Hello, couple of very different things for your consideration this week, but there's such a sharp contrast between them that it stands to reason that both should receive fair representation at the same time. Suffice to say one of them makes everything currently termed epic or lush seem drab and shallow in comparison, the other makes everything dark, heavy and brooding seem like the tinkerings of a naive, angst ridden teen. Either way until I tire of listening to them whole swathes of music have been irreparably tainted by their looming brilliance.
Not sure quite how to begin describing this, nor do I think it can really be done justice in writing, nevertheless this needs saying. If you like me you've become a little jaded in by the constantly expanding and diversifying world of electronic music in recent times, or even if you just have a love of vast, magnificent, glorious music, listen to Johann Johannsson and be fulfilled. There's no point really analogising it or trying to draw contemporary comparisons it's just beautiful in every sense. There are elements of Post Rock and Ambient Electronica at play here, but for the most part it can only be described as cinematic Modern Classical; unutterably beautiful and massively expansive in it's composition. Indeed anyone familiar with his discography will be aware that his work has predominantly accompanied experimental films or theatrical pieces and perhaps it is for this reason that they have such an enchanting sense of narrative flow. His most recent offering and in the endless pause there came the sound of bees is the award winning soundtrack to a BAFTA nominated short film called Varmints and IBM 1401: A Users Manual is the musical accompaniment to a stage production of the same name, based around some instructional maintenance tapes for his fathers early prototype IBM computer. I really can't give this a higher recommendation, go get it and be happy. Otherwise give it to your nan, she'd probably appreciate it.
This said, if you'd much rather listen to some claustrophobic, distorted dirge filth complete with clashing metallic stabs and bowel shredding bass you should probably go check out Cloaks. If you suffer from a weak disposition or you've been feeling a little under the weather give it a miss, I have no doubt that it'll make you ill from both ends at the same time. Despite it's sizable fan base the tearout dubstep sub genre is a glutted market; new artists keep popping up every five minutes, each with a marginally different approach to splintering their gutter splattered basslines and serrating their ear bleeding synths. However Cloaks appear to have singlehandedly knocked a whole scene into a cocked hat without even breaking sweat. With nods to original benchmarkers Vex'd and Distance, they've created a terrifying sound that lurches into a very murky grey area between Dubstep, Techno, Black Metal and Experimental Noise, remorseless in it's execution and utterly unrestrained by the norms of the scene. If this sounds even remotely like your idea of a good time track down Against Grain and Hi-Tek EP, they will satisfy your darkest audiological cravings and irreparably damage your relationship with the neighbours. Well good.