Steve Roach : Consumed by Sunlight
Tim Story & Roedelius : Lazy Arc (excerpt)
Robert Rich : Callyx
Ulrich Schnauss & Mark Peters: There’s Always Tomorrow
Larry Fast/SYNERGY : Tower Indigo
Jeff Pearce : Mapping the Autumn Sky
Nathan Youngblood & Soriah : Recuerdos De Luna
Erik Wøllo : Misty Blue
Carrying on the tradition of Projekt’s unique multi-artist collections, Possibilities of Circumstance is an international gathering of electronic and ambient artists featuring seven previously unreleased tracks.
Here at Projekt, we like cross-pollination; we like introducing fans to new music: giving listeners a chance to hear artists they might not otherwise get to experience. And with a selection as fine as this – and a $8 budget price – these are possibilities that should not be resisted.
NOTE: This album will not be on iTunes. We decided to sell it as full-album-only download and iTunes won’t do that. Get it from our Bandcamp page or Amazon. Speaking of Bandcamp, you can chose your format, including FLAC. Also, we (the artists and label) receive a bigger percentage of your payment. There are many reasons to shop our Bandcamp page. I will be adding more and more of Projekt’s catalog, over the next few months.
Release Date: September 24, 2013
Reviews Editor –
From Retailing Insight
Bring together some of the brightest stars in the ambient and electronic music galaxy and you are bound to get “stellar” music. Possibilities of Circumstance, a compilation with nearly all new tracks released on the Projekt label, is a must-have for customers who enjoy the two genres. The CD features a cast of luminaries: Steve Roach, Robert Rich, Jeff Pearce, Erik Wøllo, Tim Story, Hans-Joachim Roedelius, Ulrich Schnauss, Mark Peters, Nathan Youngblood, Soriah and EM pioneer Larry Fast (aka Synergy). Whether bouncy electronica, spacy ambient, minimalism, or vista-inspired soundscapes, the album is a virtual cavalcade of excellence. -Bill Binkelman
Reviews Editor –
From Sonic Curiosity
This release from 2013 features 56 minutes of diverse (but generally gentle) electronic music. This collection features tracks by:
Steve Roach (an otherwise unreleased piece): twinkling keyboards and thumping bass tones conspire with fluid background textures to produce a lovely soundscape.
Tim Story & HJ Roedelius: stately piano and gently clacking sounds and peripheral electronics create a haunting milieu.
Robert Rich: moody electronics counterbalanced by sparkling steel drum percussion (of a very subdued nature) combine with pedal steel guitar sustains (that expand into dire chords) while those “moody” electronics grow progressively cheery.
Ulrich Schnauss & Mark Peters: several sprightly keyboard threads escalate in complexity, merging together to form an endearing tune.
Larry Fast/Synergy (an otherwise unreleased track): a brooding, almost ominous opening erupts into a percussive-driven excursion into higher altitudes with sweeping tonalities and addition rhythms.
Jeff Pearce (an otherwise unreleased song): airy textures coalesce to form a pensive tapestry that grows increasingly dense.
Nathan Youngblood & Soriah (an otherwise unreleased track): moody electronics and infrequent bell-tones are backed by a host of remote chittering sounds and tempered by the rise of an immense lunar shadow.
Erik Wollo (an otherwise unreleased piece): a full range of instruments (chugging percussion, twangy guitar, dreamy tones and serpentine electronics) produce a lush and enticing song.
Whether this is an introduction to these musicians or whether you’re interested in new music by old favorite performer, this is a delightful collection of gentle electronic music. -Matt Howarth
Reviews Editor –
A review from Synths&Sequences
I absolutely have to talk about this new compilation concocted by the American label Projekt Records. Not just because it’s sold at a ridiculously low price ($8.00 on the Projekt Bandcamp download platform). Not just because it comes from a label which favors dark and experimental EM. No! Because it groups the fruit of 8 artists, among which a famous return of Synergy, and 7 original compositions that you won’t find anywhere else. Possibilities of Circumstance is an eclectic compilation which plunges us into the core of this impressive label music freed of any commercial constraints. And it’s not because it’s not commercial that it’s not beautiful, nor well. On the contrary.
