Okada’s darkly cinematic debut album

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While the weather is getting hotter in May, we come with a breath­taking ambient & electro acoustic record. We never release any album we don’t really like for any reason, all the albums in our catalogue are the albums we think they are the albums which must be in our personal music archive as well. Okada label debut is even beyond that, it has already become one of our favourites of ambient & electro­acoustic genres.

Okada is a project by Greg Pappas from Alabama, US. Initially known to the music world as ZXYZXY, Greg used it as a vehicle for experimentation and refinement of his writing technique while dabbling in electro­acoustic, ambient, post­rock and even wonky genres. It wasn’t until the Summer of 2014 that he felt his music clicked into place seemingly out­of­nowhere under Okada.

This time around the only constant in the creative process was that there was no focus on any one way to bring out the music. No guides. No genre sign posts. Just as long as the road to the final product was a visceral experience.

Okada (album) is darkly cinematic, but it’s never bleak or depressing. In fact, the bubbly female vocals haunt the music, lifting it up with caring hands out of the dark mire and into a subdued electronic coloring that sits easily with the listener. It’s a bruise that discolors the music’s original pale skin, her original pale genre, and the vanilla blooms into a new, shady gem right in front of our eyes. The low, dull sound of classical instrumentation has been brushed aside like a September cobweb, cleaned of its original timbre. An ambient layer peels itself away, and later a hushed electronic beat shuffles itself and the music forward, proving that electronic rhythms can indeed be subtle, caring and sophisticated.

Conflicting emotions cycle through the music. It can lead to serenity but it can also bring a flood of intense love. It’s gentle, fragile, the cycling beat and the melancholic black and white notes flowing naturally, freely. It’s graceful music that lives and breathes a seemingly simple life in the face of musical complexity. There are a lot of layers underneath its surface; a slowly shifting labyrinth of sound that continually takes you by surprise.

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Inner Trip’s Moments of No Time

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Inner Trip is a project from Iran created and represented by Saman N (born in 1984, graphic artist and musician).

Saman’s third album “Moments of No Time” is a next step on a journey which began with his debut album “Somewhere Near the Pulse”, released by Fluttery Records a few years ago.

This album contains seven tracks with seven different atmospheres but under the same genre of electronic music and mostly with down tempo cinematic elements. The title of each song is related to the particular scene Saman had in his mind during his musical journey while recording the tracks.

One thing that Saman N tries to achieve with his music is to create imaginary images for audience. That’s why his music floats over different genres from Soundtrack to Trip Hop. He believes making music is like painting. You might choose just one or two colours for your entire canvass or you may decide to use all the colours in your palette for just one scene.

The most important thing is what art looks like at the end and the way it exposes your inner word. Individuality could be the identity of any type of art. With “Moments of No Time”, Saman did once again follow his inner voices to depict a new scene raised of the individuality of the artist.

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New modern classicals by Bosques De Mi Mente

frontinsertBosques de mi Mente is a solo project of Ignacio Nieto Carvajal, who is based in Madrid, Spain.

The whole project started in 2007 when he decided to create music on his own to reflect some restlessness and feelings that were in his mind. The idea behind Ignacio’s first records was to remember and capture his childhood, a happier epoch of his life. He approached composing frantically, spontaneously and it was clear to him from the very beginning that the Bosques de mi Mente would be an open musical project.

One day in 2009, during a happier period of his life, he started a conceptual work about “The Little Prince”. The idea was to connect with the emotion of every chapter and write a song about it, while giving the work a full cohesion as a conceptual unit. The result of all this process is “Inocencia”.

Some months later, during a harsh winter in Madrid, spontaneously, “Nueve Días de Invierno” was born. Ignacio’s piano was to be tuned, and althought that’s a perfect ocassion to record new piano songs in perfect tune, he had no new stuff for piano, so he decided to record, during 9 days of winter, as an improvised performance, the music as it was played or created, and he spent those days alone recording in his home studio. Those were days of heavy rain, cold weather, snow and wind, and so… “Nueve días de invierno” was born.

“Nueve Días de Invierno” was a very fulfilling experience that showed him the beauty of the improvised, solo piano sounds, so he decided to repeat and magnify this experience for his next work, “Otoño”.

Since the days of “Inocencia”, Ignacio had been thinking about doing a different album, based on his passion for toy instruments, malfunctioning electronics, circuit bending and vocal harmonies. He also began experimenting with harmonies and reversed vocals. These two new ways of experimenting with sound resulted in “Colores”, a different album with a positive feeling.

Some time later, the 20th of April of 2011, the night before he was travelling to Berlin, there was a terrible storm in Madrid. Ignacio decided to set some ambient mics pointing to the storm and another two mics recording the piano, and started playing. He left his mind wander through the piano notes for three quarters of an hour and then closed the lid of the piano, pressed the STOP button and started to prepare my luggage. When he came back from Berlin, he played the recording again and was so impressed by what he heard that he decided to share it. The result is “20 de Abril” (April the 20th), the most minimalist album of Bosques de mi Mente to date.

