'Principium Somniferum' is a new solo side-project release under the moniker 'Freq. Magnet' by one of the anonymous duo known as Austere (the other half records and releases as 'The Mystifying Oracle'.) This new CD easily invokes the influences of Star of the Lid, Labradford, Windy & Carl and others, while still forging new ground in creating a blend best described as 'shoegazing psychedelic ambient', coined by Austere as 'psybient'. This release moves in yet another completely different direction, eschewing synths and drum-like percussion but embracing bass and well as electric guitar sounds, seeking out a beatless and more trance-inducing, floating, other-worldly sound. Listeners are drawn away to The Village in a place and time unknown... The duo who work together as Austere has been recording and releasing musick together since 1998. The following essay about their approach to their craft was written by Ben Hudgins: 'In these days of MTV-fueled, mass media consumption of popular ''musickians'', it is rare to find artists that create for the sake of their art rather than for that of their wallets or their popularity. Face time and recognition seem more important than quiet quality. Conversely, a good deal of the electronic fare that we are served up via the internet and other ''alternative'' musick sources is created by anonymous, bedroom studio producers, but in most cases these producers remain anonymous simply because their product does not warrant enough attention to make them famous. Not so Portland, Oregon's ambient masterminds Austere. With eight band releases since the late 1990s, two solo side-projects as well as several collaborations, Austere continues to produce some of the most beautifully compelling abstract music this reviewer has heard. In spite of their obvious talent (or perhaps because of it?) this duo has proved to be extremely camera shy, preferring to have their music speak for them, as a rare post on ''The Ambient Way'' mailing list stated: 'We're trying to avoid the typical fandom/cult of personality that grows around musickians but rather try to let the merits of our musick (or lack thereof) stand alone in how people judge our work. We're also determined to explore areas of musick that interests us without regard for popular or commercial potential, and as long as we're happy with the results, we've no mind as to how others take them, other than really enjoying when someone else hears our musick and enjoys it too. It surprises and delights us, as we do like bringing happiness to others.' 'Wanting to be anonymous seems to put many people off or have them decide that we're not be taken seriously and we're fine with that. We're just trying to make musick we like and live up to our own ideals, which we readily admit are not those of the mainstream.' This adventurous and exploratory attitude has resulted in some incredible releases as well as the the birth of both side projects. While specific details on this new undertaking are sketchy (very in keeping with Austere's approach to the public), Freq. Magnet features at least one member of Austere and their first release expands on the ideas first set out by those elusive Oregonians. Please take the the time to give the samples a listen; and for those who do, Thanks For Listening.
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