos en los calendarios de lanzamientos. Nunca podríamos haber predicho cómo sería el mundo en 2021 que es cuando finalmente se lanzará este disco. De alguna manera, a través de elementos del azar, 'Still' finalmente se está lanzando en un mundo que parece como si estuviera en pausa de muchas maneras. La mayoría de las canciones de 'Still' cambian con el tiempo. No suenan igual cuando terminan que cuando comenzaron. Este cambio es más sutil que grandioso y con el tiempo las canciones se vuelven completamente nuevas. Para los títulos de las canciones y los álbumes, pensamos en reducir el tiempo o detenernos en un clima frío: cómo la vida está en pausa y cómo el movimiento es difícil. La quietud se siente más como un capullo que como una hibernación - hay algo que cambia con el tiempo - y aunque no teníamos idea de cómo sería una pandemia global o la política de hoy al hacer que esto funcione, el mundo de hoy recontextualiza completamente la música y retrasar el lanzamiento a ahora parece apropiado".CLUBBING SPAIN Los discos de la semana #051
BANDCLOUD
THE WIRE #446
Next up is a record from the Italian Glacial Movements imprint, which, if you have been following these musings, has been covered on here for nearly every one of its releases. The label’s latest entry in its permafrost covered catalogue is a followup offering from Aria Rostami and Daniel Blomquist who have already collaborated together and have released an album called Wandering Eye in June of 2016. As Rostami and Blomquist began evolving their live shows into a bit harsher territory, these pieces seemed to fit less into their performances. This hour-long journey, titled Still, contains a few recordings from the original sessions, which never made it into the duo’s further repertoire for one reason or another. And laying dormant, somnolent, and still for all these years, Still became unneeded to contain. Perhaps it is the solitary nature of our current physical existence that brought this record back into our lives. Here’s what Aria and Daniel have to say about the revival of the project. “We were thinking about time slowing or stopping in cold weather – how life is on pause and how movement is difficult. The stillness feels more like a cocoon rather than a hibernation – there is something changing over time – and although we had no idea what a global pandemic or politics of today would look like when making this work, the world today completely recontextualizes the music and the delay in the release now feels appropriate.” This is a murky, shadowy, sub-zero place, where the sound stands still in barely frozen water. Recommended listening in those subdued and stifling hours when the seasons slowly change and melt the snow…HEADPHONE COMMUTE
AMBIENT MUSIC GUIDE
ARTIST PROFILE @ AMBIENT MUSIC GUIDE
OX-MAG#155
When I was little I used to go on holiday to Austria with my parents. Sometimes we’d go in the winter and other times in the summer. One thing we always did was take a cable car to the top of one of the Tyrolean mountains. It was a weird feeling being carried up a mountain in a tinbox by metal cables. When we got to the top the views were incredible. Even as a child I knew that the views were impressive. One holiday in the winter we went up to a glacier. I didn’t know what it was but was excited to see one. Little did I know that the glacier was just a load of ice. At the time I was disappointed as I wanted to see something impressive. Like a stadium, church, another massive mountain on top of a massive mountain, but it was just a load of ice. As I listen to Still by Aria Rostami and Daniel Blomquist I’m reminded of this trip. The album opens with ‘-2 °C’. Airy synths swirl out of the speakers while a deep drone slowly grinds its way towards me. This opening salvo works not only as an introduction to the track but to the album itself. Everything that follows is of the small ilk. ‘Undercooled’ is a bit busier but generally it’s the same thing. Here, though, the melodies are crisper, giving the ‘Uncooled’ an edge that the opener was missing. The standout track is ‘Hoarfrost’. Here Rostami and Blomquist add some sounds of birds and running water to the mix. These elements take us out of the serene drones and plant us in the real world. The field recordings also give the song a sense of urgency that is missing from the rest of the album. Still