click here if you are having troubles navigating on our site  

Across The Mountains Across the Mountains
 - a Macedonian ambient music compilation

MP3 compilation 2014 | Silber 155
8 tracks, 63 minutes
$5 (320 kbps, 128 megs)
For longer than I can remember Silber has had a segment of fans in Macedonia thanks to DJ, journalist, musician, & general good guy Toni Dimitrov.  To help build the links between Silber & Macedonia we teamed up with Toni & his label Post Global Recordings to bring you a sampling of ambient music from Macedonia that fits in with the Silber aesthetic.  Relax & drone out.

: Press Release
: Digital Booklet

Use Bandcamp or Spotify to listen before you buy.

Track Listing:
1. Sherifidan Kurt - intro
2. Amplidyne Effect - the introvert microorganism
3. fydhws - the sprawl
4. aiRless pRoject  - unbearable lightness of being
5. Dimitar Dodovski - water goes somewhere
6. Post Global Trio - 2
7. Sound_00 - borislavec
8. Sherafedin Kurt - the last song it's like a first song

Since the genre as it’s known today was more or less invented by Brian Eno in the early 1970s, a seemingly endless array of musicians have tackled the genre of ambient music in a variety of ways. Thus, a definition of the genre can be difficult to precisely nail down: some ambient revolves around very earthy tones, while others include electronic elements or reverberating guitar tones. There’s even been a number of musicians who’ve produced dark ambient that kind of replicates the mood that most horror film directors hope to establish in their movies. Overall, it seems most artists working in the ambient genre seek to create music that above all else, creates a certain mood in the listener. Often, this music is relaxing and somewhat hypnotic, but there seems to be a fine, very subjective line between not only what individual listeners would classify as being ambient music in the first place, but also between “good” ambient and “bad.”
Personally, I can appreciate a wide variety of ambient music styles: though I think one of the most effective ambient albums, Eno’s 1985 Thursday Afternoon, is also one of the most simplistic, I also very much enjoy albums like Aphex Twin’s Selected Ambient Works I and II, Pyramids with Nadja’s self-titled album, Nine Inch Nails’ Ghosts, and Set Fire to Flame’s Sing Reign Rebuilder, perhaps the one in that list which doesn’t quite fit in with most people’s definition of what ambient sounds like. The 2014 compilation Across the Mountain: A Macedonian Ambient Music Compilation fits in pretty well with that list of albums. Many of the tracks here (the lot of which was produced by artists I’ve never heard of previously; hell, I don’t know if I could come up with one Macedonian musician of any genre) would probably fall into the dark ambient genre, and one can expect to hear a lot of grating low tones along with noisy and somewhat unsettling clumps of semi-undefinable sound. That said, there are some more altogether pleasant compositions to be found here as well, and I think the album does a fine job of representing the whole of what the ambient music label can encompass.
Sherafedin Kurt provides a brief introductory track of eerie, breathy tones to kick off the album before the Amplidyne Effect unleashes a more substantial piece with “The Introvert Microorganism.” This rather serene track slowly builds in intensity, with a jumbled, droning mass of shimmering chords featured at its center. Lonely guitar and horn parts intermittently burst forth with snippets of melody throughout the piece before it fades out. “The Sprawl” by fydhws is another lengthy number, starting off with a piano theme before sawing, discordant guitar gurgles out of the background to dominate the track. This piece may be the one here that’s most similar to the world of drone metal, with phaser-effected guitars shrieking in the background above an omnipresent throb of low tones. The piano melody creeps into the picture occasionally to tie everything together, and the piece also includes odd sound effects that give it a grittiness as it escalates towards a loud final section. Airless Project’s “Unbearable Lightness of Being” has a much warmer character to it due to its inclusion of dripping water sounds over resonating keyboard chords. There’s not much of a melody in this piece; its goal seems to be to put a listener into a trance-like state with an overload of repetitive, buzzing tones and I’d say it accomplishes this goal.
Dimitar Dodovski’s “Water Goes Somewhere,” as the title might suggest, has a very earthy sound to it, with distant, hollow keyboard heard under quietly clanging chimes and a subtle sound collage of nature sounds. Like most of the pieces here, this one too has a louder middle section in which a bouncy and rhythmic keyboard melody rises out of the sonic landscape to take center stage, but even with the sense of momentum provided, the track remains quite peaceful and airy. Post Global Trio’s “2” is perhaps a bit more minimalistic, made up largely of buzzing electronic tones that ever-so-slowly evolve and become louder. This track seems to be a combination of slightly creepy sound elements and ones which sound much more warm and pleasant: I can almost imagine a large colony of bees swarming around a hive while listening to portions of this track. Sound_00’s “Borislavec” begins with quiet nature sounds and a gentle clacking rhythm, only to transition into a much louder and more ominous middle section of creaking high-pitched tones and groaning background noise. The track also incorporates manipulated vocal elements that often sound very alien-like along with drip-drops of liquid: it’s probably the most definitively experimental and strange piece here, but also arguably the most fascinating to listen to. The album ends much in the same way it began, with a relatively brief but sufficiently melodramatic closing track again by Sherafedin Kurt.
Though I could perhaps say that none of the musicians featured here subscribe to the “less is more” philosophy of creating ambient music, I was pleasantly surprised by the relative quality of this compilation. Every track here has been finely crafted, and Across the Mountains as a whole leaves the listener with a sense of wonderment and awe. As is the case with most ambient music releases, some listeners simply wouldn’t be appreciative of what this album has to offer since these pieces are much more subtle and low-key than most of today’s music. For listeners who don’t need their music to be constantly obnoxious however, this would be a treat. Even if the album isn’t altogether hopeful and optimistic, it’s extremely calm and relaxing: I’ve found that this sort of music is quite inspiring to listen to while painting, writing, or generally being creative, but this is also an ideal album to throw on to pass time while doing some work around the house or to listen to while taking a nap. Definitely recommended.
~ Andy Armageddon, Bandjack

