Saturday, July 5, 2008

Lava Experiments

Antimatter Music continues to give me great leads on downtempo and ambient music. The label, based out of Glasgow, Scotland, recently released The Lava Experiments first EP - Blackbody Vol. 1. This EP is the first in a trilogy, and I'm already awaiting the second and third installments.

Blackbody is five lush tracks from The Lava Experiments. Every track contributes to a beautiful ambient listening experience, they flow nicely together but are unique enough that they can stand alone. Tracks like "Electric Garden" and "Beautiful Crystal Hall" begin with synthed soundscapes that conjure images of cascading water or...churning lava. After the ambient introduction, organic drums and beats add a surprising layer of warmth. I was taken by the ambient, and then the melodic soft rock came in and added a complementary sound that enhanced the ambient and brought surprising energy to it.

Other tracks, such as "Organize the Box" and "Wake Up" keep a true ambient feel, while still establishing deeper sounds through downtempo drum beats, guitars and pianos. They are a bit experimental, introducing electronic sounds that are reminiscent of Brian Eno - in fact, this isn't the first time Lava Experiments has been compared to Eno.

Visit to get a copy of this limited edition EP. There are limited copies available, or you can stream and download tracks on iTunes.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Weeks of Listening

It's been a few weeks since my last post. Work has kept me very busy - travelling, clients, late nights. On top of that I'm moving out of my apartment in the fall so I've been trying to find a new place - hence I've neglected the Downbeatscape a bit. Though, I certainly haven't stopped listening...

The past few weeks I've been listening to some great music. Here's some I recommend, and I hope to review/post more about these soon:

- WMSE 91.7 FM, Frontier Radio out of Milwaukee ( - travelling to my hometown is rough b/c the radio, nor the trip hop or chillout scene, are very good; but the Milwaukee School of Engineering's college radio consistently shines - check out the morning shows - always more chill and during the summers are chock full of Reggae, dub and downtempo - especially Monday Morning's Putumayo World Music Hour

- Coldplay - Viva La Vida - Brian Eno produced album, really great stuff, very inspirational, emotional, ballad type work

- The Herbaliser - Same As It Never Was, Take London, Very Mercenary - this trio of albums combines UK produced trip-hop with male and female vocalists who rap and rhyme over jass and funk beats - you may have heard "The Sensual Woman" on the Snatch soundtrack

- 9th Wonder and Buckshot - The Formula - Two Southern rappers join on this album to tell tales of struggle and formula's for success through underground hip-hop struggles, nice beats and flows, recommended to me by my friend Jay, who has quickly become my source for all underground hip hop

- Thievery Corporation - Sounds from the Thievery Hi-Fi - my favorite Thievery album never gets old

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