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Off Land thread

Make some music, have some musical tips or questions ? Well, why not bung them in here !
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Re: Off Land thread

PostMon Sep 16, 2013 1:15 pm

Official release day today. !!! Reviews are coming soon. I'll post them here as they come in.
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Re: Off Land thread

PostWed Sep 25, 2013 2:23 am

Reviews:

Make Your Own Taste: http://makeyourowntaste.wordpress.com/2 ... ironments/
Off Land is the ambient music project of Tim Dwyer, who has released a string of excellent albums via netlabels and Bandcamp. I’ll talk about some of them below, as well as this really, really fine new release, Tidewater Pulse.

Dwyer’s work is in a rarified stratum. If this were 1988, he’d be in that class of ambient musicians who actually make money from their music (well, a significant amount of it, if you see what I mean), ie the Roaches and Riches of the ambient world. Instead, I daresay he’s similar to other prolific and supremely talented current ambient musicians I’ve covered here such as Altus, Phillip Wilkerson, Darren Harper, Igneous Flame, Matt Borghi and the late Lucette Bourdin, in that in a different time the high quality of their work would have earned them the acclaim and relative riches they deserve.

Still, we all keep making the tunes regardless and I’m glad that people like Dywer continue to produce such excellent music. In fact, Off Land recordings get quite a bit of play here, since I listen to ambient all day as I toil away at my day job (editing books for a livin’).

Off Land’s music is quite masterful in a way that’s probably much easier for aficionados to understand. Dwyer has a gift for putting together a few sounds in a way that is minimal but surprisingly full-sounding, as opposed to those of us who get overenthused when we record and end up throwing everything but the kitchen sink at each piece. He’s honed this subtle craft over numerous netlabel releases, and with Tidewater Pulse I believe he’s created his finest release, which is available on Psychonavigation records and is worth a lot more than the paltry sum they’re asking you to fork over for it.

Tidewater Pulse is a very beautiful and tranquil album that starts with “Before”, which features some lovely volume swells and delayed piano, like a more overtly pretty Stars of the Lid. “Precipitation” is an ominous piano drone containing a spooky, repetitive vocal sample. I normally don’t like vocals in ambient music, no matter how processed and distant (something to do with my rampant misanthropy, no doubt), but this one works for me somehow.

“Drift Ice” is aptly named, a shifting, undulating soundscape, again based on piano sounds but also some rustling that I assume is some kind of field recording. “Wait” is a beautiful guitar-based piece that features an insistent rhythm set by tinkling piano, with some lovely pads. “Permafrost” again has an underlying tension and a very subtle use of electronic percussion (something Dwyer has also done well in his career — using beats without getting too IDM-y). “Petrichor” has a thumpier, upfront beat that sounds like a tribal drum echoing in the middle of a forest.

And finally, “Storm Passes” ushers out the proceedings in a mysterious piece of sound art with sounds that resemble struck wooden and metal percussion. I can hear the gamelan influence on Dwyer’s music in this piece.

Tidewater Pulse is a great seamless, consistent listening experience that has plainly been designed to be enjoyed in one sitting. It’s very enriching, peaceful yet involving music, which means it’s up there with the best of modern ambient. So if you like this kind of music, haste you to the link below to obtain it.

Ambient Exotica: http://www.ambientexotica.com/ambrev265 ... waterpulse
Tidewater Pulse is an aquatic ten-track album by the Boston-based artist Tim Dwyer aka Off Land which has been successfully backed via a Kickstarter campaign in January 2013. Released on Keith Downey’s Dublin, Ireland-based Psychonavigation Records in September and available to order and listen to in full at Bandcamp, the album features soft synth pads, field recordings and a surprising amount of real world instruments, but neglects the listener-related expectancy in two major ways, both of them resulting in a coup de main of an otherwise tame Ambient album. Firstly, Tim Dwyer’s background and previous releases suggest that Tidewater Pulse is a clear cut New Age album, with purified blotchy waters, ethereal surfaces and profound textures which altogether paint a better world that will never materialize in today’s times. This is only partially true. The album stays away from chintzy stereotypes, adds icy cascades and warm benignities that are usually not linked to the very genre that spawned in the late 70’s. Secondly, Off Land’s field recordings are rarely based on liquids, water and ocean waves, and once they are, a camouflaging process drapes the origin in a moiré-like veil, making Tidewater Pulse, its aspect of traveling as well as the depiction of different aggregate phases an oddly but staggeringly abstract one. This album could be about air, mountains or wraithlike realms. Only the liner notes and track titles tell a different story, but these give hints aplenty. The competition of water albums is ever-growing: Dreamfish’s eponymous work (1993) and its successor (1995), System 7’s Point 3: Water Album (1994), Thom Brennan’s Vibrant Water (2001) and Christian Doil’s Wasser (2010) are but five examples of a cavalcade of different approaches. How does Off Land’s Tidewater Pulse relate? And is the concept of water-related memories such as flights over the ocean or white water rafts perceptible or astute without glaringly obvious water sounds?

