Following several releases of ambient and light electronic music, experimental composer Billy Yfantis reached peak minimalism with his 2021 album ‘Noises From The Outer Space’. It was so paired down it made even Tangerine Dream’s most ambient sounds seem busy, and so wantonly empty in places that it couldn’t actually be called music in the traditional sense. …And yet, somehow, the blankets of electronic sound – often no more than white noise, taking Eno’s idea of “room colourant” to extremes – managed to conjure various mental images and create something surprisingly effective.
Tag Archives: electronica
KEELEY – Echo Everywhere EP
Keeley’s debut EP ‘Brave Warrior’ proved that it was possible for a band to have a retro sound without sounding like a complete throwback to the past. Its four songs had a 90s electronica/dreampop heart, but there was enough about its feel and song writing that felt very contemporary. In terms of alternative pop, it was broad in its appeal, and the praise gained from high profile industry faces like Stuart Maconie and Steve Lamacq was more than deserved.
CAT DOWLING – Animals
The former vocalist with Irish electronica/alt-pop band Alphastates, Cat Dowling strikes gold on her 2021 release ‘Animals’. With its mix of jangling guitars, occasional dreampop-ish haze and a few busy rhythms, the core of the album’s best material shifts restlessly, but never in a way that seems showy, or ever feels directionless. Most importantly, Cat’s desire to constantly move between moods never detracts from some deftly written songs. Whether at the helm of loud-ish rocky numbers, or lending a sultry vocal to an ambling 90s influenced tune, or even tackling jazzy pop, the performer shines throughout, and her unshakable presence is vital in taking a genuinely mixed bag of tunes and turning that into something that sounds like a complete and coherent listening experience. The vocals are recognisable as being those from the Alphastates singer, but musically, so much of ‘Animals’ is a different beast; if you were feeling flippant, you might consider it a “grown up pop record”, but it’s so much more than that.
Check out the new video from Olympic Bingo
Olympic Bingo’s ‘Aloof’ album is an underground gem. For lovers of retro sounds with a jazz and electronica vibe, it could turn out to be one of those rare finds. There’s plenty within its stand out track ‘Things To Do Today’, for example, that has the ability to cast the listener back a couple of decades…and sometimes farther still.
BILLY YFANTIS – Noises From The Outer Space
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.