11 Mysterious Albums on the Internet
by Pad Chennington
When it comes to housing beautiful, strange, mystifying or otherworldly pieces of music, the depths of the internet have become a straight-up sanctuary for these unique types of sound.
Today, I want to explore 11 mysterious albums with you that are hidden deep within the internet, albums ranging from dystopian and unsettling, luscious and ethereal, and some just straight up... strange.
11) Chinese Hackers - ░▒▓死▓▒░
An album that literally translates to ░▒▓死▓▒░ , Chinese Hackers delivers us a platter of tracks sauteed in heavy sweeping drones, distorted sample choices, and distant sound effects to cook up a paranormal setting in your mind that seems endless… Never ending hallways filled with nothing but the rumble of a distant, worn out air conditioning system and the occasional footsteps… Yet you never seem to find where the footsteps are coming from.
The intro track “Stairs” sets the tone of this harsh and paranormal project for the path going forward, the track is one gradual build up of lofi yet harsh drone that melts back down after it’s peak. The track “Alone” brings the most action you’ll get in the entire project with what seems to be metallic pipes or machinery banging around all on top of a faint ticking clock in the background. And the track “Chimes” with it’s muffled horn sample towards the end sticking its head out from the cluttered mess of incoherent sounds in the beginning of this longer track on the album, these 7 tracks all bleed into one another so perfectly well, it’s a go to audio journey for the ever-so-curious ghost hunter in us all.
The extremely thick and enormous feeling of this 2015 Chinese Hacker’s release makes it a true treat for those seeking something creepy in sound and atmosphere. Enjoy getting lost in the endless hallways of ░▒▓死▓▒░.
10) lilien rosarian - a day in bel bruit
“spending a day alone in an abandoned village where a satellite dish has been haphazardly built upon the bell tower and radio sounds now replace those of the residents” - lilien rosarian
“a day in bel bruit” by lilien rosarian is a lonely and mysterious bundle of songs that paint a picture of an abandoned village in bel bruit. It’s opening track “theme for empty village” drops us directly into a scene full of nature, wildlife and flora, this is equipped with a slightly distorted music box that has us searching through the strange houses trying to find the source of the sound. Everything on the project has this notion that some sort’ve man-made technology is trying to breach the peaceful, melancholy sounds of nature, the track “ghosts yell out from gemstone homes” features this device or satellite struggling to connect or capture some sort’ve frequency on top of these beautiful sounds, and this really does make you feel like you’ve been on this week long expedition with friends and you just now stumbled into this abandoned village, curious as to why no one is here and puzzled at the giant satellite installed in the center of the town.
“a day in bel bruit” feels like a creepier side quest in a video game, it’s an area you’ve always seen in the distance but never actually went to. If you’re a fan of Stages 4 and 5 of “Everywhere at the End of Time” by The Caretaker, tracks like “the bell tower” and “you’re drifting off again” give off a very similar broken and cloudy terrain, except on here it’s all constantly overshadowed by this satellite dish abruptly sending out signals to who knows what.
“a day in bel bruit” leaves you with a weird taste in your mouth. It’s exotic, yet you're always reminded of a man-made interruption in a village that just wanted to be left alone.
9) Lunacast - Megafluid Corporation
If you’re looking for more narratives in music similar to “a day in bel bruit”, Lunacast’s “Megafluid Corporation” is a perfect follow up for you. On this album, Lunacast gives you and I 10 tracks that portray the transformation of a natural farmland into the industrial Megafluid Corporation, the irony in the cold and metal looking machinery standing triumphantly on the vivid greens and blues of nature is ominous and reflects the moods present within the tracklist wonderfully.
The first couple of songs on “Megafluid Corporation” sway between reverb coated pan flutes in tracks like “Natural Soil” and “Greenhouse Gases” to a summer fields as the sun sets, all sorts of bugs big and small roam free in tracks like “Night Life” and “Photosynthesis”.
Things begin to take a turn for the worse around the halfway point of the album, we can see the literal transition of a once clean and simple farmland become taken over by an industry or corporation. Tracks like “Nitrogen” and “Groundwork” set up the foundation, there is a worrisome hustle and bustle present, the use of that Earthbound sample and constant kick drum towards the end of that “Groundwork” track actually sounds like something being built, workers scurrying in and out to lay down the pipes as fast as they could. Tracks like “Installation” become more grand and seem to show off the advancements this Megafluid Corporation has made on the land. It’s thunderous and thumping flow present a new way of life, an assembly line of machinery and their excretion of horrible chemicals into the air.
Everything concludes with Welcome to the Complex. All the build up has finally died down, the corporation is complete. It’s a quick, shiny 2 minute track that has us sitting in the brand new lobby of this enormous establishment. Sleek silver interiors and a giant glass pane window so you can get an immediate look at the top of the line processing done within the corporation's walls. The future is here.
