The sunday experience
Starts off quietly, so quietly in fact you might want to notch up the volume to a cautiously safe level in anticipation of a savaging skree surge that threatens, though disappointingly, never quite materialises. These dudes, a quartet, go by the aptly named Cloudwatchers who the label, incidentally those folk with a thing for experimental noise, drone and dark ambience Unexplained Sounds, describe as thus, ‘…. an experimental electronic music group, focused on musical improvisation’. Three lengthy (monolithic) suites feature on this, we’re assuming, debuting self titled oddball. Oddball we use deliberately as a cover all description, because seriously this ‘un does, over the course of its 40 minute plus duration, trip with a mutant mindset that draws, drops and assimilates a wide spectrum of generic cross weaves and contradicting sound spaces (eastern arabesques, ritual chants and archaic primordial fugues) which at given points might easy pass for some trippy hippy Elektra funded acid flashback from the late 60’s as the woozily wasted ‘piece 2’ might suggest in the main or else joining some previously unseen dots between the drone mosaics of a classic Kranky / Constellation 90’s era back catalogue with the desert dry spirituals of a mid 80’s Ry Cooder (‘Piece 1’). Whatever the case, one thing not up for discussion or dispute, is this collections curiously amorphous mesmeric and bonged out hit on the senses. Cleverly sly, the underpinning Floyd influence isn’t lost on us (neither the Soft Machine like lilting now that I come to think of it), the waking call from dream tinkerishly dropped at the 10.50 point of ‘piece 2’ is touched with a progressive psych woozy that wouldn’t look out of place on early outings by Porcupine Tree or the Ozric Tentacles. However, if it’s that full on immersive dream drifted hit you’re after, might we suggest a darkened room, headphones and a spare twenty minutes for you to tune out of reality, for ‘piece 3’ is the full morphing mind arranging ticket. A hulking Sendelica-n inner space trip, that’ll be the Sendelica folk in their most out there ambient finery channeling the very fabric of the celestial to rustle up a deeply potent shrooming cosmic deep sleeper in wasted woozies of Tangerine Dream-y colourings and curvatures, an absolutely wig flipped stoner that’s sure to appeal to both Cardinal Fuzz and Boring Machines subscribers and everything / one in between.
Merchants of air
The Unexplained Sounds Group comes up with another unusual and murky gem. Seriously, I have no idea where Raffaele Pezella keeps finding these artists. Not that I mind. After all, thanks to him, my hard disk is slowly filling up with digital drones and strange soundscapes.
Many of his releases accompany me during the writing process of my new book and in that, this three track album by Cloudwatchers is not an exception. With a gloomy atmosphere and an experimental yet immersive sound, Cloudwatchers have create a slowly meandering album.
CloudWatchers is an experimental electronic music group, focused on musical improvisation and formed by Andrés Alonso, Iván Cebrián, Coco Moya and Jaime Munárriz. The list of instruments might be even more interesting: electric guitar, amplifier, bass, digital & analog synths, sampler, laptop, audio & midi processors and vocals, plus an array of effect pedals. The gear-fetishist in me is already drooling. Yet, of course, the most important thing about all this equipment, is what they do with it, and believe me, what they do is pretty damn neat.
Three tracks: ten, eleven and over twenty minutes long, all improvised along minimal percussion, neverending drones and soundscapes while the guitar calmly narrates through dreamy solos. 'Piece 1' feels like a long and hot journey through a desert. 'Piece 2' adds an industrial feel through slow electronic beats and harsh samples. Yet, there are also the chanting vocals, adding something shamanic to the whole thing.
A heap of possible influences have come up while I was listening to this album. From a modest version of free jazz to Godspeed meets Ashtoreth meets Autechre meets Troum meets Zoviet France. I don't know, I'm just pleasantly surprised by this album, which brilliantly closes with the lengthy 'Piece 3', a perfect example of the sheer beauty caused by talented musicians doing what they love. If you're into experimental ambient and mild, jazzy drone works, this surely is your cup of tea.