Across the Mountains: A Macedonian Ambient Music Compilation (Review from Tome To The Weather Machine)
This, more than anything, is to let you know this exists. I’ve really dug into this compilation of ambient artists from Macedonia with what started as native curiosity. What exactly does ambient music from Macedonia sound like? I’ve been burned before by pretty bad Eastern European electronic music when I listened to three hours of the stuff on the Underground Alliance series for another publication I write for. I’m really happy to say that this stuff is legit. Silber Records must have some pretty strong sway in the Balkans, because a lot of this would not sound out of place on Silber’s fine repertoire of great drone records. Really engaging ambient music that runs a broad gamut. From wandering synth and field recordings by Dimitar Dodovski, to a sprawling 15 minute aleatoric piano piece with huge clouds of gathering static and ominous guitar crackle by fydhws, billowy projections of soft guitar-based droning by Amplidyne Effect, plus plenty of pulsing, Nu-New Age crystalline synth by Sherafedin Kurt. Sound_00 and Airless Project hold down the dark-ambient side of things bringing some much needed noise and darker synth tones into this otherwise all-lights-on affair. Without the sticker shock of this being imported from Macedonia, I would be just as wholly impressed and grateful to have something to take with me as I study.
Long Ambient Journeys with Amplidyne Effect (Concert Review from Skopyeah)
Recently I visited the Autonomous Cultural and Social Center (AKSC) in Skopje for a night of experimental ambient music by Martin Georgievski who produces music under the name Amplidyne Effect.
The corner of the small “living room” of the center was littered with tangled cables, a laptop, several external audio controllers and a guitar. Right behind the setup was an improvised projection screen made of white tablecloth and opposite it was a rather decent projector.
Martin Georgievski aka Amplidyne Effect was hunched over his laptop, turning knobs, tuning his guitar…getting ready for his live act that he has brought with him to many events around the world. The room next door, through the narrow corridor, was the place of Martin’s art exhibit- photos he had taken on his trip to Japan, that were slightly distorted with a cryptic fuzziness.
A railway, a glass building, some metal circles, a landscape with blue skies above it… this was the pretext to the sound design the small and privileged audience was about to experience. The guests pop in and out of the rooms and Martin is becoming anxious. He feels he should start right away so he summons the crowd- some twenty or so people of various ages, from college students to two elderly couples.
He says: “Folks, I am about to start. I just wanted to ask you, would you prefer to watch a projection of me improvising in my audio software or would you like to watch the stars?” People opt for the stars and so Martin begins while the last empty spots on the improvised benches, padded and made of transportation pallets, were being taken.
A long and deep, pristine wash sets the stage for some serious experimental ambient music. The projector throws images of red and purple, gaseous realms. Sounds of whizzing comets pop in and out of the stereo setup. Martin takes the guitar and holding it awkwardly on his lap, he tingles the strings while with the other hand he constantly turns knobs and plays on the small keyboard.
The audience is becoming lulled into the darkness. From time to time, some peep their eyes at the changing images of Space, completely feeding from the sounds, while some have their eyes shut to enjoy it all in utter darkness. This goes on for some odd forty minutes, broken up in a strange discontinuity between time and space.
When it is all over, Martin bows in gratitude for the attention given to his audio creation and mingles with the crowd in the other room furnished with a makeshift bar that serves red wine and mastika.
Amplidyne Effect recently collaborated on the release Oldcast #55.
You can listen to that release and the rest of his music on his Soundcloud.
You can visit the AKSC on their Facebook.
Location, Dis-location, Conflation: Rum Music By Russell Cuzner (Review from The Quietus)
Post Global Trio – Fluids (Unknown Tone)
Almost in complete contrast to Dead City Voice‘s international array of civic nightmares, Post Global Trio’s Fluids is a relaxed dream of rural idylls produced by three guys from the same place – Skopje, Macedonia (despite their collective name’s implication). The field recordings of Toni Dimitrov are central to the work, providing a near constant trickle of mountain streams, supplemented by crackling fires, bird song and insect-life. These pastoral cues are romanticised by crystalline synth and laid back guitar tones from Martin Georgievski and born aloft on electronic drifts from Dimitar Dodovski. Fluids’ six trips are somewhat similar, their evocations of floating around in fresh air, over cool-wet-grass bordering flowing waters narrowly misses being crystal shop muzak, although no less hackneyed than the noise of urban dystopias, just less theatrical and without tension. They steer shy of the incense and dream catchers through improvisation – Fluids was apparently recorded live – which traps small obstacles of unpredictability in its otherwise smooth, steady flow.
Post Global Trio Captures the Essence of the Natural World on FLUIDS (Review from BandJack)
Supremely calming and peaceful, Post Global Trio’s 2014 album Fluids is another work that came to me in the wake of reviewing the Across the Mountains compilation of ambient music from Macedonia. This group (made up of Toni Dimitrov, Dimitar Dodovski, and Martin Georgievski) impressed me with their track entitled “2” which featured on the compilation – a track which I wrote reminded me of honeybees swarming a hive. Having now heard more of PGT’s music, that this first track conjured up imagery relating to nature doesn’t seem quite so strange.