Some delicate ringings sing among angelic voices, opening the ambient corridors of “Consumed by Sunlight”. Contrary to the SteveRoach’s last works, except for the wonderful “Today” from the non less wonderful Live Transmission-From the Drone Zones at Soma FM, “Consumed by Sunlight” offers a silkier version of Steve Roach’s universe. The ambient rhythm is drinking of the delicate jolts of a bass line of which the furtive chords dance in accordance with these glass ringings and these breezes of synth which split up their melodies into some vocal breaths and translucent lines. This is a good piece of music which joins the quiet rhythms of Western Spaces and Landmass. We fall in another register with “Lazy Arc” from Tim Story & Roedelius. This extract, from an album due soon, is a lugubrious lullaby for tortured souls where an obsessing reverie, played on a somber melancholic piano, gets into the deepest of our melancholy. It’s a mesmerizing quiet piece of music where are blowing winds, dark voices and are squeaking tones of a parallel world. These tones, which float like ghost threats, erode quietly the somber dreamy melody in order to absorb it completely around the middle part. Follows a slow fight between the harmonies and its abstract mirror, where the notes of piano go out defeated. They dance delicately with a ghost knight whose floating tears and the knocks of clogs of his horse are now the bed of this strange paranormal procession that is “Lazy Arc”. From a soft procession to ghostly aromas, we pass in another one just as much mysterious but more livened up with “Callyx” that Robert Rich had presented on his Medecine Box album in 2011. It’s rather stunning how it sounds different here in a musical context which has nothing to envy to Medecine Box. The rhythm is delicately drummed by docile pulsations which marry the knells of the carillons, making caresses of clogs on a clammy earth. Quite slowly “Callyx” offers a beautiful crescendo from which the scale gets lost in this sound texture where are shinning the lamentations of guitars and their razor-sharp floating breezes. There is a strong influence of Berlin School hypnotic movements on “There’s Always Tomorrow”, from Ulrich Schnauss & Mark Peters upcoming album; Tomorrow is Another Day. The track offers a very beautiful minimalist structure where the sequences dance and spin in a harmonious mess. They skip and pile up in the shadows of their harmonies and in the breezes of carillons to thousand prisms before being snatched up by a guitar with riffs more powerful than its grouchy solos. That promises! I already look forward to hearing this next album.
Oh did I was anxious to hear this new Synergy track! First reaction? Confusion! The intro is black and offers a lugubrious theatrical approach deserving of an industrial apocalyptic vision. The first two minutes are distressing. We feel a kind of ambiospherical pressure getting on the edge. We feel that it’s going to burst. And it bursts a little after the second minute with a great percussions pattern which rage in a kind of tribal rhythm. The synths are very theatrical with their sinister harmonies which cover a rhythm of post apocalyptic clanic war. In fact, “Tower Indigo” awakens in me some recollections of Metropolitan Suite. I liked it a lot. When a complete album? My sources told me that Larry Fast is really thinking of making one soon. After this mixture of aboriginal and industrial rhythm, “Mapping the Autumn Sky”, from Jeff Pearce, leads us towards the ambient spheres of Possibilities of Circumstance. The track is dark and rests on a mixture of synth and guitars lines which float in a dark harmony pushed by the slow autumn winds. There is a lot of intensity in this arrhythmic movement where we hear singing the air and the winds which interlace in a surprising autumnal symphony. Amazingly, I listen to “Mapping the Autumn Sky” in front of my bay windows which kiss of their transparency the colors of autumn and its leaves which float above the surface of a river with red, yellow and orange colour spots. There are moments like that where the music is so much magical. “Recuerdos De Luna” is the blackest track on this compilation. Nathan Youngblood & Soriah weave a dark ambience where float abstruse winds. I hear swing to collide, like chains and carillons which are trembling and ringing in these winds which regurgitate some droning tremors of shamanic voices. Yeah, this is quite uneasy. Erik Wollo’s “Misty Blue” ends Possibilities of Circumstance with a lively rhythm. A rhythm finely vigorous where the movement of sequences draw a fine carousel surrounded by mists of synth with sonic particles delicately lyrical. Another line of synth shapes the main harmonies which sing like these soft laments tinted with romantic that we find in Patrick O’Hearn’s repertoire. It’s not just beautiful, it’s bewitching and it digs furrows straight to the soul. Damned that this Wollo is good!
Possibilities of Circumstance is a superb compilation where the eclecticism distorts not at all this fascinating harmonious pattern that flows from the first seconds of “Consumed by Sunlight”. The symbiosis which unites each piece of music is such as that we never have the impression to be in the chinks of a compilation. There is a crescendo which reaches its peak with “Tower Indigo”, afterward the black and intriguing ambiences bring us towards Erik Wollo’s harmonious sunbeams. Out of this world! There is no weakness, there are no dead moments. Strongly recommendable! And with this so low price, there is no reason for not getting this excellent compilation of the label Projekt.
Reviews Editor –
A review from Santa Sangre Magazine Poland.
I guess there’s no need to introduce Projekt at this point – the label from the United States, that for about thirty years provides the listeners with top class music under the emblems of ambient, gothic, dark wave and dark cabaret. Just a cursory look through their catalog is enough to actually bend under the weight of the past and present names releasing for Sam Rosenthal’s company.
Several of these artists take part in the following project, the compilation entitled Possibilities of Circumstance. For others it’s their first collaboration with Projekt. Sam Rosenthal likes to prepare diverse compilations, from regular promotional samplers to dedicated albums with unreleased tracks. This album belongs to the latter category, we have eight tracks here, seven of them brand new, rotating in ambient / electronic moods, prepared for our enjoyment by a group of some really talented people.
Let’s take the first track, “Consumed By Sunlight”, composed by the ambient legend, Steve Roach; eight minutes of airy electronics, warm drones and delicate synth melodies. This song is definitely not infected with darkness, or world music influences like some of Steve’s earlier recordings; it could easily be found on “Landmass” or “Sigh Of Ages” for example.