8) Ana Roxanne - ~~~
New York based Ana Roxanne’s 2019 release of ~~~ comes at us with 6 enchanting tracks, each different in their own way yet they all possess this calming, “everything is gonna be okay”-esque nature to them; if a warm, comforting hug can be manufactured into an album, this is it.
Powerful and healing, the spa-like remedies present in the track “Nocturne” engulf your entire mind, body & spirit. The second track on the album, “Slowness” features these jumpy little flashes of sound, glistening like a gemstone you’re reflecting the sun off of. I picture those little speckles of sound to look like Elebits, does anyone remember that game for the Wii? I feel like I was the only one who had it as a kid, but it was so much fun. Yeah that’s what this track sounds like.
The rest of the project bounces from smoother, ambient moments to slightly harsher terrains, “It’s A Rainy Day On The Cosmic Shore” features this mind-massaging static overlay that grows and grows as the song pushes forward… It’s really pretty stuff.
Check out this project as well as “Because of a Flower” for more work from Ana, great stuff that is perfect to throw on early in the morning or late at night before you hit the hay.
7) C A S I N O ☆★☆★☆ M A S T E R - 勝 者 ！ ！ ！ ！★W I N N E R★
It’s almost impossible for me to make lists like these and not include something from the TKX VAULT, a sub-contracted Bandcamp label of Dream Catalogue that hosts a variety of projects ranging from dystopian dreampunk to straight up oddities and trinkets of sounds and characters. The C A S I N O ☆★☆★☆ M A S T E R alias is one of these projects I find so much fun to explore, it’s a simple concept that brings to life the flashing lights and mesmerizing sounds of a casino or pachinko hall late at night in the streets of Tokyo. One building that illuminates the entire street, welcoming you in with it’s enticing glow.
On 勝 者 ！ ！ ！ ！★W I N N E R★ , C A S I N O ☆★☆★☆ M A S T E R brings forth a rather unique tracklist to the table, one 20 minute long track that is only followed by a final, 14 second long track. Similar to previous releases I’ve covered in the past from C A S I N O ☆★☆★☆ M A S T E R, these chaotic sounds become a head rush, an overload of dopamine shot to the brain after winning hand after hand, or round after round, of your favorite table game.
And you keep on winning, and winning, and winning… only to lose it all in one, single spin. That’s the whole point of this tracklist’s weird length, the two songs are a representation of how quick one can lose it all, a build up of feeling on top of the world only for that “all-in” mentality to be your downfall in a matter of 14 seconds.
They say that gamblers play to lose, and with 勝 者 ！ ！ ！ ！★W I N N E R★, it’s hard to believe that isn’t the case.
6) 目的地 - p l e a s e s t a n d b y . . .
Let’s hit up another release that has a really bizarre tracklist… Take a look at this thing: one 11-minute track that is followed by 10 more tacks, none of which, are longer than 30 seconds long.
This is “p l e a s e s t a n d b y . . .” by 目的地 (Destination), a 2020 release which can be found in the catacombs of the Geometric Lullaby label. This is ultimately an 11-minute long slushwave track that, instead of ending peacefully and without commotion, ends up erupting into these micro tracks of chaotic, warp-speed driven sound bites. It gives off a “playing-in-reverse” feel that makes the journey of the luscious and sweet intro track disposable and void of significance, sucking everything back into the vortex in just a couple of seconds.
As with virtually all GeoLul drops, the physicals of these are long sold out and look gorgeous, I love seeing these strange releases come to life. Check this thing out for an extremely soothing 11 minutes of heavenly slush, only for it all to be ripped away in a matter of moments.
5) Renjā & Sangam - Sacrifice
Angelic, atmospheric & cinematic, enter a healing zone from an aquatic planet far, far away with Renjā & Sangam’s “Sacrifice”.
Released in December of 2020, this 10 track blend of dreampunk, ambient, trap & electro is brimming with color. With an album art as pretty as that, vivid imaginations of a lost romance blossom in your mind with tracks like “Marching Pride”, those auto tuned vocals crying underneath delicate hi hats and emotional strings and synths. One of my favorites on here is “Hydro Path”, it’s glistening and sings in the night with it’s glowing jingles, dreamy chimes and reverb soaked keys. “Can’t Describe” feels like an engram, it’s slow and passionate and begs you to dive further and possibly make sense of the inaudible language coming out of this audio hologram. It all ends with “Sinking Away”, a beautiful outro that mixes vocal notes, euphoric and scattered piano keys to really give off this effect of bubbles passing you by as they float above you towards the surface you’ll never get back to.
“Renjā & Sangam deliver a fresh collaborative record to cap off 2020. Sacrifice is a blissful, genre-bending excursion that takes notes from their previous work while exploring a wholly unparalleled approach to the dreampunk sound. Here both artists exchange their distinct sounds to create a whole new vision.” - New Motion
4) 沙漠鱿鱼 - 上海／香港
A hazy ambient experience through the neon dreampunk streets of beautiful Shanghai and bustling Hong Kong.
