Kashiwa Daisuke - Program Music I

Born in Hiroshima, Kashiwa Daisuke (柏大輔) started off as the composer and guitarist of post-rock band yodaka in 2001. Being inspired by the band’s psychedelic sound due to a post-rock approach, and by Maurizio Bianchi, he started a solo project in 2004. As a solo artist his idea is to create not only acoustic, but also electronic filmy soundscapes and atmospheres, by melting together a variety of classic instruments, spoken word snippets and crisp beats. With a proper amount of ambient music, all of these form an exquisite sound experience. His first album - april.#02 - was released in 2006, followed by april.#07 - a remix album. Program Music I is his second album, released in 2007, which features only two tracks, whose runtime is still over an hour. It is a brilliant electronic album; particularly the first track, Stella, is out of this world. Highly recommended!

Artist: Kashiwa Daisuke
Album: Program Music I
Year: 2007
Genre: electronica, experimental, post-rock, ambient

Tracks:
1. Stella
2. Write Once, Run Melos

Official Website
Last.fm
MySpace

Buy from noble records.
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Jóhann Jóhannsson - Fordlândia

Jóhann Jóhannsson is an Icelandic multi-instrumentalist, composer and producer. He is one of the most compelling composers working today. His stately, slow-building and hauntingly melodic music frequently combines electronics with classical orchestrations. Fordlândia, his most recent album, combines a darkly romantic minimalism and baroque counterpoint with kraut-rock, post-rock, glitch electronics and melodies inspired by North European folk music. The album is thematically influenced by the failure of Henry Ford's Brazilian rubber plant Fordlândia. As stated in his official website:
One of the two main threads running through it is this idea of failed utopia, as represented by the "Fordlândia" title - the story of the rubber plantation Henry Ford established in the Amazon in the 1920’s, and his dreams of creating an idealized American town in the middle of the jungle complete with white picket fences, hamburgers and alcohol prohibition. The project – started because of the high price Ford had to pay for the rubber necessary for his cars’ tyres – failed, of course, as the indigenous workers soon rioted against the alien conditions. It reminded me of Werner Herzog's Fitzcarraldo, this doomed attempt at taming the heart of darkness. The remains of the town are still there today. The image of the Amazon forest slowly and surely reclaiming the ruins of Fordlândia is the one that gave spark to this album.
A classical masterpiece! Get it now!

Artist: Jóhann Jóhannsson
Album: Fordlândia
Year: 2008
Genre: neo-classical, minimalist

Tracks:
1. Fordlândia
2. melodia (i)
3. The Rocket Builder (Lo Pan!)
4. melodia (ii)
5. Fordlândia – Aerial View
6. melodia (iii)
7. Chimaerica
8. melodia (iv)
9. The Great God Pan Is Dead
10. Melodia (Guidelines for a Space Propulsion Device Based on Heim's Quantum Theory)
11. How We Left Fordlândia

Official Website
Last.fm
MySpace

Buy from 4AD.
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Jatun - Jatun

Jatun is an American band formed in 2004 in Portland. This is their highly acclaimed debut album, released in 2007. They play shoegaze with pop, electronica and post-rock elements. Very good!

Artist: Jatun
Album: Jatun
Year: 2007
Genre: shoegaze, electronica

Tracks:
1. Ghost and Grey
2. Ghost and Grey 2
3. Ion Crush (Remix)
4. Zombie Hotel
5. Bee Bee
6. Voila and the Case
7. Weakness
8. Young Crooks
9. Fashion Whore
10. George
11. A Reason for Enigmas
12. Move It or Lose It
13. The Temptation of Joy

Official Website
Last.fm
MySpace

Buy from here.
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Jacaszek - Treny

Jacaszek aka Michał Jacaszek, born in 1972 in Poland, is a composer and producer of electroacoustic music, combinig electronically prepared sounds with acoustic instruments. Treny is an ambient masterpiece, his most mature record, released in 2008. Beautiful music that combines neo-classical music with ambient and electronica. Recommended!