lives up to its name. Rostami and Blomquist aren’t rushing anything here. They are taking their time and delivering some exquisite drones that do enough to keep your attention whilst keeping it, well, still. Mostly the album works. A lot of the heavy lifting is done by the huge, slab like, synths. As they move forward, one drone at a time, you do get the impression of glaciers. Gradually turning mountains to rumble and cutting out valleys where there wasn’t one before. The downside to the album is that the slightly light, faster, melodies aren’t quite as engaging as I hoped, so my attention was lost from time to time. It always came back to the music, but after a few moments it was lost again. This is an album to play while concentrating on another task. That sounds harsh, and slightly belittles the richness of the music, but there wasn’t enough variation to keep me engaged for the full 55-minutes. While listen to Still, I’m back up the mountain looking down at the valleys and gorges, the glacier violently cut through the landscape. Despite the tourists everything is quiet and still. It might snow later, but it probably won’t. Ultimately it doesn’t matter as the glacier will still be here tomorrow. As will the album. Perhaps then I’ll find its inner secrets, but if I don’t, I know it’ll be an enjoyable experience finding out.GOD IS IN THE TV MAG
Spolupráce dvou elektronických muzikantů, Arii Rostamiho a Daniela Blomquista, začala před pěti roky ambientním albem věnovaným nejlepších místům k pozorování vesmíru na Antarktidě. Na zamrzlý světadíl se oba Američané vracejí i s letošní novinkou Still. Nadšení pro extrémně chladná místa projevoval Daniel Blomquist už před tím, než dostal nabídku natočit další hudební fresku pro „sněžný label“ Glacial Movements. Vždyť elektronické trio, ve kterém v první dekádě 21. století hrál, se jmenovalo 15 Degrees Below Zero. Kolekce Wandering Eye pak poprvé širší veřejnosti představila společnou tvorbu elektroniků, jež se do té doby odehrávala pouze v koncertně improvizované podobě. Dnes už víme, že první studiové pokusy nepřinesly jen materiál na půl dekády starou kolekci, ale i další haldu nápadů, které čekaly na další zpracování. Aria s Danielem totiž spolupráci nepřerušili, ale jali se zkoumat další žánrová teritoria. Na albech Signal Artifact a Distant Companion se více projevily tanečně elektronické sklony Arii, na loňské kolekci Sketch for Winter VIII: Floating Tone zase dvojice experimentovala s akustickými elementy a hromadou samplů. Letošní album Still se jeví jako návrat dvojice na původní ambientně elektronické místo. Aby ne, vždyť výchozí materiál šesti kompozic novinky pochází právě z oněch odložených záznamů z období první práce pro Glacial Movements.Dokonce i z tiskových zpráv zaznívá jisté rozčarování muzikantů, že se „druhá deska ledová“ na veřejnost se dostává až nyní, ač byla připravena již v roce 2018. Nakonec ovšem Američané uznávají, že jistá vydavatelská strnulost nakonec zasadila album do výrazně jiného, ale o to zajímavějšího koronavirového prostředí. Právě pomalý pohyb, tak příznačný pro ledový kontinent, je středobodem novinky a lze ho brát jako podobenství i k dnešní lockdownem zabrzděné době. K psaní této recenze jsem si sedl první jarní den, kdy celou republiku pokryl sníh a rtuť na teploměru nevyšplhala nad bod mrazu. Také první skladba Still se jmenuje -2°C, a tak nějak charakterizovala náladu toho dne, tichou a zadumanou. Základy svých ambientních kompozic staví muzikanti na jemných hlucích (Crystal Gazer nebo A Paralysis) nebo statických syntetických plochách (Undercooled nebo Hoarfrost), jež se velmi zvolna proměňují, aby skončily někde úplně jinde, než začínaly. Tím nechci říct, že by se Rostami s Blomquistem vzdalovali ambientnímu hájemství, jen si dávají záležet, aby jejich produkce měla neustálý subtilní vývoj. Všechny položky kolekce nám evokují představu rozsáhlých zamrzlých prostor, které uchvátí už svou (sonickou) rozlehlostí. Jednou se však okolo prohání vítr, podruhé sluncem prohřáté podloží pomalu puká a bublá, potřetí jako bychom v nastalém tichu slyšeli ozvěny neznámé přírodní symfonie. V rámci mantinelů tématu i žánru stvořili Aria Rostami s Danielem Blomquistem opět maximálně barevnou kolekci, která může být díky své komplexnosti zábavou na řadu dlouhých (nejen zimních či lockdownových) večerů.HIS VOICE MAG (CZ)