“Across the Mountains” is a compilation featuring multiple artists residing in Macedonia, and is a joint venture between US label Silber Records and Macedonian label Post Global Recordings. The album was released towards the end of the summer of 2014.
Compilations featuring the material of multiple artists will always be something of a challenge to write about, at least in a cohesive manner. No matter how interesting or not the material on such a production is, there is fairly often a fair degree of variation in the contributions by the different artists, even if the album as such is set to explore a specific theme, style or other topic that is a mutual feature between the artists.
In this case ambient music and the geographical location are the proposed common denominators, hence the subtitle of this compilation being “A Macedonian Ambient Music Compilation”. It is, as many compilations tends to be, something of a roller-coaster ride. All the music is accomplished, just to state that straight away, so even if the artists may be unknown these are quality artists in their own right, although I suspect more than a few of them will have a finite reach, and then mainly towards a niche audience.
Book-ending this compilation are short tracks by Sherafedin Kurt, and among the contributors here my impression is that his soft, delicate ambient material is the one that will have the broadest reach, the kind of music that will appeal to those fond of ambient excursions of a more delicate and tender nature, with piano details and soft, smooth keyboards combined with subtle electronic effects and otherwise careful instrumentation to craft music that should interest a broad range of listeners. Up to and including a new age oriented crowd, but also with enough details to interest those with an interest in music of this kind with more of a sophisticated scope.
Soft, compelling keyboard arrangements fluctuating between gentle and majestic arrangements, with plucked guitar and string instrument details coming and going, is the home turf of Amplidyne Effect, and their 15 minute long flowing ambient creation is another one that has the potential for a fairly broad reach in my opinion.
The oddly named project Fydhws is among the contributions with a more limited reach I suspect, a dark, brooding affair with drones and ominous atmospheres as key features. In terms of being ambient music, this is the stuff of ambient nightmares, the soundtrack to an Orwellian future, bleak and void of positive tendencies. Intriguing material, but one with a limited reach.
Airless Project‘s venture became too one-dimensional for my tastes, a hovering drone gradually declining in intensity with some softly chaotic rhythm-tinged effects gradually taking over the dominant spot. Most likely a case of me not enjoying the elements used and the scope of the composition this one, but for me the weakest moment of this album.
Dimitar Dodovski provides us with a pleasant ambient excursion with water sounds, electronic effects of various kinds and flavored with an appropriately mystical undercurrent for a soft and sweet run through some rather different landscapes, while Post Global Trio use cosmic sounding drones and nature sounds, combined with sampled sound of a fire burning and other cinematic tinged sounds for another pleasantly engaging take on the ambient landscapes, this one often invoking the feel of someone sitting by a campfire under an open starlit sky. Sound 00 utilize similar sounds, albeit without the cosmic tinges and with the addition of watery sounds to the proceedings, with percussion details and drones providing elements of variation.
In sum something of a roller-coaster ride, not all that unexpected when it comes to productions of this kind, and one that comes across as fairly evenly assembled in terms of presenting ambient landscapes of a more inviting nature and more challenging landscapes where harsher sounds and darker toned drones and noise effects are given more prominent and dominant positions. First and foremost a compilation that merits a check by those with a deep fascination for ambient music this one, and then those who prefer music of this nature to be rather more challenging than the kind of material you’ll find in new age oriented shops at that.
~ Olav Martin Bjørnsen, House of Prog

This, more than anything, is to let you know this exists. I've really dug into this compilation of ambient artists from Macedonia with what started as native curiosity. What exactly does ambient music from Macedonia sound like? I've been burned before by pretty bad Eastern European electronic music when I listened to three hours of the stuff on the Underground Alliance series for another publication I write for. I'm really happy to say that this stuff is legit. Silber Records must have some pretty strong sway in the Balkans, because a lot of this would not sound out of place on Silber's fine repertoire of great drone records. Really engaging ambient music that runs a broad gamut. From wandering synth and field recordings by Dimitar Dodovski, to a sprawling 15 minute aleatoric piano piece with huge clouds of gathering static and ominous guitar crackle by fydhws, billowy projections of soft guitar-based droning by Amplidyne Effect, plus plenty of pulsing, Nu-New Age crystalline synth by Sherafedin Kurt. Sound_00 and Airless Project hold down the dark-ambient side of things bringing some much needed noise and darker synth tones into this otherwise all-lights-on affair. Without the sticker shock of this being imported from Macedonia, I would be just as wholly impressed and grateful to have something to take with me as I study.
~ Tome to the Weather Machine