PSALM011: სადგური [Station]
Georgian electronic musician Beqa Ungiadze debuts on Phantom Limb’s Spirituals imprint with a beautiful new album of gauzy ambient minimalist works to represent humanity’s eternal migration.
Having recently relocated (“completely spontaneously”) from his native Georgia to a new life and new home in London, solo musician Beqa Ungiadze explores the experiences of replanting long-held roots and statelessness with სადგური [Eng: Station]. Its dusty, effervescent, subtly rhythmic instrumental pieces mutate and evolve, in slow-mo, with a yearning prettiness that points to a deconstructed, cubist take on IDM or an electrified Reich.
Nigerian electronic musician and violist Ibukun Sunday returns to Spirituals with Mantra, a new album inspired by philosophies of the Four Vedas, Hindu’s oldest texts.
Based in Lagos, Ibukun Sunday binds ambient and West African musics with field recordings from his native Nigeria and a deeply philosophical spirituality. His new album Mantra is based on the Sanskrit teachings of early Hinduism, especially the origins of the term mantra itself: “to release the mind.” Sunday’s music spirals and ripples with the endless cellular recurrence of a samsara, cyclical and metempsychotic with undulating melodies.
Sunday references Swami and Hare Krishna founder A. C. Bhaktivedanta and his work Śri Iśopanisad [Eng: the knowledge], a transcendental spiritual guidance bringing one nearer to the Supreme Personality of ancient Hinduism.
PSALM009: I Love and Embrace
Solo Korean drummer Chloe Kim 김예지 unites with Spirituals for new mini-album I Love and Embrace, a highly expressive, masterful exploration of solo drumkit.
Breadth and versatility yields the entrancing dynamic variation of I Love and Embrace. Despite its spare timbres - it really is an album for solo drumkit with occasional textural sound - the span of sonic depth and mood found across these four tracks is testament to Kim’s astonishing agility as a musician. The record connects frenetic, head-spinning clatter with soft and fragile texture. It marries intricate soccer plays reenacted on drums with the truly heartening evocation of love and acceptance to which the album title alludes.
The debut proper of Taiwanese newcomer Imryll is a deeply exploratory mini-album of unsettling, supernatural sonics stretched across gauzy ambience.
“At the time making the record, I was living in a really old and creepy apartment in an area that’s a little bit run down,” Imryll writes. “There’s a scary looking abandoned house with dense trees in front of the building I lived in. I had to face that creepy abandoned house whenever I went to the balcony. I was terrified.” Though ostensibly an ambient record, with a heart of dreamy, woozy quietude, Mortal’s storytelling speaks to and unsettles a deep part of the soul. It favours the uncanny and the unnerving over the outright harrowing in the same way as, for example, Bong Joon Ho’s Parasite, or Kevin Richard Martin’s recent rescore of landmark Soviet movie Solaris.
Suso Sáiz x Menhir
PSALM007: Just Before Silence
Spanish ambient / minimalist pioneer Suso Sáiz unites with contemporary experimental electronic duo Menhir for profoundly beautiful one-off collaboration album Just Before Silence.
Longtime fans of each other’s work, Sáiz and multidisciplinary artistic collective Menhir (Madrid’s Iván Cebrián and Coco Moya) share a love of subtle, nuanced textures and understated expressionism. Appropriately, the fruits of this collaboration sound not like an additive process, but a stretching and pulling of boundaries to create something new and unique.
Coco Moya notes a realisation that dawned on the group during the recording: “a tendency to silence. A way to approach sound making. A way to approach a sound encounter without words or concepts, just by letting the musical perceptions and emotions coexist and connect.”
Nigerian electronic musician and violist Ibukun Sunday debuts on Phantom Limb’s Spirituals imprint with The Last Wave, a uniquely bold and brightly coloured take on ambient music.
