C. Diab / Heinali / Steve Gibbs
Injazero Records is a slightly mysterious UK-based label that, according to their Discogs page, release "modern classical, electronic and avant-ambient" music, Personally, I would add "drone" to that description. Thus far they've released three physical albums, with a fourth on the way. The first thing that stands about Injazero is the quality. All it's releases are 180 gm vinyl, all have great (and interesting) cover art, and all come with download cards. And all three albums so far - despite that the fact that I've never previously heard of any of these artists - are immersive, outstanding releases that I've been going to repeatedly for my listening pleasure.
Firstly we have the debut album from Vancouver's C. Diab, No Perfect Wave. This is a meditative sound exploration for bowed guitar, trumpet and subtle tape manipulations that brings to mind Colin Stetson, Tim Hecker, Arthur Russell and Neil Young's Dead Man soundtrack in equal measure. No Perfect Wave hits a strange and beautiful intersection between left-field ambient music, film score, post-classical solo cello, American folk music and post-rock. Melancholic beauty is definitely the name of the game here.
Secondly, is the new solo LP from Kyiv, Ukraine-based sound designer, Heinali, aka Oleg Shpudeiko. Crushing waves of distortion reminiscent of Ben Frost or Oneohtrix Point Never surround radiant sound-design in the mold of Jon Hopkins or Andy Stott. Pulsing, fluttering synth-worlds, orbit through a galaxy of texture not unlike Clint Mansell's Moon score. Apparently, Heinali constructed the acclaimed soundtrack to PlayStation's 2016 videogameBound, and much of his commercial / commissioned work for film, television, and dance (dating back to 2009) evokes the string-orientated subtlety and tenderness of Max Richter or film score great Hans Zimmer. Overall, this is an achingly beautiful record that gets right inside your heart.
Thirdly, Adrift is the debut album from UK composer-pianist Steve Gibbs. His instrumentation - piano, strings, gentle electronics, occasional guitars - is used with a similar sense of vision as Ólafur Arnalds, Dustin O'Halloran, Hauschka and the piano solos of Arvo Pärt. Awesome company to be in! Passages of soft microsound comparable to Alva Noto and Ryuichi Sakamoto's duet albums merge with lusher cinema-scapes (again akin to Clint Mansell and Max Richter) and again, that Gibbs's music has already been used in various film, TV, and dance productions, is testament to its immensely evocative qualities. A masterpiece melding of emotion and ambiance.
So, if you want beautiful, contemporary, inventive and invigorating music, then you need look no further than Injazero. Quality. (Lee)
Check out tracks here, here and here.