Tim Story and (Hans–Joachim) Roedelius, both veterans of the electronic scene, present an interesting impression, which judging by the title is a fragment of a larger whole. “Lazy Arc (excerpt)” is based on a simple piano melody that eventually sinks into the ambient vacuum, giving way to an improvised minimalist abstraction generated by sounds the source of which I’m not even able to determine. Probably the most surreal segment of the compilation.
Six minutes of Robert Rich is absolutely not enough for my standards, especially since “Callyx” is a beautiful composition with a wailing guitar, one of Robert’s trademarks, and sequences reminiscent of the Indonesian gamelan. It was as if Loren Nerell visited the studio during the recording of “Callyx”. The only drawback, at least for me, is the fact that I already knew the song. “Callyx” comes from “Medicine Box” published in 2011 by Soundscape.
Ulrich Schnauss and Mark Peters tell us that “There’s Always Tomorrow”. The title gives some hope, does it not? Indeed, although this analog, old school electronics is quite emotionally fraught, the track ultimately leaves the listener in a rather positive mood.
“Tower Indigo”, provided by Larry Fast / Synergy, starts with strange noises and a disturbing, but rather ascetic melody in the background. And all this is crafted in order to explode with an intense rhythm after a few minutes. Just like an action film or a thriller, where the characters play hide–and–seek in a sequence filled with tension, and then, when the protagonist is exposed, the scene is followed by a car chase or a shoot-out. A bit of a weird association, but I think it’s appropriate; you’ll understand what I mean as you listen to the song. Moreover the track finale has a marching, almost triumphant overtone. An entire range of moods enclosed in a few minutes of music.
Dreamy and ethereal ambient generated by electric guitars is the domain of Jeff Pearce. “Mapping the Autumn Sky” actually breathes with autumn atmosphere, but also with an amazing space, as if there was no physical barrier between the listener and the grey-stained sky. A beautiful but also very powerful piece.
Up to this point darkness has been essentially absent from the album, but now it seems the time has come for this ambient fraction as well. “Recuerdos De Luna” is a joint effort by Soriah and Nathan Youngblood, who had enchanted me at a time with his “Asunder” album. Not as massive as the “Asunder” tracks, driven by human voice – though I cannot say to what degree it’s electronically processed – but it’s those mysterious murmurs and wails that drive “Recuerdos de Luna” while drones, bells and some field recordings serve as background density. And it works. In general Nathan could finally record something new.
The compilation is finalized by Norwegian artist Erik Wollo, firmly attached to Projekt for some time now, where he has already released several albums. Pleasant, gentle guitar/synth sounds reminiscent of the last days of summer somewhere over the ocean.
The whole album is of very high level. It’s rare when a compilation doesn’t contain bad or at least mediocre segments. Sure, I like some parts more (Rich, Roach, Pearce), but I can’t say that any musician is stuck here by force. For fans of ambient and electronic music it’s a very nice gift from this American label.
Reviews Editor –
by Peter Thelen, Published 2013-09-14
Always good for a mood change when things get too stressful, ambient and electronic music generally has the capacity to just alter your consciousness instantly like turning a switch. With this budget-priced multi-artist compilation, Projekt draws on artists from their own label, and other fellow travelers to provide a world class set of mostly extended length pieces in a range of instrumental genres that span the gamut from floating ambient to sequenced electronics to drifting melodic instrumentals that make powerful use of studio technique and ambience. Seven of the eight tracks here have never appeared on any release before; two are taken from forthcoming releases, and the remaining five appear to be unique to this set. “There’s Always Tomorrow” by Ulrich Schnauss and Mark Peters is an immediate standout, bursting forth from a cloud of melody and quickly settling into a sequenced theme, its Berlin School pedigree is fairly evident. The set kicks off with “Consumed by Sunlight,” a gentle floating piece by the master Steve Roach, with just enough textures and sonic eventfulness to keep it interesting through its entire duration. “Tower Indigo” is a powerful piece by Larry Fast / Synergy that changes shape and mood several times over its comparatively short duration. Tim Story & HJ Roedelius present “Lazy Arc,” a piece based on a simple, haunting piano figure that collects textures and atmosphere as it proceeds; this is one that will be playing in your head three days later, and you’ll wonder where that tune came from. Robert Rich’s “Callyx” grafts floating synths and soaring guitar loops to some vaguely gamelan type rhythmic structures with pulsating bass, not far from his Geometry album. “Mapping the Autumn Sky” by Jeff Pearce is appropriately titled, a consummate floating ambient piece for guitar loops and processing that ends after about six minutes, but could easily go on forever. No compilation of this type would be complete without some overtone vocals, and Nathan Youngblood and Soriah deliver on “Recuerdos de Luna,” perhaps the darkest sounding track in this set. The closer is “Misty Blue” by Erik Wøllo, a strong rhythmic piece for floating and sequenced synths, a simple defining guitar figure, and tons of atmospherics – easily one of the best tracks on this collection and a superb closer. This is an excellent compilation that covers what it aims to do superbly.