Artist: Jacaszek
Album: Treny
Year: 2008
Genre: neo-classical, ambient, instrumental

Tracks:
1. Rytm to nieśmiertelność
2. Lament
3. Orszula
4. Żal
5. Powoli
6. Taniec
7. O ma żałości!
8. Tren IV
9. Walc
10. Martwa cisza
11. Rytm to nieśmiertelność II

Official Website
Last.fm
MySpace

Buy from Boomkat
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The Unwinding Hours - The Unwinding Hours

The Unwinding Hours is the new band formed by Iain Cook and Craig B., former members of Glasgow alternative/post-rock band Aereogramme. This is their debut, released earlier this year, an intensely rewarding experience with the literate flair of the song-writing effortlessly matched by Craig and Iain's musical ambition and creative scope. Recommended!

Artist: The Unwinding Hours
Album: The Unwinding Hours
Year: 2010
Genre: post-rock, indie

Tracks:
1. Knut
2. Tightrope
3. Little One
4. There Are Worse Things Than Being Alone
5. Solstice
6. Peaceful Liquid Shell
7. Child
8. Traces
9. Annie Jane
10. The Final Hour

Official Website
Last.fm
MySpace

Please support this band. Buy from here.
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Anoice - Remmings

Anoice is a Tokyo based six-piece group that have been working together since 2004. One of their members is Takahiro Kido (I posted one of his albums here). They play dreamy post-rock music with neo-classical/ambient influences. This is their highly acclaimed 2006 debut. Excellent!

Artist: Anoice
Album: Remmings
Year: 2006
Genre: post-rock, instrumental, ambient, neo-classical

Tracks:
1. [Untitled]
2. Asprin Music
3. [Untitled]
4. Kyoto
5. [Untitled]
6. Liange
7. [Untitled]
8. The Three-Days Blow
9. [Untitled]

Official Website (buy from here)
Last.fm
MySpace

Check the comments to listen before you buy.

The Ascent of Everest - How Lonely Sits the City

The Ascent of Everest formed in the spring of 2005 in the shadows of Music City USA (Nashville, Tennessee). Since then the band has worked tirelessly touring and playing regional shows in support of their 2006 debut release "How Lonely Sits the City". An excellent post-rock album, clearly influenced by legendary bands like GYBE and Mogwai. Really good!

Artist: The Ascent of Everest
Album: How Lonely Sits the City
Year: 2006
Genre: post-rock, instrumental

Tracks:
1. Alas, Alas! The Breath of Life
2. As the City Burned We Trembled for We Saw the Makings of It's Undoing in Our Own Hearts.
3. Molotov
4. A Threnody (For the Victims of November Second)
5. If I Could Move Mountains
     i. Majesty and Awe
     ii. Collapse Into Understanding
     iii. Gathered Hearts Rise and Sing at the First Breath of Dawn

Last.fm
MySpace

The original self-released album is sold-out. Re-released by SHELSMUSIC label in 2008. Buy it from here.
Check the comments to listen first.

The Abbasi Brothers - Something Like Nostalgia


The Abbasi Brothers is an experimental duo based in Manhattan, New York City, that consists of Yousuf and Amman Abbasi. This is their highly acclaimed debut album, released in 2008. In 2009, they scored two feature documantary films: The Wall and Warrior Champions. They blend brilliantly electronica with shoegaze. Really beautiful music! Highly recommended!

Artist: The Abbasi Brothers
Album: Something Like Nostalgia
Year: 2008
Genre: electronica, shoegaze, instrumental, ambient

Tracks:
1. Stacy's Day Parade
2. Kompa
3. Something like Nostalgia
4. Camera Flashes Blue
5. The Way of the Wanderer
6. Dreams of a Graffiti Artist
7. The Social Evening (in 1992)
8. Mr. Boe
9. A Long Weekend
10. In a Field
11. Playtime in Spacetime
12. Approaching the End
13. Fragments of Memories as a Child
14. Reprise
15. Clouds are Sleeping

Official Website
Last.fm
MySpace

Buy from here.
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Sven Weisemann - Xine

Sven Weisemann is a German artist who has been DJ’ing since 1997 and producing since 2001. Xine is his full-length debut. Playing with classical instruments such as piano, layers of violins mixed with mellow sounds, spaced reverbs. Sounds like a soundtrack of a movie with its fragile athmosphere. Beautiful! Highly recommended!

