Works from Sombre Soniks, James the Lesser, Cousin Silas, William Spivey and Zreen Toyz, Red Planet Orchestra, Gruener Starr, Mon0, Tuonela, Deep in Dub, Load and Clear, DBS Netlabel, Cyberage Radio and Radio Free Clear Light.

The last six months have seen a staggeringly excellent stream of music pass my way. Following are some of those that I have really enjoyed. Some of this stuff is new and some not so new and comprises, once again, several genres and genre-defying sounds 🙂 Some is free, but where it is not, the cost is very reasonable.

Spice1000-SM1Кфяфсицп is a dark ambient compilation released by Sombre Soniks. 3hrs of truly original sounds designed to evoke all aspects of ‘dark’ music – ambient, ritual etc. I think this is the best dark ambient compilation release of 2012.





Spice1000-SM2Road of Verdant Praise by James the Lesser is a dreamy excursion into the realms of idyllic ambient music. Well structured and beautiful, this is tranquil music. Keep up with this artist on Facebook





Spice1000-SM3During the last few years I have occassionally come across references to Cousin Silas. Recently, I started to take more notice of this artist and have been amazed by the variety and quality of his work. If you enjoy ambient, beatless music, guitar and piano then you will not be disappointed. He has contributed to two Complex Silence releases (9 and 28) and has a dedicated outlet in the form of the We Are All Ghosts label started by Thomas Mathie which also releases work from other distinguished musicians. You can get an idea of how well respected he is by the recent collaboration Silas & Friends where he works with 6 other artists. Check his music out, it is great!



Spice1000-SM4Spice1000-SM5Sound4Good continue to release albums from artists who dedicate 100% of the money made to good causes. Some are completely free, and the rest start at $1/pay what you want. Recent releases that really bowled me over include Slant by William Spivey and Zreen Toyz and Aurora Symphony by Red Planet Orchestra. Slant is a magnificent piece of genre-defying work and is one of the best albums I bought in 2012. Aurora Symphony comprises truly beautiful ambient music that really does evoke what an aurora event might look like on Mars! Seriously, I cannot stress how good these are.



Spice1000-SM6Spice1000-SM7My enjoyment of ‘dark’ music extends to other genres. I am a very big fan of so-called ‘dark techno’ and closely follow the mixes produced by Gruener Starr. I really like the dark (and it is dark) minimal beats that this guy finds and mixes together. You can follow him on his Soundcloud page. A very good and truly dark techno mix that was recently released is that by Mon0. Check out the mix here.




Spice1000-SM8Are you a fan of thick, heavy drone that is highly charged with an awesome atmospheric quality? Get over to Soundcloud and listen to the work of Tuonela and in particular fill your head with Ascension of the Sorcerers. There are several tunes from the Sorcerers’ set: Arrival of, Ascension of, Feast of, Festival of and Return of… Also, don’t miss Magician’s Hat Parts 1-3. I follow much of the work of this artist. His output is varied and the quality is high.




Spice1000-SM12If you are a fan of the laid back dubby, echoey sounds that comprise dub-techno then you will enjoy dipping into the catalogues maintained by Deep in Dub and Load and Clear. Both promote very good dub-techno artists and Deep in Dub’s physical releases include the excellent compilation album Dub Sunset.




Spice1000-SM13Further dub-techno goodness can be found in the podcasts (all music and no chat) released through DBS Netlabel. The podcasts comprise mixes from the likes of Buster, Slownoise, Roberto Figus, IFIHADAHIFI, Substak, Dubstard and others. They are all free to download from DBS Netlabel’s Official FM page. This is the first that was released.




Spice1000-SM9Industrial sounds still make me sit up and listen. A regular radio station that showcases some interesting industrial music is produced by Cyberage Radio. If you want to fill your head with this stuff check out the following Facebook grouphere and here. I was listening to this last weekend and enjoyed it very much.



Spice1000-SM10Here’s something that Radio Free Clear Light have released – The Labyrinth of Ohgel is a 14 track album comprising several chambers that span a range of styles. There are dark-tinted gems such as the opening track Ohgel, The Chamber of Stone uses the teleporter sound from the original Star Trek series (and uses it intelligently) as part of an ambient voyage, Fountain of Youth begins with a slightly haunting atmosphere that slowly builds into an almost pure digital distilation of what such a fountain might sound like. Overall, a very good album. I’m pleased it came my way (thanks folks!) 🙂



Spice1000-SM11Finally, there is an exciting group that has just been created on Facebook called Intelligent Ambient Music. The idea is not to bring together so-called ‘intelligent’ music, but to bring together musicians whose work falls outside the presently defined genres but who use ambient as a component in their art. Intelligent Ambient Music is a concept and is not really intended to be a defining genre. Use the group to discuss your work and to suggest or promote work that you feel falls within the concept of IAM. Read about it here.

There’s a lot more, but I will save them for a later post 🙂