The opener Before sits near the apex or meeting point of different style lines that are utterly compatible with each other, but still different enough to not form an archetypical synergy, especially not in this Drone-heavy decade. This prelude to every intrinsic element of the album is based on a short-lived organic field recording of branches and birds which oscillates rhythmically, rotatorily and repetitively through the organ-fueled benignancy and New Age-oid tendency of self-imposed isolation for contemplation purposes. It is no real New Age artifact, for it lacks the ethereal freshness, but the tone sequences protrude thermal warmth and erudite euphony and are therefore close enough. With field recordings and a bow before the 70’s, Before depicts a calm sea. The water cycle starts gently. The follow-up Precipitation is much less earthen than cherubic. It may seamlessly connect to Before by sporting the same amicability and droning aorta, but soon enough introduces aqueous piano prongs whose reverberated afterglow coalesces with hollow chants in the distance. Without a beat structure or the implication of a revved up tempo, the structure feels livelier and aquiver with pleasant anticipation, thus poignantly referring to the track title. In addition, Precipitation feels more translucent and illumined, almost whitewashed.

Up next is the long-form piece Drift Ice, and even though its title implies the stillstand of the water cycle, nothing could be farther from the truth. I do not even need to frantically search for good reasons to back my cognition: the opaque yet cautiously diffused 4/4 beat structure towers above the ice like a cascading monolith and moves ever-forward. The falsetto/staccato of the adjacent ice crystals augments the feeling of moving patterns further, but even when the straight beat eventually vanishes and the crystalline ice structure legatofies into a thick glaze of hibernal ice, the omnipresence of vaulted crackles and breaking frizzles imposes the impression of time wafting through the interstitial clefts. During the last third, the ecclesiastic timbre makes a return, ostracizing the glacial mood and returning to Mediterranean climes. While the next composition Never Been is glaringly dualistic and meshes the sylvan brass tendrils of Gas’ Königsforst (1999) in the shape of a two-note horn melody with spheroidal-vitreous dulcimer crystals, chirping birds and ocean waves, which according to Tim Dwyer hail from South Carolina, Wait is either a huge letdown or the much-needed counterpart to the welcome forsakenness, as it moves to shores – or rather: waiting halls at airports or train stations – crowded with humans and their bustling chitchat; that Wait later mutes the scenery and begins to sport liquedous and spheroidal droplets as well as synth serpentines makes for an odd balance or a complete lack thereof.

Pictures follows and is the only clear cut New Age track on the album, inheriting and emanating every welcome formulaic main ingredient of the genre: pristine and purified synth washes of the glistening kind, that wraithlike-elysian interim state which enchants as much with its ecclesiastic solemnity as it makes the listener aware of his or her earthbound state, short bursts of field recordings and cosmic vesicles as well as jingle-worthy prongs. Pictures offers supreme contemplation. In what could almost be an opaque sub-theme for the album, it is yet another winter-related track which decidedly breaks its potentially sorrowfully frozen lapse by featuring an encore of the 4/4 beats. Silkened shakers, a polyphonic loftiness and slightly incongruent synth movements create a mélange of floating water rather than bays filled with thick ice. This impression does not appear out of the blue but is interpolated via Off Land’s music itself where icy and mild fluxions float in unison. My favorite composition, however, is Petrichlor, a fascinating piece of soothingness, supercharged with pentatonic protrusions, abyssal bass prongs and an iridescent drone-based effulgence. Uniting all native elements as well as different styles, Petrichlor marries Glitch freckles with aeriform Drone rivers, field recording goodness and – you’ve guessed it – New-Age flecks. The calm of the cavity, the echoey reverberation, the strong but not overly harmonious overtones create a wondrously reduced vivacity which the finale Storm Passes cannot possibly reach, but may at least partially capture thanks to its simultaneity of blurry fog banks and flute-like incisions of clarity. Neglecting the track title completely, the last tune fathoms out the retrogressive charm of fir-green synth choirs, moments of quasi-silence and enigmatic tone sequences. In my opinion, the storm does not pass. It passes on passing.

