Minimalist Dreamy Drones Produce Maximum Effect On ‘Virtual Goddess’ Transmission By Seffi Starshine

Vaporwave specialist Seffi Starshine has built a short, yet elaborate career on music’s more obscure and experimental components. The naiad and co-founder of Girly Girl Musik & Fireflower Vapor has released numerous solo and collaborative efforts ranging from drone, dark ambient, vaporwave, naturewave, electronica and other forms of esoteric music that you may have never heard before. However, on ‘Virtual Goddess”, Seffi Starshine successfully launches into the atmospheric pressures of space ambient and the result is a chilling, atmospheric album packed with nominal, galactic drones that will take you on a bleak, orbital adventure. At just under fifty minutes, these five basal transferences may just put you in a state of deep space hibernation until you’re ready to submit to the goddess herself.

The albums anterior transmission, “Office Drone Blaster” gently evolves from out of thin air and induces shapeshifting sound effects as droning pads seer through the cosmos like a spacecraft exiting our solar system for out worldly adventures. The sound is extremely fluid yet gradual in the way it approaches in and out of climactic tones. “CGA Sunrise” immediately takes flight in a monotone sound as if a spacecraft traveling at warp speed has just passed Max-Q, where the air has become lighter and communication conveyance to mission control has ended abruptly. “Virtual Goddess F.A.E.” has a more gloomy sound and the hollow radiance of synthesizers produce a dismal resolve to depict an eerie point of no return for a doomed spacecraft that has lost its navigational way. “DOS By Dusk” fades in and out of higher frequencies beautifully as if properly maneuvering through a celestial waste field. The layered synths create a very subtle atmospheric presence and this proves to be a very diverse track. The final track on the album, “Sleepytime For CGA Sprites” is an eighteen and a half minute journey through time and space in which there is no control over any matter or being, past or present and the power of the layered drones represent the feeling of hope and relaxation. The lush tones weave in and out of emotional state of consciousness and never break the continuous pattern of evolvement.

Whether intentional or not, Seffi Starshine has crafted a fascinating space ambient album. With minimalist, dreamy drones and expertly crafted sonic arrangements, ‘Virtual Goddess’ borders between ambient and dark ambient, as there are multiple moments of eeriness that can easily thwart this recording in either of those directions. This is one of those recordings in which you can sit back, don your favorite earphones, close your eyes and loose yourself in a world where space – and the vacuum-like void it creates – overtakes your conscious. Support this brilliant and versatile artist by downloading ‘Virtual Goddess’ from the link below. Additionally, check out her other projects via Fire Flower Vapor & Girly Girl Music at the links below.

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Links:

https://houdinimansions.bandcamp.com/album/virtual-goddess

https://girlygirlmusik.bandcamp.com/music

https://fireflower.bandcamp.com

Neraterræ Summons An All-Star Cast Of Artist For Blistering Debut Album, ‘The Substance Of Perception’

This year has been an amazing year for the dark ambient community. Not only have we heard incredible releases by both independent and well known artists, but there has been an overwhelming dynamic of collaboration releases as well. Some of my favorite collaboration albums thus far have been the terrifying, polar ambient release by Ugasanie & Dronny Darko called ‘Arctic Gate’, the futuristic sonic assault by Dronny Darko & RNGMNN called ‘Sector Hydra’, the dark chamber sounds of Atrium Carceri & Cities Last Broadcast on ‘Black Stage Of Night’ and the claustrophobic droning sounds of ‘Symphony Of Dying’ by SÁDON & Treha Sektori. However, when an artist releases an album and assembles a renowned & talented group of dark ambient artists to collaborate on each track, it’s sure to garner some immediate attention. That’s exactly what Italian dark ambient artist Alessio Antoni has done with his project, Neraterræ. On his debut album, ‘The Substance Of Perception’, artists such as Xerxes The Dark, Ugasanie, Flowers For Bodysnatchers, and Alexey Tegin from Phurpa (just to name a few), lend their talents to take this recording to extreme heights and fill all the voids that are left open in the confined drones of each track. This results in not only a prodigious collaboration album, but one of the best dark ambient recordings of the year.

