Freq. Magnet | Principium Somniferum

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Principium Somniferum

by Freq. Magnet

A new Austere side-project, this all-guitar album forges new ground in blending the sounds of Labradford, Stars of the Lid, Windy & Carl and others into a slow-moving, shoegazing psychedelic ambient trip into The Village, in a place and time unknown.
Genre: Electronic: Ambient
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Introduction
0:59 $0.99
2. Gentile Sitar
10:09 $1.49
3. Flashback
11:15 $1.49
4. I Had It?
11:04 $1.49
5. Glistening
10:30 $1.49
6. Hexed
11:24 $1.49
7. Obliquorse
4:10 $1.49
8. Outroduction
1:01 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
"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.



to write a review

Forrest (SunDummy)

Cool, Nice and Minimal, Amazing Sounds from Guitar
This is very cool, nice and minimal. This is nice; not as 'guitar' as I was expecting. There are some very vocal-like
passages (samples?) in here, angelic in parts ("Obliquorse"); really cool guitar
loops on "Hexed". You really manage to wring some cool sounds out of your gear
. This has a very wide stage, too; it seems murkier than Austere stuff, but without sounding muddy (if that makes sense). And I do love the package. The case
pisses me off; you just can't stack it anywhere, and it rolls out of my cd-rack. Brilliant! Don't worry about folks liking the music less than the package, the
music here is very good; 1/2 of you deserve Kudos!

Wayne Dolman / Scintillating Spelling Bee

Draws from its Inspirations but Creates All New Territory
Once again, an Austere-related project culls from its influences, which seem to flail about the musical spectrum from release to release, covering almost every type of music and musician that could even remotely be called "ambient" to create another compelling, dreamy guitar-only CD that defies easy categorization. The one-half of the band involved in this project assures that absolutely no voices or samples were used in this recording and that all sounds were coaxed from guitar and bass with the use of effects (aside from "mixing bowl" and "wind chimes".) There are drone pieces, definite homages to Windy & Carl and Labradford (sans keyboards) and others, and a twisted trail of information about the release (as compared to their usually very minimal or non-existent information) and an over-arching theme that makes this a real "record" rather than a collection of tracks/songs that is truly greater than just the sum of its parts, and really works when listened through its entirety, putting this reviewer into a foggy, dream-like, floating space... just "somewhere else" for the duration and then some. The production quality is amazing, the use of effects creating a very broad and deep soundfield, and even the samples add to this atmosphere to really take the listener on a journey to Some Other Place... Same for the packaging, which once again breaks all new ground for the CD format, another staple signature of Austere's self-produced craft. For fans of interesting guitar work & ambient and drone music, this release delivers and then some. And fortunately, it is apparantly safe to listen to while operating a motor vehicle (an apparent "joke" that those who discover this CD will get right from the get-go.) Once again, an impressive and unique outing from at least part of this mysterious camp who have yet to disappoint in their exploration of new music. - Wayne Dolman 8/15/2005.

Gordon Danis

Wonderful Ambient Guitar Music with Unbelievable Packaging
Principium Somniferium by Frequency Magnet, a side project of Austere - wonderful music, some very interesting samples with spoken interludes (especially the first one, letting me know I can drive while listening.) I can hear a guitar!! This one I can believe is guitar only. Make more CDs like this one! Maybe should have been ranked higher but I just woke up. Nice packaging too, one of the most interesting packages I've ever seen.