Considering that it is a water-glorifying concept album, Tidewater Pulse is based on a surprisingly – and fruitfully – different approach. Tim Dwyer’s endeavor is not to encapsulate the listener in shelter-giving machines à la submarines that float underwater. Neither does he take the subject to beach panoramas charged with gently floating waves, nor completely frozen seas of gelid gales. The album transmutes all of these scenarios, and while there are many interspersed field recordings, the only transparent markers are bird-related or sport human voices; everything else is camouflaged. Whatever the original field recording may have been, it meshes so overly well with the synth-fueled soils, airflows and flumes that there is no room for famous and overused clichés such as waves, drops, dripstone caves, fountains, faucets et cetera. With this welcome abstraction comes the loss of transparency: there are moments in which the element is completely hidden and indecipherable to the listener, lest he or she reads the liner notes. What is common in Celer’s albums whose music is always beautiful but places the driving factor in the explanatory notes outside the music-related peripheries, is also applicable here on Off Land’s Tidewater Pulse. It takes guts to not only mask the moisture but to also hide the large arsenal of real-world instruments. Tim Dwyer has sent me an email in which he explicates his endeavor on the basis of the track Never Been as an example. Sure, the horns are a prominent part, but the kalimba and ocean waves are only noticeable by the connoisseur. Again, this is no weakness, let alone the result of a wrong approach, but simply a skillful transfiguration. I much prefer the colder infusions such as Drift Ice, Permafrost and Petrichlor, but even the warmer pieces enchant with their positively solemn attributes. New Age fans, synth lovers and Drone aficionados alike shall investigate, just don’t expect the gallons of liquids that are spilled in other water albums.
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Re: Off Land thread

PostWed Sep 25, 2013 12:23 pm

Glad this is getting the attention it deserves!
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Re: Off Land thread

PostThu Oct 10, 2013 2:00 am

Review:

Music Won't Save You http://musicwontsaveyou.com/2013/10/09/ ... ter-pulse/ Translated from Italian to English via machine:

The idea underlying Off the Land from afar, just like a tide that rises and falls before hitting the shore. Tim Dwyer has worked for about a decade in a long series of digital outputs, but only now sees the light in physical form to coincide with "Tidewater Pulse", dipping about an hour in the waves environmental requirements to which surrender for drifting gently on the water or land you in the dark recesses of depth.

The nine tracks that make up the album are strongly influenced by marine equivalents suggestions and, more generally, of the mutability of natural elements and weather, summarized in soft echoes of notes expanded and lulling, or captured in the static solidification of ice. Inscribed in the quiet of the tide that moves slowly ("Before") and the saturated after the storm ("Storm Passes") is a path of gradual transformation Atmospheric ranging from minute drops melodic "Precipitation" blunting the gradient of dark-ambient "Petrichor", passing through hypnosis suspended the two tracks central "Never Been" and "Wait" and for the crystallization of snapshots icy "Drift Ice" and "Permafrost".

Faithful to the images loaded, "Tidewater Pulse" returns a refined and evocative fresco of environmental purity , which draws without shaking soundscapes impalpable but strongly tied to a naturalistic context of the sublime, peaceful beauty.
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Re: Off Land thread

PostSat Nov 02, 2013 2:40 pm

New release coming your way next month! :)

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Off Land - Overtide Recon
December 15th 2013 - Nine track remix album featuring work from Eventide Passage & Overlook.