The albums spectacular lead off track, “Shadows Of Regret (feat. Northaunt)” begins with a soothing rain shower field recording layered with dreamy key arrangements. Spoken word narrations and deep droning soon takes over to alter the dynamics of the song while it consistently puts the listener in a hypnotic state. The sound level increases as each drone pad migrated to the next and then they wind down to an ending narration. “To Reveal The Unseen (feat. Alexey Tegin from Phurpa)” is one of my favorite songs on the album. There is something about combining dark ambient and meditative BON chanting that magnifies and intensified the listening experience for me. Although the droning elements are simple, yet effective on this track, it’s the terrifying chanting of Alexey Tegin that solidifies the evil sounds of this recording. I could seriously listen to a whole album of this! “Becoming The Nightmare (feat. New Risen Throne & Treha Sektori)” continues with some of the elements of the previous track but in a more dark industrial way. Instead of chanting, there are some malevolent whispering vocals that are spine chilling! The terrifying soundscapes are enough to put the listener in a state of madness, as if they are enclosed in an industrial wasteland with no way of escape. This is also the longest track on the album, so there is plenty of time to submerge into the realm of this massive recording. “The Wicked Pulse Of Conscience (feat. Taphephobia & Infinexhuma)” is a depressive dive into gloomy soundscapes and impulsive field recordings. As the pads drone on and take the listener to a deeper state of relaxation and abjection, melodious keys infiltrate the airwaves as if light is trying to pierce through the abundant cloud coverage. However, it is apparent by the end of the song that the clouds are impenetrable by any light sources or emotions that match them. “That Which Shall Not Be Witnessed (feat. Xerxes The Dark & Treha Sektori)” is my other favorite track on the album. The minimalist drones and bizarre pad arrangements combined with industrial-like soundscapes and more haunting whispering, gives a frightening sensation when digesting this one in a dark setting. These are all of the elements that make for a perfect dark ambient track and they are arranged immaculately. “Beyond (feat. Ugasanie)” is everything I expected it to be, especially since Ugasanie is providing his unique polar ambient input. Very minimalistic and creepy, just the way dark ambient was meant to sound. The final track on the album is “Echoing Scars (feat. Flowers For Bodysnatchers)”. What a stunning way to end such a dark and adventurous album. Although there are some disturbing droning sounds inhabiting the whole song, it’s the exhilarating acoustic piano work of Flowers For Bodysnatchers that makes this track gnaw at your senses. Although it’s gloomy and disturbing, it’s also beautiful and peaceful as well.

Alessio Antoni has created a near flawless dark ambient recording with his Neraterræ project. With the various collaboration efforts on each track, there is enough contrasting material to manipulate your senses in many directions, yet Alessio does an impressive job keeping everything composed in a way that it progresses without hesitation. From the production, musical arrangements, field recordings and soundscapes to the well represented album cover, ‘The Substance Of Perception’ has everything you need in a single dark ambient album. With this definitely being in my top five favorite dark ambient recordings of 2019, I highly recommend checking this album out right away. Please support Neraterræ by downloading the album at the link below.

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Links:

https://cycliclaw.bandcamp.com/album/the-substance-of-perception

https://www.facebook.com/neraterrae

Mombi Yuleman Takes Us On A Supernatural Maritime Endeavor With ‘Mesozoia Oceana’

Oceanic themed ambient recordings hold a special place in my heart because I can personally relate to living a life at sea and being isolated from society, city lights, and technology for weeks and even months at a time. The quiet, droning atmospheres with the seaworthy field recordings and soundscapes provide a soothing sensation, even with the eerie, dreadful thoughts of the hazards many fathoms beneath. Some of my favorite aquatic ambient albums are Max Corbacho’s ‘The Ocean Inside (2012)’ and 2018’s collaboration between Ugasanie & Xerxes The Dark called ‘Abysmal’ – which I personally consider one of the greatest dark ambient recordings of all time. I’m excited to say that Mombi Yuleman’s ‘Mesozoia Oceana’ can join that group of superior amphibious ambient recordings. Musically, I would place ‘Mesozoia Oceana’ right in the middle of the aforementioned albums as the ambient textures are extremely calming, yet not quite as dark as ‘Abysmal’. However, that being said, this is a well written, well recorded album that is full of surprises and will sure to please all fans of dark ambient music.