Since “20 de Abril”, Ignacio worked on many projects but the one that will interest us today is his last work. The last Bosques de mi Mente’s album, released this year, was the first to be released publicly under a record label, Fluttery Records. It’s name is “…de los Valles y las Montañas”.

“… de los Valles y las Montañas” is a critical reflection on the duality of our existence on earth, of hate and love, of technology and wilderness, of civilization and brutality, of noise and silence. We live in world of skyscraper filled cities and vast, empty wilderness. There is a fragile balance there, so fragile it seems like on the edge of scattering into pieces. It’s sad and beautiful at the same time.

This duality is present in “… de los valles y las montañas”, gentle piano lines and violin melodies confront the screaming noise of street preachers and the background noises, almost trying to cast some light in the dar scenery. The music here does not try to make any judgments, it just tries to allow the listener a moment of peace to think about it.

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Cold Cold Heart debut is an album to adore

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Cold, Cold Heart is a post-rock / ambient band from London, UK. Robert, Chris and Adrian assembled in early 2014 out of friendship and a shared admiration for bands such as Stars of the Lid, Low and Sparklehorse. What started as a simple coming together to craft percussionless compositions in a spare bedroom turned into something more focused after recognition for their first release, ‘Stand/still’. Encouraged by appreciation from Simon Raymonde (Bella Union, Amazing Radio) and Kara Manning (Rolling Stone, WFUV Radio) amongst others, Cold, Cold Heart was born.

‘How the Other Half Live and Die’, as a collective work, is built around the concepts of love and loss. In ‘Megan’, ‘Anna’ and ‘Hannah’, the band have written songs that soundtrack the beauty and challenges in their romantic relationships, whilst ‘Stand/still’ and ‘An Elegy (for Martha)’ capture the sadness and nostalgia left behind in the wake of departed loved ones.

The album is Cold, Cold Heart’s shared soundtrack to life; to the fear and beauty in death; to infatuation and devotion; to the band’s personal battles with illness. It has been featured in various shows on BBC Radio 6 and become one of the most pre-ordered releases in the Fluttery Records history.

With Robert’s 10-year struggle living with multiple sclerosis a constant backdrop, delicacy and simplicity resonate in all that the band does. The most important instrument is the listener’s imagination.

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A new experiment of Mathew Roth: Written & Unsent

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Our first March release has been prepared by someone very well-known to all members of Fluttery Records family. His name is Mathew Roth and after his successful album “Immersion”, he is coming with his second piece “Written & Unsent”. Let us remind you something of Mathew’s background.

Mathew began his musical career behind a drum set. He played the drums for close to 15 years, playing out around town and touring with various metal acts. The next step in his career was presented by his uncle Harold, who, after talking with Mathew about his interest in the piano, bequeathed to him his wife’s piano; a Kranich and Bach upright console. The next year was spent in an intensive retreat into music, where Mathew wrote, practiced and also recorded.

After his uncle passed away, Mathew set off for a 6-week journey and walked 500 miles across Spain, which was a very transformative event in his life and incorporates much of what he experienced into the current musical projects he is working on.

Written & Unsent is an exploration into the versatility of the piano; an attempt to play the instrument in a unique way. Roth’s heavy influence in rhythm and percussion is obvious in this album, as it will, at times, embody the emotion of a percussive instrument more so than a melodic one. The playing swings between extremes of soft and delicate melodies into a bass-drum-thumping rhythm which you will find yourself bobbing your head to. “When I first discovered my love for the piano it was because I realized that I could play it like a drum. I had been playing drum set for 15 years but grew tired of it. One day I started playing ‘drum beats’ on a piano and a little lightbulb went off in my head. The subtlety and melody that was lacking was now here.” Says Roth of his playing style.

This album is unique for Roth in a few ways. In “Immersion” he favors a heavy reliance upon violin and cello structure to tie the pieces together; the piano is often simple to leave room for the strings, yet W&U is filled with powerfully driven solo piano which encapsulates the entire spectrum of sound. It was only because of the desire to play live shows, and the difficulty in finding strings players, that drove Roth to write more piano driven pieces. Roth says that he is happy with how the album turned out, but he still sees it as more of an experiment. “The next album, which I’ve been enjoying obsessing over for the past few months, will definitely incorporate more strings and other instrumentation.”

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OP3’s “Hope” is a story you can feel

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Our forth and last release this January is coming from OP3, what is a musical experiment­ based in Greece, addressing an ambient and atmospheric musical journey, borrowing elements from different genres of music such as modern classical composition, jazz, electro and folk rhythms all coming together to provide the listener with a unique audio experience.

Hope by OP3 from Greece is a concept album with a unique story written by Dimitris Mitropapas. A short and symbolic title that seems to be the best choice in order to fully express what the main theme of the album is all about. The storyline goes as follows: A girl named Melanie wakes up inside a strange room, in a futuristic city. She doesn’t seem to know the reason of her appearance there. Melanie tries to find a way to connect all the clues leading to this event as well as an escape out of there.

”The sound of the album is focused on the atmospheric, ambient elements provided by the minimalistic piano themes, haunting cello lines and heart­touching violin melodies. Electronics and the use of a variety of home made sounds, gave the album an even more unique “feel” to it.”

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