Artist: Sven Weisemann
Album: Xine
Year: 2009
Genre: neo-classical, ambient, electronica

Tracks:
1. Xine
2. Xine II
3. Xine III Aeron
4. Xine IV Lyra
5. Xine V Tearily
6. Xine VI Habor Lights
7. Xine VII Abroad
8. Xine VIII Life Cycle
9. Xine IX Suri
10. Xine X Awake
11. Xine XI The Swan Of Desire
12. Xine XII Ajna
13. Xine XIII Ray
14. Xine XIV Streams Of Living Water
15. Xine XV Suna¹s Flow
16. Xine XVI Avedon
17. Xine XVII Blandish
18. Xine XVIII Love In Vein
19. Xine XIX Swell
20. Xine XX Tyree's Meaningful Look

Last.fm
MySpace
YouTube channel

Buy from here.
Check the comments to listen first (update: link removed by request).

Slow Six - Tomorrow Becomes You

Slow Six is an instrumental band from Brooklyn, New York. Broad genre descriptors do little to describe their striking compositions. Post-rock, experimental neo-classical, minimalism and ambient are among their influences. This is their third full-length album, released earlier this year. Outstanding!

Artist: Slow Six
Album: Tomorrow Becomes You
Year: 2010
Genre: neo-classical, instrumental, post-rock, experimental

Tracks:
1. The Night You Left New York
2. Cloud Cover Part 1
3. Cloud Cover Part 2
4. Because Together We Resonate
5. Sympathetic Response System Part 1
6. Sympathetic Response System Part 2
7. These Rivers Between Us

Official Website
Last.fm
MySpace

Buy from Western Vinyl.
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We Fell to Earth - We Fell to Earth

We Fell to Earth are an electronic rock band from London, UK, consisting of Richard File, former member of UNKLE, and Wendy Rae Fowler, known for her collaboration with Queens of the Stone Age and Mark Lanegan. The duo’s debut album contains grains of that desert night ambience. It bleeds an otherworldly quality tinged with psychedelia, melancholy and songs that float into the stratosphere. Excellent electronic music, clearly influenced by psychedelia and kraut-rock. Recommended!

Artist: We Fell to Earth
Album: We Fell to Earth
Year: 2009
Genre: psychedelic, kraut-rock, trip-hop

Tracks:
1. Spin This Town
2. Lights Out
3. Sovereign
4. The Double
5. Burn Away
6. Careful What You Wish For
7. Sun Shadow
8. Lost in Flames
9. Undone

Official Website
Last.fm
MySpace

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Wooden Shjips - Dos

Wooden Shjips is a refreshingly inspired quartet from San Francisco playing loud rock ‘n’ roll in a style heavily influenced by the experimentalism of psychedelia, classical minimalism and garage rock excess. Started as an experiment in rhythmic primitivism and group improvisation, the current lineup brings a more structured rock approach to its performances, utilizing a traditional lineup of drums, bass, organ, guitar and vocals. Dos is their second full-length album, released in 2009. Absolutely brilliant psychedelic music with hints of kraut-rock. Awesome!

Artist: Wooden Shjips
Album: Dos
Year: 2009
Genre: psychedelic, kraut-rock, experimental

Tracks:
1. Motorbike
2. For So Long
3. Down by the Sea
4. Aquarian Time
5. Fallin'

Official Website
Last.fm
MySpace

Buy from here.
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Afformance - A Glimpse to the Days That Pass

Afformance is a four-piece band formed in 2005 in Greece. This is their first full-length album, released earlier this year. Beautiful instrumental soundscapes inspired by post rock, alternative, ambient and postcore scenes. Recommended to post-rock fans!

Artist: Afformance
Album: A Glimpse to the Days That Pass
Year: 2010
Genre: post-rock, instrumental

Tracks:
1. Will Teasle Hopes
2. Countryside Somnambulance
3. A Tide Before The Flickering Sun
4. Taming Waves/Riding Tigers
5. Zgy-Kix
6. Lugano
7. Do
8. Self-Killing Intruders

Blog
Last.fm
MySpace

Please support this band. Buy from their MySpace. Limited 500 unique handmade copies!
Check the comments to listen first.

Talvekoidik - Silent Reflections

Talvekoidik is the electronica side-project of German musician, Kai, founding member of S.K.E.T. (Hands Productions). This is his first release as Talvekoidik, an album of brilliant and original electronica that finds its influences in Gridlock and Beefcake as well as in Scandinavian, Baltic, Arabic and African musical traditions. Conceived in terms of rhythmic structures supporting catchy melodies, "Silent Reflections" is a work full of oppositions and contrasts enriched by a Celtic feeling, a somewhat epic touch. Very good!