The astonishing lead off track, “Basilosaurus Cetoides” commences with various soundscapes and a tribal drumbeat, as if a vessel is pulling out of the harbor and setting sail to navigate uncharted waters. The song quickly winds down to a ghostly, droning tone with aquatic samples, and soothing keyboard loops. “Hydrotherosaurus Alexandrae” is a spooky and minimalistic dirge that sounds icy cold, as if a wrong navigational turn has taken a group of mariners to a part of the ocean that is over ran by giant prehistoric entities that have their boat quietly surrounded. “Carcharodon Megalodon” contains consoling yet creepy low toned pads, complimented by a various bizarre field recordings, that would give a negative sensation to any sea-going vessel and it’s crew as they cautiously make their way to safety. “Kronosaurus Queenslandicus” begins with a freakish sound as if a previously unidentified deep sea monster is calmly navigating the waters of its territory. A low-frequency droning sound starts to play as we continue to hear peculiar noises in the background. Throughout this near twelve minute long track, we hear the sounds of this prehistoric creature swim back and fourth, as if it’s stalking its prey for a routine meal. The final track on the album is the very climactic “Shastasaurus Sikanniensis’. Featuring cinematic-like drum beats, melodic keyboard tones and more aquatic creature grunts, this tune summarizes the concept of the album and provides a final underwater meeting place (or resting places) for all of these prehistoric beings. Although the middle section of the track leans more toward a dark ambient atmosphere, the final minute or so picks back up with the tribal drum beats, as if offering a final climactic scene.

Mombi Yuleman’s ‘Mesozoia Oceana’ is a very impressive dark ambient album, worthy of multiple listens. These five tracks accomplish a lot dynamically, inside of forty seven minutes. The songs range from ambient to dark ambient and are filled with a lot of creepy and eccentric soundscapes and field recordings. Everything is put together so well, you’ll feel as if you’re in a deep-sea vessel, surrounded by prehistoric creatures with no means of escape. Please support this brilliant artist by downloading this amazing album at the link below.

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Link:

https://mombiyuleman.bandcamp.com/album/mesozoia-oceana

Varkâna Sets Loose The Spirit Of Darkness And Evil On Valiant Sophomore Album, ‘Ahrimanic Chamber’

In the ancient Persian religion of Zoroastrianism, there were twin spirits that ruled over good and evil. The spirit called Spenta Mainyu was known as the deity of truth, light and all living things, while Angra Mainyu was the evil spirit of deception and death. For thousands of years, these twin spirits fought on the earthly battleground for supremacy and ultimately Angra Mainyu morphed into the entity known as Ahriman. It is at this point where the demonic being became its most horrific form. On Varkâna’s latest album, ‘Ahrimanic Chamber’, sounds of cold and sovereign dungeon synth prevail and display an intense scene of epic bloodshed. Like a doomed enclosure full of impious pariahs, Varkâna makes use of intense keyboard tones, droning ambient textures, live drums and layered frightening resonance to produce moments of dreadful unforgettableness. These nine anthems dig deep into the soul and imagination of the listener and describe the incantations of the dark spirt that once was the Ahriman.

The albums first track, “A Graveyard Under Snow”, sets a very calming, atmospheric mood with its opulent keyboard drones and hazy dungeon-esque melodies. The underlying percussion softly beats a rhythmic pattern as if warriors are slowly marching to an ill-fated battlefield. “Ahrimanic Enlightenment” approaches with a lush synthesizer arrangement that provokes a supernatural mood in ethereal environment. Suddenly, harsher keyboard tones kick in as if providing the audial description to a death scene in a fantasy movie. As the song reaches its climax, dark ambient tones pave the way as if the final onslaught has left everyone lifeless. “Into The Chambers Of Ahriman I Walk” features a great drum track that is supplemented by a beautiful piano provision. This could very well be a perfect intro piece to a symphonic black metal song. However, halfway through the track, it morphs into a peaceful ambient interlude as if the protagonist in the story is anticipating the unexpected as he finally reaches the doorway of the chamber. The music then crescendo’s back into high gear and closes the song out just the way it started. “Lugubrious Ruins” start with droning, dungeon synthesized riffs and continues throughout the whole song with spots of higher pitched keyboards to add layers of dreariness to this already gloomy track. Since this one combines both elements of dungeon synth and dark ambient, it’s probably my favorite and most played song on the album. “Mist” has more of a fantasy/forest synth influence and is predominantly lighter in tone that most of the other tracks. However, it effectively sparks imaginative tales between Angra Mainyu and Spenta Mainyu as their endless battle to provoke good over evil (and Vice versa) rages on. “Old Man’s Tale” succeeds in puts the album back on track in a darker setting with off-kilter piano parts, steady tribal drum beats, and ghostly, droning pads to create a feeling of emptiness. Toward the end of the track, an elegant acoustic guitar riff is introduced and puts the overall sound of this track in another worldly dimension. “Rapture” is another radiant track that combines elements of dark ambient and retro wave sounds of 80’s horror cinema soundtracks. “Spirituality Deformed” has that traditional dungeon synth sound but with added elements of live drums and an unforgettable melody that seems to intensify until the last note of the song is played. The final track, “The Night Of The Hunter” continues down the path as the previous song, as the Ahriman bestows his evil legacy on his legions of followers and it’s chambers become the spiritual battleground for which good has no chance of survival. This track contains energetic keyboard arrangements, a bombastic drum track and ends with a droning tone that signifies the supreme reign of the Angra Mainyu.