The 2020 collaboration project between desert sand feels warm at night and Uncle Squidz became an instant classic the moment it dropped on Hiraeth Records. Going by the name 沙漠鱿鱼 (Desert Squid), the two open the journey up with “早上通勤” (Morning Commute), a foggy, easy-going 3-minute Slushwave joyride that would make any commute a complete breeze, regardless of how much bumper to bumper traffic your stuck in. And as we move forward, every track contains many ingredients commonly found in the usual Slushwave experience, traffic sound effects, long, stretched out synths and drones, a heavy serving of effects to constantly have the tracklist feel like it’s floating higher, and higher, and higher.
Fans of the Slushwave sound always know to expect greatness when stepping into a desert sand feels warm at night release, but the addition of Uncle Squidz adds even more activity and flair to the project overall, making this entire thing feel like an open world Playstation 2 game that revolves around an overworked businessman that gains experience points by finding clarity and tranquility in the sounds around him. Anything can be beautiful when you open your mind, right?
3) Obay Alsharani - Sandbox
“Sandbox” is the debut project from Obay Alsharani, a Syrian migrant now settled in Sweden. In 2013, Obay would begin creating music and releasing it on sites like Soundcloud. The music was a much needed escape for Obay from the horrors surrounding him in the country, lo-fi productions fusing Arabic music samples with an inner lining of fuzzy and crunchy hip-hop beats.
Obay would eventually flee Syria due to the worsening situation in Damascus and would eventually accept a scholarship in Sweden, which fortunately led to an extended period in refugee accommodation in the far north of the country while he awaited the result of his residence application.
It was here where Obay would continue his passions in sound and resume his beat making, eventually being inspired by the beauty of the Sweedish landscape, shifting colors of the Northern Lights, and the ambient sounds that brought him comfort during this turbulent time, C418’s Minecraft soundtrack and Boards of Canada to name a few, Obay would embark on producing the deeply personal, calming and sheltering music that became known as Sandbox.
This is a project you really need to hit up ASAP, it is a breathtaking journey through washy stretches of ambient gold, an audio cabin in the woods, sheltered from the brutal snowstorm outside. The warming, glittering orchestral samples and melodies melt in your mouth like butter, field recordings akin to a heavy wool blanket guiding you to the best nap you have ever taken in your life.
I not only recommend you listen to this breathtaking piece of music, but read through the entire description on the Bandcamp page, it’s a wonderful couple of paragraphs that add that much more personality to this already wise and intense piece of art.
“Over recent months we've taken great solace in this beautiful, ethereal music and we hope it'll provide you with a place of refuge and regeneration in these chaotic times.” - Obay Alsharani
2) How To Disappear Completely - Ancora
We're living in a new weird reality. All of the days starting to blend together. Everything is unclear. Drifting between hope and utter despair. Strange times indeed...
Ancora was created during several sleepless nights, and the end result is a 5 track treat for tiresome ears. Clocking in at less than 30 minutes long, this is a solid dose of soothing, atmospheric ambient and drone for those seeking company in everyday activities: Clean the house and re-organize your belongings while “Mute Verses” plays behind you, one of the longer pieces on the release that grants you access to a droopy, murky and thick playground of drone and foamy ambient sandboxes. The other big track on here, “Dawn Breaks Through” is so patient and humble, it feels like one super-long sound rolled out into an 8 and a half minute long audio file. Perfect to throw on after closing the light and resting your head on a fluffy pillow.
With artwork presenting what insomnia would look like if it truly showed itself on a person's face, “Ancora” is the feeling harvested from finally getting that much needed rest, all distilled into the form of audio.
1) 暗号零 - Mother
VILL4IN is an incredible label, and thanks to them, I was able to discover this unbelievable album: Mother.
Mother is strange, it’s lovely, atmospheric, intergalactic, sad, happy, glowing, nostalgic and mysterious all at the same time. The 7 minute track on here titled “Camila” is awe-inspiring, sharp synths cut through warm pads to create this harmony of sounds all coming in sync with one another, something that would have the power to move planets or change the boundaries of space itself. “走向世界 (Strike World)” is thunderous and powerful, a moment of uncertainty as you travel the stars wondering if you’ll ever return home again... And “然后一切如常 (After All) is the perfect ending to Mother, it gives off this feeling of uncertainty, I can’t tell if it’s tragic or happy and it all leaves me wanting to know or discover more despite the album coming to an end.
I am incredibly jealous of anyone who was able to scoop one of the physicals for this thing, Mother was re-released a bunch of times on both cassette and vinyl record due to the amount of fans who wanted to get their hands on it and missed out, and it’s really nice to see 暗号零 (Segal Zero) and VILL4IN giving the fans what they want by repressing so many times.
Mother is the first release of the MANA catalogue and has some of the best artwork I’ve seen on the label, I love everything about how this looks and it really does capture the settings your mind conjures up when listening to this electronic cyberpunk black hole.
Make sure you hold on for the ride.
Until we meet again for our next adventure into sound, take care and keep on discovering and sharing new music. We’ll talk soon.
Much love, ur boi,