Artist: Talvekoidik
Album: Silent Reflections
Year: 2007
Genre: electronica, idm, downtempo, industrial

Tracks:
1. Such a Perfect Day
2. Concealed Longings
3. Rough Baltic Shore
4. Eismeer
5. The Moebius Strip
6. Sandstorm
7. Goodbye of the Certainty
8. Silent Reflections
9. Power of Eclecticism
10. The Cliff
11. Eismeer (Lomonossow Ridge Mix By Heimstatt Yipotash)
12. Atlas (Shrugged Mix By Fragment King)
13. Eismeer (Synthetic Coldness Mix By 16Pad Noiseterrorist)

Last.fm
MySpace

Buy from Brume records.
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Team B - The Lost Son

Team B is the new musical endeavor of Kelly Pratt (Beirut, Arcade Fire). Their music is a combination of indie and eastern european folk, similar to Beirut's music. All of the lyrics on this short album (their second EP) are by the late Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Theodore Roethke. The album is available for free download. Very good!

Artist: Team B
Album: The Lost Son
Year: 2010
Genre: indie, folk

Tracks:
1. Intro - The Lost Son
2. The Visitant
3. The Reckoning
4. My Papa’s Waltz
5. Genesis/Reply To Censure
6. Toil
7. The Lost Son
8. Gob Music
9. Praise To The End!

Official Website (if you like it, donate here)
Last.fm
MySpace

They plan to release it on vinyl later this year, so get it while you can!
Download

Seven Saturdays - Seven Saturdays

Seven Saturdays started in 2009 by multi-instrumentalist Jonathan D. Haskell. His music brends ambient with minimalist electronica and the result is stunning! This is his debut EP, released earlier this year. Really good!

Artist: Seven Saturdays
Album: Seven Saturdays
Year: 2010
Genre: ambient, electronica, instrumental

Tracks:
1. The Shallow End
2. Secret Things
3. Good Morning, I Love You
4. Love In The Time of Anticipated Defeat
5. A Beautiful Day

Official Website
Last.fm
MySpace

Please support this artist. Buy from here or here.
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Sunwrae - Autumn Never Fall

The exquisite Sunwrae Ensemble was founded during 2001 in Melbourne, Australia. Showcasing some of Australia's finest versatile musicians, the unique and flexible line-up includes piano, vibraphone, string quartet, harp, clarinets, alto flute, lap-steel guitar, double bass, drum-set and percussion. Dynamic, engaging and visually stimulating, Sunwrae stylishly captivate audiences, performing instrumental music by Artistic Director Rae Howell, textured with persuasive rhythms and spectacular improvisation! Performing a lush blend of melodic phrases and interweaving rhythms, Howell's compositions are a rare treat, crossing the boundaries of classical and jazz music, with the passages of improvisation giving their performances an immediacy and vibrancy rarely experienced in a classical recital. This is their latest album, released in 2009. Awesome!

Artist: Sunwrae
Album: Autumn Never Fall
Year: 2009
Genre: neo-classical, instrumental, jazz

Tracks:
1. Autumn Never Fall
2. Chinook Winds
3. Poly
4. The Machine
5. Soluble Sun II
6. Disappointing
7. Drawn Down

Official Website (buy from here)
Rae Howell's blog
Last.fm
MySpace
YouTube channel

Check the comments to listen before you buy.

Abril Despedaçado - Behind the Sun (2001)

Abril Despedaçado is a film directed by the brilliant Brazilian Walter Salles, most famous for his excellent road movie "The Motorcycles Diaries". The film is inspired by the novel Broken Sun by the Albanian writer Ismail Kadare, about the honour culture in the North of Albania.

Behind the Sun tells a story about two families locked in a blood feud over sugar cane land in the 1910s somewhere in the north-east of Brazil. While showing the true face of poverty, Salles doesn't nourish the expectation with such corny stereotypes. Full of poetic imagery, dazzling photography and heartfelt performances, this is a wonderful portrayal of human pride and stubbornness along with love and duty. It shows the struggle between doing the right thing and doing the honourable thing.

This is a stunning piece of cinematography. A must see!

More info:
Official Website
IMDb
Wikipedia
Rotten Tomatoes

Trailer:
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