Off the Grid: September

As a rule, I don’t review music that I download for myself. And while I don’t randomly download stuff often, there are occasions when I do (it’s called “boredom”).When I find something I like but aren’t going to review, I put it here, in the Off the Grid post. I’ll try to keep it monthly.

Dreamhub’s Moments in Space is quite simply one of the most engaging, pleasurable space-groove CDs I’ve heard in a while. Kim Pedersen deftly switches between hushed drifts, melancholic melodies and borderline-IDM rhythms as he guides the listener through his version of space. This is one of those discs where, if I have my iPod on shuffle and a song comes up, I have to see who it is. An excellent release from Earth Mantra.

I often can’t remember how I come across my Off the Grid discs. Sometimes it’s from the Featured Netlabel box at StillStream, sometimes it’s a link off someone’s Facebook posting. However I managed to find NCThompson’s Another Quiet Winter, I’m glad I did. (In fact, I just had to Google it to remind myself that it came from the very nice folks at Soft Phase.) This is laid-back, downtempo goodness that gets right to massaging your temples and telling you to relax. Thompson’s soul-filled piano playing anchors many of the tracks with absolute grace. Been listening to this one a lot.

To the best of my recollection I don’t think I’ve ever reviewed a CD by Darshan Ambient, altho I own at least three. This is because I can’t wait for his label to get around to sending them to me. (Kidding. The guys at Spotted Peccary have been good to me. I’m just impatient when it comes to Darshan’s work.) From Pale Hands to Weary Skies is another perfect set of songs from Michael Allison, another stroll through his sonic art gallery. Each piece is richly unique, cinematic and engaging. The depth of Michael’s music is what pulls me in, the diverse melding of electronic and organic instruments. There’s so much to listen to at any moment, and it all works. (Watch for his new release, A Day Within Days, coming later this fall.)

That’s what I’ve been enjoying…Off the Grid.

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