Audioalias Fuse Elements Of Downtempo and Drum & Bass To Form Mystifying Electronic Ambience On The Intelligent Offering, ‘Birds Of Prey’ EP

The atmospheric sounds of ambient music is a transcendent phenomenon. Although it doesn’t (normally) contain a rhythmic beat or percussive pattern, this mainly texturally layered music is mixed with soundscapes and the occasional field recording to produced an empowered and emotional music brand that is very addictive. However, due to the open-ended realm of the song compositions, it leaves a lot of room for experimentation and genre mixing. That being said, what do you get when you take the rooted consistency of ambient and combine it with the smooth vibes of downtempo and drum & bass music? You get the supreme recordings of Audioalias, the experimental electronic project from Melbourne, Australia, and on ‘Birds Of Prey’, you get four songs of magnificent electronic culture that combines the dreamy elements of ambient & soundscapes with the upbeat and rhythmic pulses of downtempo music.

To get things started on this EP, “Awkward Serenity” fades in with a looped drum beat and low end bass lines. Simple but effective digital piano arrangements can be heard providing a melodic balance. Additional sounds and keyboard effects augments random spots throughout, creating a spacious groove. The title track, “Birds Of Prey” begins with a haunting keyboard segment that loops, providing a cadence for the harrowing bass and beat to catch up with. Once all in sync, this fluid jam lay ground to additional sounds, tones and catchy vocal lines. Just as your mind and soul start to sink into the music hysteria, it fades out to the end of the track. “Port Park” has moments of darkwave and synthwave, showing versatility and the willingness to cross additional musical paths. Aside from a couple of spots of spoken word samples, there is a lot of looping elements to this track with some beautiful mixing moments. This one is probably my favorite song on the album. The final track, “Waiting For You” contains the most ambience as well as some killer vocal effects. This track is a slow builder, as it layers instrumentations and sounds practically one at a time until there is a conglomerate of musical ideas going on that form a chilling and climactic ending. This really gives me something to look forward to with future releases from Audioalias.

I really like the direction that Audioalias is going with electronic experimentation. Having the ability to combine elements from multiple genres of music takes talent and skill and there is no doubt that Audioalias has both. Audioalias also recently conducted an interview with Emanate Community, where he discussed his inspirations, collaborations and recording gear. I’ve included that interview link below so please check it out as it’s a wonderful read! In the meantime, you can check out ‘Birds Of Prey’ by clicking on the Bandcamp link below.

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Audioalias Interview With Emanate:

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Witnesses Compose A Dark, Noir Cinematic Score On Modestly Titled, ‘III’

Motion pictures and ambient music have a long history together. Whether it’s from mystery or crime/drama movies from the 1950’s, or modern day horror & science fiction films, the recognizable screeches and drones become the lifeblood of any scene requiring a change in adrenaline or emotion, albeit from live orchestrations or manipulative synth arrangements. When the combination of the two are matched perfectly, there is nothing more audibly or visually entertaining that will get your senses moving on all cylinders. What’s even better, is when we have this same kind of musical experience that doesn’t necessarily go along with a feature film. Instead, we rely on the impassioned vibe of the music to allow us to create our own visual – our mental motion picture, if you will. That leads me to Witnesses and the release of their latest effort, ‘III’. Filled with dark, cinematic-themed tunes and great use of urban-styled field recordings, ‘III’ sounds as if its a soundtrack already made for a movie that hasn’t even been written yet. From top-quality orchestrations & sparsely used vocals to soothing synth drones, ‘III’ runs the gamut of audio variety.

