Monday, November 1, 2010

Featured Artists: September & October 2010

Hi -

This time around I'm going to combine both months and present some of the best of both. For September, it's one album and a label. And for October, it's two albums.

The first is the new album from David Helpling and Jon Jenkins, called The Crossing on the Spotted Peccary label. Both are long time ambient musicians. David's style is more reminiscent of Patrick O'Hearn, and Jon has done various ambient styles. The new album is upbeat and rhythmic, with great sounds and outstanding production. I highly recommend it. For more info, go to the Spotted Peccary website:

The next is a label from the Netherlands, Groove Unlimited. For many years they've been releasing the best in European electronic music of all styles. They've got a lot of great music from a variety of artists. Whenever I see a package arrive from Groove with new CD's, I know I'm in for something good. And they've also got a mail order site if you're looking for other electronic music, too. Check them out here:

Next up is an artist whose work I've admired for a long time, Ryuichi Sakamoto. He got his start as part of the pioneering Japanese electronic pop music group Yellow Magic Orchestra, but went out on his own and has released many albums of electronic pop and soundtrack work. I saw him in concert ages ago and he put on a great show. I've always loved his solo piano work, as it's very personal, though very well played. His new album is a 2 CD set. Playing The Piano is a solo piano album with reworkings of some of his best soundtrack pieces with some new songs added in. Out Of Noise is bolder, with Ryuichi's piano combined with more experimental electronics. It's good to hear something new and wonderful like this from him.

Last is an artist I've come to know recently but like a lot, Slow Dancing Society. His music has that languid, post rock ambient sound I've really started to appreciate of late. Very simple, yet very evocative and emotional. The new album, Under The Sodium Lights, is perhaps the best yet. Well done and highly recommended.

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