Varkâna has auspiciously created a conceptual dungeon synth masterpiece based on the ancient Persian spirit of darkness and evil. The music does an excellent job of providing a soundtrack to this resounding storyline and crosses into dark ambient and even 80’s retro wave cinematic score. With a good balance of both light and darker sounding tunes, ‘Ahrimanic Chamber’ is an excellent dungeon synth album. I highly recommend Varkâna for fans of both dungeon synth and dark ambient so please show your support by downloading this amazing album at the link below.

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Link:

https://varkana.bandcamp.com/album/ahrimanic-chambers

Homelessness, Addiction, Depression, & Abandoned Buildings Are Main Influences For Forgotten Bottom On Intelligent Debut, ‘Hostile Architecture’

Although the Ambient genre is rather minimalist in regards to sound, it’s actually breathtakingly large with regard to its scope of dynamics. From its very humble and atmospheric beginnings in the 1960’s, ambient has developed into a massive musical platform filled with soundscapes, natural and man-made field recordings to even include acoustic instrumentation. All of this combined provides thought-provoking visuals for the listener and sets off imaginative sparks like no other genre of music can do. Although a lot of modern day ambient recordings – especially dark ambient – take the listener to post apocalyptic and futuristic settings, they’re rare occasions when current events set the stage for providing the emotional outlet when conveying a message to the listener. That’s exactly what Forgotten Bottom has accomplished on their debut album called, ‘Hostile Architecture’. Instead of thrusting the listener in the the dangers of futuristic wastelands, they provide a compelling story of an equal horror – modern civilization in America. Whether it be the trials of addiction and recovery, the ailments of homelessness or the forgotten relics of abandoned buildings that once meant something to a past society, these are a few of the topics that take over the mind while listening to the recordings on this album. Although not a true and traditional ambient album, it clearly combines elements of the aforementioned genre with new-age music, chamber music, as well as acoustic dungeon music. It’s this combination that caught my attention and made me realize what an important album this is.

The lead off track, “Resurrected Dead On Planet Jupiter” begins with steady strums of the guitar and viola as if it’s the opening theme to a murder mystery movie. The production is clear and crisp but the vibe is that of an aged setting, creating a vintage atmosphere that portrays quieter times and empty voids. The layered guitar and viola duet creates a thunderous melody on this track as well as more peaceful and lush tones that flow well together. “Shoot Me Or Give Me A Place To Live” commences with a melee of sounds and tones before giving way to a neo-medieval riff. At around the halfway mark in the song, it begins to sound like a classic western-style acoustic arrangement. Eventually the guitar and viola break away in their own direction without creating a clash. There is so much energy in this track and it’s representation of the lower-class and shelterless are portrayed with extreme accuracy. “Touch Nothing Until The Signal” features some beautiful, ambient viola work, while the guitar provide an awesome solo arrangement. There are plenty of soundscapes and atmospherics going on here to fill the voids. Midway through the track, the viola riff takes center stage and gives a somber reminder of how hard it is to prosper during jagged times. However, as the music crescendo’s in the end, it shows that there is light at the end of the tunnel and although we may feel broken at times, we can all triumph in the end. Next up is “The Dog Has Been Poisoned So It Will Not Bark” originates with a mild rain soundscape and some soft guitar and viola tones to match. The melancholic vibe represents the silence of depression and the deep emotions of being lost. “Narcan Fairy” starts slow with a acoustic ambient sensation and then quicken turns into a festive medieval piece that would bring much cheer and celebration. The albums final track, “All Men, No Windows” is a slow building tune that seems to pay homage to those repressed, rural areas that life seemed to have abandoned in one sense or another. As the song seems to build and fade and build again – much like we do with our man-made high rise scenery, the final minute or so drones into the distance as if it’s being forgotten yet again.

