On the follow up to 2020’s ‘Entering The Solar System’, Billy Yfantis delves even deeper into a world of ambient sound and disquieting electronica. Although feeling very much like a continuation of previous works, in some ways, ‘Noises From The Outer Space’ offers a very different listening experience. ‘Solar System’ gave listeners fairly easily digestible bursts of sound, best demonstrated via ‘Venus’ (a collection of very retro sounding synth noises and laser bursts not too dissimilar to an old Jarre work) and ‘Sun’ which dispensed most elements of melody in favour of a scratchier synthesized backdrop which quickly sounded like a musical shorthand for feeling detached. By contrast, ‘…Outer Space’ opts for massive blankets of sound of a far more minimalist nature.
Vincent Carr’s fifth album ‘Rekindled’ (released under the name Vincent Carr’s SUMIC in 2016) was one of the year’s most pleasant surprises. Taking influences from Nick Drake, John Martyn, various 70s prog bits and a smidgeon of trad English folk, the album took the listener on a very pastoral musical journey. Traces of Freddie Phillips’ children’s TV scores also added to the album’s very English qualities. It was an album only heard by a relative few, but those who did, invariably loved it.
In 2015, singer songwriter Matt Cahill took a break from his main band Evoletah to experiment with multi-instrumentalist Andrew Muecke and create something that would be so different from everything he’d recorded before. There’s no point in having side projects if they end up being too similar to your regular band, of course, but with The Quiet Room’s ‘All The Frozen Horses’, it’s unlikely that many Evoletah fans expected anything close to the sounds that materialised. Instead of atmospheric, guitar driven rock, The Quiet Room were all about keyboards, space and a cold spookiness.
Tony Palmer’s legendary film of Tangerine Dream’s 1975 UK visit has a troubled history. What should have been a fantastic document of a unique event ended up being a bit of a botch under the watchful eye of Richard Branson, when an executive decision was made to pair the visuals with (then) previously unreleased music, regardless of what was played at the show itself.
A new ‘Director’s Cut’ DVD finally married the images to the correct soundtrack, but a super-deluxe box set for 2019 goes a step further.
The work of producer/multi-instrumentalist Michel Simons and multi-instrumentalist Adrian Jones, Jet Black Sea was originally conceived as a side project to Jones’s prog rock band Nine Stones Close. A vehicle for experimentation, their debut release ‘The Path of Least Existence’ mixed elements of prog rock, ambient music, electronica and post rock with fantastic results. A follow-up ‘Absorption Lines’ was almost five years in the making. Absorbing more mellow prog rock sounds than before – presumably since Nine Stones Close had, by that time, veered towards a more prog metal sound on their 2016 LP ‘Leaves’ – the album was well received among online prog fans.