The albums aptly titled lead off track, “Introduction”, is a tranquilizing synth arrangements that could easily compliment the opening credits of a movie, good enough to draw the audience in without giving away too much. “The First Part”, has some creepy orchestral droning in the background, while a melodic piano piece starts the track. Broken down into several pieces, this near twelve minute long song could be used for several genres of movies, including crime (from around two and a half minute to the five minute mark), science fiction (from around six and a half to the nine minute mark), and drama due to the heavy use of field recordings for the remainder of the time. “The Second Part” starts with a simple keyboard drone followed by beautiful female vocals that make this one of the standout tracks on the album. The sound is crystal clear and production is crisp. About halfway through, the tone shifts to a discordant style orchestral tone as if a distressed or uptight moment has come about. It suddenly stops and when the music starts again, we’re greeted with live drums to close out the track. “The Third Part” featured more ethereal style droning, with various soundscapes integrated in the mix to add some variety. At around the three minute mark, were treated to a warm and melodic part that features a guitar and drum arrangement. “The Fourth Part” is heavier on the synth part than some of the previous tracks but the songwriting is great and the end result is a smooth, memorable dark Jazz moment. “The Fifth Part” blazes in with a nerving introduction before morphing into a consoling chamber music tune with exceptional vocals. Toward the end of the track, there is an awesome 80’s retro synth wave arrangement, that fits in perfectly. “The Sixth Part” melodic synth drones that crescendo in and out of the mix several times and the free space is augmented by effortless piano playing. The last few minutes of this track features some evil sounding dark ambient drones. The final track “The Seventh Part” is a short piece that again features the drums and clean guitar riffs that play over a steady orchestral sounding drone. As the drums fade out, the droning continues until the song finally comes to a halt.

Witnesses have done a great job combining the elements of cinematic score and ambient music. Although there are other elements thrown in like vocals, guitars and drums, the basic concept of creating a rugged soundtrack that could cover several genres of movies has been met. This is an excellent album that is full of surprises and I would love to hear this actually matched up with a movie one day. Please show your support for Witnesses and download ‘III’ at the link below.

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Atrium Carceri & Cities Last Broadcast Elicit Nocturnal Visions On Sophomore Collaboration, ‘Black Stage Of Night’

The bleak and consoling sounds of dark ambient music don’t always have to be set in dreary, pioneering generations. Although we mostly associate this visionary craft with distant times, it’s audial adaptability can generate imaginative sequences from past occasions as well. That’s exactly what Atrium Carceri and Cities Last Broadcast – also unofficially known as The Bearded Swedes – have achieved on their second collaboration effort together known as, ‘Black Stage Of Night’. Their retrospective outlook on dark ambient has taken the genre to new heights, as the solitude droning and domineering field recordings have been replaced with haunting tape loops & sequences, and minimalistic – yet melodic – soundscapes. The result is a recording rich in warm ambient sounds and thick structured songs that are well crafted that take a life of their own, as if their audience could have been from many decades ago.

Intrepid album opener, “Mind Turns To Night”, makes a bold statement as the soft and eerie synths provide a leisurely tone to this haunting dirge while the warm static noises hiss inconstantly in the background. “Attic And Wormwood” commences with a beautiful piano arrangement and the steady, slightly high-pitched frequency to add texture and substance. About halfway through the track, nostalgic keyboard melodies make their way in as if the dusk-lit sky is breaking away to the dawn. “A Glass Of Sleep For An Elegant Dream” is my favorite song on the album as it has an 80’s cinematic horror sound to it and with the sounds of an old spinning record crackling in the background, gives a classic interpretation of modern terror. “All Things Nocturnal” features an array of soundscapes with opulent keys & pads to give this track a dense sound. “Chaos Unmade” features sparse tape loops and a spectral melody played over and over again making this a very ghostly and daring track. Anxiety builds as various sounds and samples can barely be heard in the background as the music continues and the unknown ending soon unfolds. “A New Constellation” slowly builds without reaching a climactic state as various musical sounds creep their way in momentarily to make their presence known. This track is like a doomed, melancholic adventure that leaves its somber trace on everything in its path. On “The Great Order Of Things”, a mesmerizing vocal track is added to the droning austere arrangement to make it just as soothing as it is unnerving. On the albums final track, “Night Becomes Morning”, alluring pads alter frequencies to create an exquisite beacon of light drones to properly finalize the multitude of timeless sounds and patterns thus far. This minimal arrangement fits perfect with the rest of the tracks and leaves the listener in a state of renewed amazement.

The team of Atrium Carceri and Cities Last Broadcast never cease to amaze me when they set out to synchronize their minds on a project like this. With two fantastic albums now under their belt, I can only hope they will continue to collaborate on a regular basis and bring us more albums in the “Black” series. Although these artist have excellent solo careers, there is just something very special when they get together and release an album. ‘Black Stage Of Night’ may not be your typical dark ambient album but it will haunt you in other ways that you can only imagine. Please show your support for this awesome release and download it at the link below.

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