Sunday, December 24, 2023

Presenting ... all​|​is​|​bright_2023 (waag_COM006) by various artists

When I was dreaming out loud with Cousin Silas about the future of waag, back in November, I mentioned about curating another Christmas / Winter compilation. He loved the idea and was the first to provide a track. I asked a few others and their encouragement and their support for the idea was evident ... so I set the wheels in motion and here we are.

all|is|bright_2023 is inspired by the all|is|calm series that Brad used to curate over on his netlabel, FreeFloating, and features (for the most part) some gentle ambient music that is ideally suited for the Icelandic tradition of Jolabokaflod, or Christmas book flood, where people give each other books of Christmas Eve and spend the day reading.

We have 20 tracks featuring some old friends of WAAG like Colin Blake, Christopher Alvarado, George L Smyth, Jaime Munárriz, and everybody’s favourite cousin, Cousin Silas ... and new (to WAAG) voices too like Ali Kilpatrick, Lezet, In Vitro, Theofil Tsiolakakis aka Mean Flow all the way from Thessaloniki, Greece; and the wonderfully entitled WHΛLTHISИEY aka Fernando Cerqueira.

The majority of the tracks feature gentle ambient such as “Quiet Night” by Ambi Case, Coolambient’s “Untrodden Snow”, and an absolute beauty by Kevin Buckland entitled “031223”.

We have new music from Fabio Keiner with “Midwinter Song” and “Humbled” by Sergio Mariani, new and old friends of WAAG respectively ... along with tracks from Allen Pitts (“Moonlit Snow”) and Brian M Talgo (“Bliss”) that fit the bill perfectly.

We also have “Mimicked Notion #3” by The Next Commuter, which blew me away, if I can be honest? I hope to work more with Hans Thomas in the new year and would love to have some new music from him to present from WAAG ... that’s my Christmas wish anyway!

A few of the tracks provide some added sparkle to the compilation that may not fall within the definition of “gentle ambient” but who am I to gatekeep? Christopher Alvarado’s “Mend” is synthy gorgeousness and a long awaited return from him. Wilfried Hanrath, another old friend of WAAG, actually submitted three tracks but “Eternally” fit the bill albeit it may wake you up if you are starting to dose off ... and “The Flickering Glows Of Luminous Matter” by Jaime Munárriz is another wonderful piece of electronica that certainly got me listening when I heard it.

I shouldn’t have favourites ... and I don’t! But I will point you in the direction of “Coventry Carol Emmanuel” by Nicole Anderson & Scott Lawlor with my last mention. The combination of harp and Scott’s trademark gentle drones is exquisite ... it is the Angel on top of a beautifully dressed Christmas tree.

My huge thanks to Ali Kilpatrick, Christopher Alvarado, Lezet, Wilfried Hanrath, In Vitro, Ambi Case, George L Smyth, Jaime Munárriz, WHΛLTHISИEY, Coolambient, Fabio Keiner, The Next Commuter, Sergio Mariani, Nicole Anderson & Scott Lawlor, Mean Flow, Allen Pitts, Colin Blake, Brian M Talgo (for his track and for the cover image) Kevin Buckland, and Cousin Silas, who was there for me when I needed him ... and if that’s not what Christmas is all about then nothing is.

To keep the cheer going into the New Year ... all proceeds from this compilation will be donated to a local Scottish charity that works with the homeless. More details to follow.

However you celebrate this time of year ... may this album bring you some peace and hopefully some joy at this time.

Thank you.

- Thomas

Note: there are gaps between some of the tracks. I have deliberately left them in to enhance the peaceful nature of compilation.

Friday, December 15, 2023

Presenting ... Beyond Horizon (waag_rrl016) by Fabio Keiner

Fabio Keiner is a patient man. He first broached the idea of rereleasing “Beyond Horizon” a number of months ago and, with this and that, it is only now that I can proudly present to you his wonderfully gentle and intriguing opus.

“Beyond Horizon” features six disparate tracks that somehow make a cohesive whole ... these tracks are the kind of “space music” that got me into ambient music all those years ago. The kind of gentle, unhurried ambient music that feels vast and spacious ... music that paints vivid pictures in your mind of open spaces of the cyclopean kind that Lovecraft regularly spoke of.

I hope you enjoy this piece from Fabio as much as I do ... and, with any luck, we may hear more from him in the future.

Grazie mille Fabio!

- Thomas

Sunday, December 3, 2023

Presenting ... Advent (waag_aa003) by Allen Pitts

We've done this kind of thing before ... back in 2015, with the help of Stephen Briggs, we released music to help you celebrate the run up to Christmas Day ... and it was my intention to do the same in 2023 with the help of Allen Pitts.

We were going to release one track in each of the four Sundays in December to give you something to mediate on during the Advent time as you focussed on Christmas Day ... if that was your sort of thing.

That was until I heard the music Allen had sent me.

Advent (waag_aa003) by Allen Pitts contains four gentle ambient pieces that are intended to give the listener a sense of peace, to provide a moment of rest in what can be an otherwise busy time. When I heard them, I just knew they had to be released together, rather than weekly.

Regardless of how you celebrate this period, I hope these pieces will give you a sense of that peace.

Please take some time out of your day over the next four weeks to listen to the music Allen has prepared and consider how you can bring light, your light, to the dark corners of this world.

Any monies raised from this release will be donated to charity.

- Thomas