Friday, May 24, 2019

Caroline McKenzie - (the first snow from soon) & Doctor Birch and his Young Friends - Ophelia Mindre

If anyone remembers my post on Caroline McKenzie's The Drowning Of Ophelia, they will be reminded that it was a great album of bleak but heart-breaking dark ambient. Since then Caroline has continued making great ambient/drone/ethereal soundscapes which I have mostly enjoyed, but kind of forgot to write about. The same thing happened with this one; I've had a tab on my web browser literally for 3 months saying "ok now I need to write about this" but I kept forgetting to do so, but it''s the time for it. This is a 3-track offering of droning ambient ideal for calming and reflecting. It's exquisitely monotonous and repetitive in the way I love it to just sit down and read for my PhD. Actually Caroline says that she created these tracks in order to calm down her insomnia, so it really fits any similar kind of activity. As always, it's a free-to-download recording, but I highly recommend that you support her.

Going back to her breakout release The Drowning Of Ophelia, the Welsh experimental electronic artists Doctor Birch and his Young Friends has created a remix album of Caroline's masterpiece, taking sounds from there and creating short - 3-minute tracks - revolving around specific sounds. It's also a great piece of work that accentuates the lonely and depressive feeling of it - track 3 "Falls Down Blistered" is sublime in particular; again a free download, but there's the choice to spend a little money on this one, since all money gathered from paid downloads will be given to a transgender people support organization called Mermaids. I totally support trans, queer, and generally LGBTQ+ people, but I'm really put off by NGOs because I think that issues of discrimination, homophobia, racism, and fascism are political tasks that need to be solved by the working class movement and not by charities that are deeply involved in the reproduction of the neoliberal scheme of capitalist restructuring that points to NGOs and volunteering as a form of conscience-laundering as David Harvey has very punctually said. However, if any of the dear readers thinks that such causes are worth their money, they can of course donate a little something to it.

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