Hidden Shoal Records

edited May 2010 in Ambient
Recently discovered a new label while wandering the halls of emusic. Hidden Shoal Records, out of New Zealand I think, is sort've like the Kranky label, but some of their music sounds more like updated versions of eighties synth-pop (not always a bad thing, either). There's also several bands on the label who clearly enjoyed listening to Stereolab when they were younger (that's not a criticism).

Here's a link to their site, where they very graciously offer five different compilation sampler albums for free....


I've already purchased several albums from this label, and I'm sizing up a few others with my current emusic downloads. I'll go ahead and post some of my current favorites in this thread. Please add your own as well.

P.S. I get a kick out of the label's, shall we say, exuberant reviews of their band's records. But you know what? A label should be putting out remarks of their bands that don't ring of indifference. These sure don't.

P.P.S. For you emusic users, some of the Hidden Shoal albums will bite you in the ass with album pricing, though it isn't consistently applied, so maybe it's something that will be corrected later. In the meantime, you should avoid paying 12 DLs for a 6 track album (for example) by buying 5 tracks from emusic and picking up the 10+ minute track at Amazon. And don't forget, there's some free tracks on the sampler albums that you won't have to buy again.
Those sampler albums, ultimately, are allowing me to buy even more Hidden Shoal albums. In the long-run, giving away that music for free will pay dividends if my purchasing habits are mirrored by others.


  • edited May 2010
    Here's the first Hidden Shoal album I bought.


    Rich Bennett - "Music for Underwater Supermarkets"

    Peaceful album that nicely employs guitar and vibes as part of the tempo driving it along. I can't think of anything else to compare it to; perhaps a companion album to Mercury Rev's "Deserter's Songs", but even that is a bit of a stretch. A real lazy Sunday afternoon kind of album. Highly recommended.

    Here's his myspace page. That, and the sample tracks from the label site will give you a decent representation of the album...

  • edited May 2010
    Here's another I really enjoy...


    Elisa Luu - "Chromatic Sigh"

    Ambient album with drone and feedback, soft piano fluttering around it. If you're familiar with the "Harmony Rockets" album (some sort of team-up of Flying Saucer Attack and Mercury Rev, among others, if I recall), you'll have a good idea of what this album sounds like.
    Again, a peaceful album that could've been easily put out on Kranky.
    Here's Elisa's myspace page...


    It's another I'm very happy with.
  • edited May 2010
    Here's another I picked up...


    My Majestic Star - "Fining"

    Could probably be shelved near the Galaxie 500 and Luna on your cd rack. Lush instrumentals with a driving beat, one track with vocals. This album doesn't blow me away or anything, but then again, neither did Luna yet I have almost every one of their albums. Fining is a solid little album.

    I've listened to some other stuff by MMS, but haven't yet pulled the trigger. This album was a good start, though.

    Here's their myspace page...

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