1. Intersection (Segue Remix)
2. Thickly Settled (Ohrwert Alter)
3. Turns (Sanderson Dear Version)
4. Road Closed (Recon)
5. View Point (Counterspark Remix)
6. Thickly Settled (Adriano Mirabile Computadores Remix)
7. State Line (Indospheric Transform By Indo)
8. Road Closed (Ross Baker Remix)
9. Thickly Settled (All Along The Pavement) (Minimal States remix)*

*Denotes bonus track available when purchased directly from the label.

Release Page: http://stasisrecordings.com/Site/SR033.html

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Re: Off Land thread

PostMon Nov 04, 2013 3:07 am

New music video.

Off Land - Precipitation (radio edit)
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Re: Off Land thread

PostSun Dec 15, 2013 6:10 pm

Out now, my first remix album! Features tracks of mine, remixed by other artists. Our very own Ross Baker has a remix on it. cubus submitted a remix that didn't get used but hoping to put it out one day in the future. It is a 12 minute epic. Anyway, have a listen:

Image
Off Land - Overtide Recon

Overtide Recon concludes a sonic story arc beginning back with "Eventide Passage" album released on Enpeg:Digital and carrying over to the mini-album "Overlook" released last year. Tracks from both projects were put in the hands of a select group of talented artists to rework in their own unique ways for this compilation.

1. Intersection (Segue Remix)
2. Thickly Settled (Ohrwert Alter)
3. Turns (Sanderson Dear Version)
4. Road Closed (Recon)
5. View Point (Counterspark Remix)
6. Thickly Settled (Adriano Mirabile Computadores Remix)
7. State Line (Indospheric Transform By Indo)
8. Road Closed (Ross Baker Remix)
9. Thickly Settled (All Along The Pavement) (Minimal States remix)
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Re: Off Land thread

PostMon Dec 16, 2013 3:24 pm

I know it didn't make it to the album, but is there a 'mastered' version of the cubus remix out there ?

EDIT: Helps if I learn to bloody read. Apologies ! :D
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Re: Off Land thread

PostTue Dec 17, 2013 4:12 am

Mastered version is in the works Pete. I'll send it to you when it comes in :)
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Re: Off Land thread

PostTue Dec 17, 2013 11:16 am

You're a beautiful superstar - thanks man :)
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Re: Off Land thread

PostThu Dec 26, 2013 4:14 am

Edit: now a full-length album... updated details below:

Coming January 6th 2014 to my Bandcamp page. Listen to two tracks in full right now:

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Off Land - Voyage/Home

http://offland.bandcamp.com/album/voyage-home

Voyage/Home is a 60 minute album centered around its two title tracks. Part 1 of Voyage & Home were recorded during the sessions that produced the album Tidewater Pulse. Part 2 of Voyage & Home were recorded a year later in reflection to the originals. The short tracks Estuary and Seiche act as a prelude to each title track. They were also part of the session that produced Tidewater Pulse. The final track, Current is a sprawling 22 minute ambient excursion. As a bonus for purchasing the entire album, you'll get 14 minute, seamless, mixed versions of Voyage & Home.

01. Estuary [03:57]
02. Voyage I [07:35]
03. Voyage II [07:02]
04. Seiche [03:04]
05. Home I [06:55]
06. Home II [08:10]
07. Current [22:48]

--. Voyage [14.18] (bonus)
--. Home [14:21] (bonus)
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Re: Off Land thread

PostFri Mar 14, 2014 2:37 am

This one comes highly recommended, especially for those who enjoyed Tidewater Pulse. Follows that album's warm, epic, engulfing ambient sound perfectly, beautiful stuff. At this point I think it's fair to say that Off Land has moved on from making a consistent series of enjoyable records to becoming one of the top artists in the underground ambient scene.
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Re: Off Land thread

PostFri Mar 14, 2014 3:38 am

Thanks Ross! Glad you're liking my newer material :)
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Re: Off Land thread

PostFri Mar 14, 2014 11:19 am

I like all of it! But yeah, the recent stuff has been particularly special. :)
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Re: Off Land thread

PostSat Mar 15, 2014 3:32 am

I first read special as spacial. You probably mean both ;)
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