Archives for posts with tag: soundtrack

nhung-nguyen“Warmth” is the opening track from a new (released today) EP collection of ambient piano pieces title “Nostalgia” from Hanoi, Vietnam based sound-artist Nhung Nguyen.

This opening track is  the straightest piece on the EP, just a slightly wonky piano recorded in a space full of reverberation.

Nhung Nguyen explains ““Nostalgia” is my an ambient piano EP. All tracks are based on two long piano improvisations, which were recorded in 2015 and 2016. 

“Nostalgia” takes inspiration from my personal memories about childhood and the melancholy coming from thoughts and emotions at the end of the year. Yearning for the lost time of the youth and the warmth from moments are also main themes of the release.”

It certainly evokes the “Nostalgia” of the album title. Don’t know what it is about the sound of a slightly out of tune piano in a big echoing space, but it brings all sorts of memories and feelings back. Some relate to family gatherings, some to out-of-it jams, some to film music, some to the early piano-based ambient soundscapes of Eno.

Most of all, though, this track evokes a spooky kind of nostalgia for the peculiar feeling created by the world of David Lynch’s “Twin Peaks” assisted by some of the incidental music created by Angelo Badalamenti.

The rest of the album is the piano looped and treated with reverb and delay, getting progressively more abstract with each track, as overlapping loops smudge and blur individual notes into a vast drone which slowly morphs over the course of the track.

The fourth track “Grace” at nearly 8 minutes is another highlight of the EP. The sound here is the most luxurious and distant from the sound of the piano introduced on that opening track “Warmth”.

Lia Mice Happy New Year
A few months ago PopLib featured a song called “Memory Maps” from a new Lia Mice release called “I Love You” out about now on Rice Is Nice Records.

The Lia Mice artist bio there mentioned a 2012 album “Happy New Year” which “hid it’s dark pop melodies amongst cinematic territories, chimes, bells and vintage synths, performed at… hypnotically slow tempos.”

If the new release was Lia Mice’s first experimentation with “danceable tempos” then the idea of an album performed at (undanceable) “hypnotically slow tempos” was immediately appealing.

I found “Happy New Year” on the Lia Mice bandcamp and bought a copy of the LP. It’s fantastic. Here’s “Winter Sun” which opens side two of the album.

Despite my usual reservations about coloured vinyl and ‘splatter’ mixes this one not only looks great but sounds really good and clean too. The only noise I notice is the noise that is meant to be on it.

“Happy New Year” is hypnotic and melodic slow-wave dream-pop with a light industrial feel to it. Think “Twins Peaks” soundtrack recorded within earshot of a European steelwork mill rather than a Pacific Northwest lumber mill. But there’s also a devotional air to it too – evident on “Winter Sun” here.

I think Lia Mice originally came from Melbourne, Australia and the album certainly feels connected to the somewhat Gothic industrial experimental electronic music that city has a reputation for producing since the 1980s. But it also feels connected to the wider realm of atmospheric soundtrack music and post-dance music genres. It’s plenty danceable too, once you find the ebb & flow here.


Back in 2006 A Low Hum was writing a new chapter in the history of NZ’s neglected underground alternative music scene with a twice-yearly magazine, compilation CD and madcap nationwide tours by young up-and-coming bands crammed into a Ford Transit van towing a gear trailer.

The live events and particularly the compilation CDs were a gateway into a world of music that even the still-healthy music print media in NZ neglected at the time. I discovered Kill The Zodiac through one of those compilation CDs and bought a couple of copies of the self-released EP/ mini album debut by Kill The Zodiac, from which’We Breathe From The Same Mask’ comes.

My memory is hazy but I think Kill The Zodiac was the work of a then teenage Hamilton schoolkid Adam Fulton. It still sounds perfect, fully formed, expertly realised and beautifully atmospheric, just as it did at the time. I used to play the EP – and this track in particular – a lot.

There are two more recent releases on the Kill The Zodiac Bandcamp page well worth checking out.

As “New Zealand Music Month” roles around each year I am reminded of the contribution of people like Ian “Blink” Jorgensen who willed A Low Hum into existence and, through stubborn belief in an idea, helped coalesce a scene of sorts and share it with the rest on NZ and also the world. In the process he also inspired many others (myself included) to not only believe in local music, but also to support and share it.