The minimalistic melodies heard on the forty-three minute, six track Fluids album play out over an ever-present base of field recordings which capture the sound of rain falling, birds chirping, and streams babbling. The album’s title seems most appropriate considering how the material featured on it works since everything here is very flowing and smooth. Though I could almost be convinced that Fluids stands as a slightly brighter companion piece to an album like Pyramids with Nadja or imagines what an ambient record made by Boards of Canada would sound like due to its use of airy, often barely-there melodies, I might be more inclined to compare the PGT sound to that of German group Popol Vuh, known for their soundtrack contributions to many of Werner Herzog’s films. As was the case with Popol Vuh, the music of Post Global Trio seems to replicate what life itself would sound like once one is removed from the hustle and bustle of modern city living.
Establishing the basic sound palette heard throughout the album, the first track unleashes a quietly dizzying array of bells and chimes which gently toll out the main “melody” as it exists in the piece. At ten and three-quarter minutes, this opener is the longest here, incorporating electronic chirps and an omnipresent field recording which first features the pitter-patter of precipitation and goes on to include the sound of water gurgling along in a stream. The whole of the track is extremely enveloping and trance-inducing: even some increasingly strange, more jarring accented tones and noises that occur late in the going don’t disrupt the ongoing, resonant drone that exists at the center of the sound mix. A more immediately pleasant second track offers up a dynamic contrast to the heavy-handed opener, having a mixture of bubbling, playful keyboard melodies and quiet acoustic guitar heard over a crackly background of pure ambient sound. Late in the going, the more fleeting sonic elements are overpowered by piercing, whirring drones, yet the piece ends on a quietly optimistic note.
While the earlier tracks had some sense of an almost religious sense of wonderment, this aspect of PGT’s sound is more prominently on display in the third track which includes the sounds of distant birds cawing beneath loud, buzzing chords. In terms of its sound and ponderous chord structuring, this isn’t so far removed from the types of material heard on Aphex Twin’s Selected Ambient Works Volume II, but it seems more atmospheric than anything heard on that album. Again, there’s use of more jarring accents to create some variation in the piece, and it also throws in the sound of rushing water during its second half. Following a brief fourth track that suggests harsh winds ripping across a barren, alien landscape, Fluid’s fifth composition, full of twinkling piano, is arguably the one here that most recalls Brian Eno’s early ambient experiments. A throbbing, almost heartbeat-like sound introduced during its second half adds a seemingly misplaced mechanized element to the otherwise very ethereal piece, and the album’s final track marks a return to more earthy, natural-sounding material. Chirping birds and warbling, resonating keyboard tones are the immediately noticeable parts of this closing track, which doesn’t so much provide closure to the album as suggest an ongoing, possibly never-ending cycle.
Though it’s difficult to really describe much of what’s happening on Fluids, it certainly satisfies as a relaxing soundscape providing welcome relief from the stresses of everyday life. Since the majority of the tracks here are fairly similar in terms of the types of sounds heard in them and their basic construction, I could see some people being turned off by the album’s repetitive nature. It also could be said that neither the album as a whole nor any of the tracks in it come to a true climax at any point; it thus seems a bit “flat” in terms of its direction and purpose. Still, Post Global Trio has precisely embodied the spirit of the countryside and forest with this music and I suspect those who enjoy sound collage and the more atmospheric and arty side of the musical spectrum would appreciate what they have to offer here. As a genuinely comfortable and inviting ambient work (made even more impressive by the fact it was recorded live), this is quite simply exemplary.
POST GLOBAL TRIO – FLUIDS Review (Review from Charlotte Sometimes Zine)
Post Global Trio, the trio of Toni Dimitrov, Dimitar Dodovski and Martin Georgievski, all Macedonian lovers of ambient music and this is their first, self-titled album (there’s already more new material that will be released on Twice Removed and elsewhere, during this year)… We have here one piece of music of one hour and that’s the whole album, so, after listening, probably naturally comes the question: is there enough happening to keep it interesting for an hour?! I thought this is an okay album… Sometimes leaping into repetition and without much happening in the music, when it stays just narrow ambience for probably too long, but the guys are into it and they’re having a jam session, so it’s probably ok… This album was played and recorded live and streamed on the frequency of 103 FM at the radio Kanal 103 in Skopje and online, internationally, so it’s a live recording… Combined into a full hour through the immaculate sound-shaped drones, field recordings and textures, it resonates somewhere between the abstraction and the narrative flow (that’s my words in the description for the release on the label’s site). Also: Even though it tends to be concrete to a certain degree, the sound of Post Global Trio still remains a mystery to enjoy and comprehend, within its own distinctive categorizations and impulses. (BR)
Post Global Trio – FLUIDS Review (Review from Kritika.mk)
“…The Trio chooses their instruments and softwares carefuly: 4 Piezo Microphones, SynPrez FM emulator, Audacity, Ableton Live, Native Instruments Massive Software Synthesizer, Pro 53 Synthesizer and so on… They create a completely different and unique tunel of sounds All 6 tracks give light to new meaning and scenario in the atmosphere of Fluids, in a moment you can find yourself in the wilderness of Lazaropole, the waves of the Aegean Sea, or an airport in Pariz. You can expect suspense of manipulative sounds, meditation of thinking or falling inside a wave of sound on Fluids…. back to the beginning.”