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PQ is Maarten Vandewalle and Samir Bekaert from Belgium. Their debut album entitled You’ll Never Find Us Here was released this year on the UK-based label Expanding Records. The album draws from a good deal of inspirations and genres, mainly focusing on idm and ambient, though to a much lesser degree than one would normally think when referring to those styles of music.

This album makes good use of the guitar, but texturally, there’s not too much going on, a fact that sits quite well with this author. Sparse rhythms and easy going melodies come and go while minimal effects dance hazily across the record’s background. Muted effects make up a decent-sized portion of the album’s soundscape, much similar to Xela‘s excellent early 2007 album For Frosty Mornings and Summer Nights, except this favor’s more guitar as its primary method of musical “cultivation”, as I like to put it.

The beginning of the album sees the occasional whispered beeps and bloops typically seen in the idm style of music, however the track mainly sways calmly into more of the ambient side of things, lightly speaking. The whole album isn’t really IDM, even though it fancies some elements taken from that genre; likewise, it also isn’t very ambient, even though, indeed, it features elements sported from that genre as well.

The album opens with A Taste of Diminished Expectation, which gradually turns out to be an hazily lulling experience that serves to give you a very general idea of what the rest of the album will be about. The second track is where the guitar is introduced, playing a wonderfully content set of notes until its conclusion.

A short, melancholic piano piece is played prior to entering the album’s 4th track, dubbed “Jocelyn”. Crisp, light-hearted effects are introduced in the midst of other instrumentation, serving as the musical tour-de-force that is only exemplified further throughout the rest of the record. The next track features a small child singing to a guitar-based background, which becomes a charmingly elegant song that fits in cozily with the rest of the album.

“Will You Still Be There?”  sports sparsely used samples consisting of small children having fun at distant, muted playground equipment while the romantic guitar play work introduces itself again by kicking out an acoustic melody of sorts accompanied by a thin ambient atmosphere.

The album ends with a reworked version of “Somebody Should Repeat My Summer”, a decidedly bassy remix with some of the more elegant effects seen previously mixed in. I think it was a very classy way to end the record (which is just shy of an hour in duration).

Most of the tracks here feature romantic acoustic guitar work as the album’s driving force peppered in combination with other effects. The guitar adds quite a bit of fresh air into the album, but the real beauty is realized in the warmth and cohesiveness of the record. Indeed, perhaps its single greatest quality is in its gracefulness. Highly recommended.

For more information, check out:

Last.fm

Soundcloud

Discogs

This album is available to purchase:

Boomkat

Amazon

Bleep

Download.

“Louisiana Mourning” is the second release from Benn Jordan (more commonly known as “The Flashbulb“) and a dedication to Charles Cooper (1977-2009); one half of the electronic music duo Telefon Tel Aviv. This release is a fully acoustic album focusing on piano and guitar. Whimsical guitar melodies play throughout this album similar to some tracks found on “Soundtrack to a Vacant Life.” Lavish ambient soundscapes play a great role in a few of the tracks; adding a smooth backing while the piano takes over the melody. The quality of the sound itself is extremely clean and well produced and only adds to the enjoyment in the beautiful melodies.

As a whole “Louisiana Mourning” reminds me of Iron & Wine‘s early albums. The style of the guitar playing is strikingly similar and I can almost hear Sam Beam’s vocals over these tracks.

This album is limited to a mere 500 copies and can be purchased at Alphabasic.com for $8 USD.

More information at:

– Last.fm

– Discogs

– Myspace

Support the artist, buy this at:

– Alphabasic Records

Download.

posted by Unctuous