Forgotten Bottom have created a superb vintage atmosphere without sounding worn or aged. Relying on multiple genres of acoustic-based music, the resilient sounds provide the ambience of real-world situations in which we can all relate. Whether you’re into ambient, new-age, or dungeon music, there is something on ‘Hostile Architecture’ that I’m sure you will find entertaining and worth multiple listens. Please support this exciting new act by downloading the album from the link below.

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Link:

https://forgottenbottom.bandcamp.com/releases

Hexelwir Deliver A Flawless Medieval Score For Dark Enchanted Times

From the deep, hollow forests where dragons sleep, to the kings mighty castle on an oceanside plateau; to the villages where younglings are pilfering goods from the local market, to the halls where knights proudly practice their craft, and to the mystical lands where witches conjure up spells to bring back their dead, Hexelwir’s ‘Manifestation Of Forgotten Souls’ runs the gamut Of audible damnation and provides the soundtrack for which these territories tell their story of war, peace and survival.

Musically, this album is much more than a product of the dungeon synth genre, it’s a score to an imaginary story set in a fantastical medieval times that adds multiple layers of acoustic instrumental passages, haunting field recordings, dark ambient textures and the occasional black metal vocals to provide a sonic layer of morbidity that mixes extremely well amongst the lighter, more traditional dungeon synth tracks. “Silent Night In Transylvanian Forest” begins with soothing choir-like vocals and some nighttime field recordings before easing into some spooky keyboard arrangements with the occasional evil laugh that can be heard in the distant background. “My Trees Are Your Coffins” takes you deep in the woods in the middle of the night with black metal-like vocal narrations (that seem to be backwards) and distant screams. An acoustic guitar passage eases in about halfway through the track and closes it out in that fashion. “Fire In The Night” is probably one of the lighter tracks on the album that reminds me of an after-battle party song, where everyone in the village is gathered at a central location and drinking until daybreak. “The Land Of Fire And Steel” is another track with traditional dungeon synth elements but also contains black metal style vocals, as if an Order of Chivalry are being prepared for battle by the Knight’s Commander. “Dark Medieval Ceremony” is a twisted track containing screeching vocals, choir-like chanting and layered dark ambience with a touch of sinister field recordings to add to the overall grimness within. These are just some of the standout tracks on this amazing recording that presents a story meant for the dark imagination.

Hexelwir’s fourth album is an extraordinary album that contains elements of dungeon synth, dark ambient, black ambient, tribal & medieval beats and atmospheric folk music. Even though firmly rooted in the dungeon synth genre, this album is sure to garner more fans from other musical genres as well. The album art is amazing, the production is spot on, and for fifty five minutes, your mind will be taken on the most satisfying journey like never before. Please click on the link below and support this fascinating artist:

Link:

https://hexelwir.bandcamp.com/album/manifestation-of-forgotten-souls

Linnea Discovers The Perfect Balance Between Dark & Light On Latest Release

Linnea is an ambient artist that often rides the fine line of creativity. One would wonder if she is a light ambient artist that dabbles in dark ambient or vice versa. Whatever the case may be, there is such a soothing and harmonious effort to her songs that you’ll find yourself often stuck in the gray – trying to decide if you should reach for the dark or the light.

On her latest monumental recording, ‘Finding Light In The Dark’, we can safely come to the conclusion that Linnea is an all around gifted ambient artist that can pretty much take her craft wherever she wants. On the near twenty three minute long “Fierce Onset Of Wintry Malaise”, droning keyboards shift from the background to the forefront taking the dreary blackness with it. “Finding Light In The Dark” is a beautiful track filled with synthesized orchestral patterns that is the polar opposite of the previous track, showing just how versatile this album really is. “The Aloneness” is perfectly titled, as it matches the music and gives the listener a sense of confinement, abandonment & restraint on society. This track is very minimalistic compared to most of the other tracks on this album but is probably one of my favorites, as it also has a very similar post-dungeon synth vibe.

In closing, this six track (over sixty seven minutes) collection will take you on a back and fourth journey through the darkest and light, but as the title suggests, will end on a bright note. That is a good thing though, because Linnea has successfully provided us with the soundtrack to our conscious, struggles, desires & demons and in the end provides the coping mechanism for how we deal with them. A big thanks to Scott Lawlor for recommending that I listen to this as it has been a wonderful experience and I am now a fan. Please show your support for Linnea and check out this album at the link below!

Link:

https://linnea1.bandcamp.com/album/finding-light-in-the-dark