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Indie Electronics: Artemis, Cyberchump, Mystical Sun, North-Without-End

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ARTEMIS: Orbits (CD on Cyberset)

This release from 2006 offers 73 minutes of dreamy techno music.

Artemis is: Artemis Robinson (on vocals), Keith Crusher (on programming and effects), David Earl (on keyboards), and Daniel Berkman (on percussion and guitar).

At the core of this music lies Robinson's sultry vocals that waft with sinuous fashion amid shimmering fields of surging electronics. Her lyrics are articulate and uplifting, delving into the nuances of relationships and citing observations of the modern world.

Techno percussion lends a dancefloor sensibility to the tuneage, providing an array of quirky tempos that provide locomotion to the otherwise dreamy melodies. Sometimes the rhythms exhibit a glitchy, illbient style.

The electronics range from subtle atmospherics to overt pulsations, affording a lush vista of moods to the tunes. Dense textures are contrasted with knickering effects, producing a versatile environment that seethes with daydreaming disposition. There's even a few instances of searing guitar riffs.

At a fundamental level, the compositions are mainly spectral techno tunes. Yet each track explores a more vibrant expression of this basic template, introducing diverse mixing styles to produce a selection of sounds that run the gamut from breakbeat to trance.

Augmenting the music's versatility, this release features remixes by: DJ Anser, Nautilis, Sensor II, Mijo, DJ F, Hands upon Black Earth, Harmonic Filter, Erik Hawk & Bo Blount, Convolution, Daniel Berkman, and Holistic Systems.

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CYBERCHUMP: Sankhara (CD on Internal Combustion Music)

This release from 2006 features 62 minutes of ambient electronics.

Cyberchump is: Mark G.E. and Jim Skeel.

Dense textures provide a moody atmosphere that is embellished with tension-laden drones. The electronics pursue a decidedly drowsy mien as they describe airy passages of extremely fragile substance. While tenuous tonalities generate a firmament of glistening quality, languid keyboards provide dreamy chords that excellently augment the ethereal mix. At points, the keyboards achieve striking clarity with crystalline poignancy.

A sense of environmental sensation is generated through remotely grinding tones that nicely evoke landscapes of psychic essence.

Guitar is present, but the sedate chords are soft and passive, exploring pastoral sentiments with genial sustains.

A few of the tracks muster traces of intensity, but this vitality is suppressed into a seething luster that never achieves any disruptive verve.

Cybernetic introspection is the key note in these compositions. The soundscapes are delicate and temperate, exhibiting minimal variations so as to aid in the focus of meditative appreciation.

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MYSTICAL SUN: Deeperworlds (CD on Cyberset)

This CD from 2006 offers 74 minutes of chill out electronic music.

This music possesses a lovely cinematic flair with its sweeping electronics and demure rhythms. Pleasant textures drift with stately manner, punctuated by more rigorous pulsations and churning effects. But the standard remains soothing and endearing with liquid flows and ambient grooves. Synthetic sounds approximate a sparkling surf as easily as they conjure the mood at the depths of a murky forest.

The percussion is gentle, often understated, enhancing the music's languid character with sinuous tempos of a distinctly chill out nature. Even when the beats adopt a more demonstrative presence, the mood rarely varies from that of an afternoon doze.

Harnessing a vital sense of relaxation, these compositions are designed to mesmerize with holistic results. The band has captured the instant between wakefulness and slumber and injected it with a tasteful dose of pep that does little to disturb the music's overall somnambulance.

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NORTH-WITHOUT-END: 1940, 1944 lp (CD on Fortyseven Records)

This release from 2006 features 42 minutes of ambient minimalism.

The first track is brief, comprising chilly tonalities laced with mildly surging pulsations.

The second piece explores similar moods in a longer format in which the textures are allowed to evolve with languid pace, unfurling with steadfast determination whose changes are almost indiscernible until the listener finds themselves immersed in a seething pool of ambience growing harsher. The resolute electronics persist unconcerned by the passage of time, chronicling a seamless journey from airiness to an earthy disposition, gritty yet dreamlike.

The next track is short and possesses a hint of substance as delicate notes glimmer deep in a fog of barely noticeable light.

The final piece is an epic 24 minutes long. Here, the minimal soundscape is seasoned with hesitant keyboard notes that provide subtle embellishment to the sparse vista of shimmering electronics. Changes in the flow are too rarefied to be appreciable.

Designed to evoke expansive voids and then fill them with sedate harmonics, these compositions achieve a stately presence by blending atmospheric intentions with few auxiliary distractions.

This album is available in its entirety as a free download from the label's website.

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