Based in Lagos, Ibukun Sunday has expertly positioned himself between the rarely-married cultures of ambient and West African musics. He entwines his compositions with field recordings from his native Nigeria and deeply considered philosophies of existence, humanity and apocalypse. “The Last Wave talks about the beginning and the ending of Earth,” Ibukun writes.
Scattered throughout The Last Wave are unexpected melodic antiphonies closely aligned with African music, interspersed between huge, spacious drones and field recordings.
PSALM006: The Last Wave
Acclaimed UK experimental ambient musician Dylan Henner rejoins his first label Phantom Limb for brand new EP Amtracks, a beautifully hypnotic wordless loveletter to a train journey through rural Pennsylvania.
Amtracks - named after the longstanding US train service Amtrak - is the story of a train journey taken by Henner some years ago. As a twenty year old, visiting Philadelphia for the first time, Henner also decided to take in Pittsburgh - a place his father had visited years earlier. Like his dad, Henner boarded Amtrak’s Pennsylvanian train service in Philadelphia to travel across the state. As Henner’s usual starting points for writing and producing music are the field recordings taken on his day-job travels as a photographer’s assistant, the pandemic-enforced dearth of trips have inspired a new approach: memory-traveling.
Pram of Dogs is a project born from an obsession with forgotten film scores and cult cinema. Anonymous and enigmatic, a rare biographical insight we have been allowed is that Pram of Dogs also works as a composer of filmscore. The influence of this discipline is evident throughout “BMV I & II”, two pieces whose yearning beauty mirrors cinematic greats. “BMV I & II“ achieves utter bliss from angelic choral textures, billowing slow-motion pads and a deeply imbued emotional resonance. Working with vintage synths and reel to reel tape, the London-based musician compiles sounds, patches and field recordings into strange, haunted elegies. Scorched sonics and distant chimes are married with a lushly beautiful melancholia.
Pram of Dogs
PSALM004: BMV I & II
PSALM003: Zed Zed
UK ambient musician Dau debuts on Phantom Limb’s Spirituals imprint with lush, organic mini-album Zed Zed, created entirely from acoustic instrumentation and real-time performances.
The serenely crafted quietude of Dau is captured on debut solo release Zed Zed. The record is intimate and personal, constructed with immense care and delicateness. Throughout the record are pastoral textures of slowmotion prettiness softly expanding and contracting about unusual, home-made sonics and deep, lulling drones. Stirring convergences of melodic threads that weave about expansive open plains of resonant harmonies; stillness and peace underpinning vanishing moments of the everyday, captured by field recordings or coincidental background noise to the recording.
In Eynem, the debut EP by acclaimed cellist Francesca Ter-Berg, straddles the worlds of live processing, improvisation and traditional folk song. Weaving together fragments of field recordings, samples and beats with winding cello melodies and tunes from the Yiddish and Sinti Manouche traditions, the EP is a mesmeric first peek into the cellist’s recorded solo works.
The EP’s two more electronic recordings - ‘Hinges’ and ‘Wtybcrechk’ - showcase Ter-Berg’s prowess as a cellist, improviser and performer. The sounds of the cello are moulded into entrancing droning whirlwinds of sound, enhanced by Ter-Berg's voice, field recordings and electronics. Recorded live, these pieces illustrate the emotional rawness and sonic potential of the cello as an instrument.
PSALM002: In Enyem
Pram of Dogs
PSALM001: MATTER - ANTI
Phantom Limb is pleased to announce the launch of new imprint Spirituals, focusing on digital releases of instrumental, ambient-leaning works by musicians from all around the world. The first release on Spirituals - the strikingly cinematic Matter - Anti by Pram of Dogs - is set to arrive on September 18.
Pram of Dogs is a project born from an obsession with forgotten film scores and cult cinema. Working with vintage synths and overdubbing reel to reel tape, the London-based artist collected sounds over a number of years and pieced together his debut release Matter - Anti, a score to a film that doesn’t exist. The album, embellished with the gentle wow and flutter of tape, possesses a tremendous breadth of vintage, cinematic sounds.