Armchair Music for the Comfy Soul

Winter is upon us, and everyone is looking for an excuse to recline on a warm and comfy armchair and have some tea with maybe a biscuit or two. Here at Strange Sounds From Beyond it’s no exception, but we like some music with our biscuits.

Since the Internet exists and we’ve got no plans to head outdoors, we’ve decided to remain where we are and share some lovely albums with you readers, so you too can remain exactly where you are; right in your armchair.

Ocke : Deepchord – Coldest Season (2007)

I remember vividly when this album came to my knowledge. It was the winter of 2012, and I had moved to Amsterdam as a fresh Philosophy student. Snow covered the entire city, which is quite rare these days in Holland. Wrapped in my blankets, I was reading Hegel, Marx and Adorno, which were way too difficult for me at the time. I popped this album on, got myself some tea and powered my way through. Oddly enough this combination of brainpain and pleasure etched a strong memory of a time that I now hold very dearly. Since winter is again upon us, I hope that something similar will happen again…

Lounes : Laraaji – Celestial Music 1978-2011 (2013)

A couple of weeks ago, me and my other half went to a concert by Laaraji in our hometown The Hague. It was exactly what we needed on a grey Sunday afternoon – to be bathed in warm spiritual soundwaves created right in front of our eyes and ears. The music resonated with me long after I left the scene. That’s exactly where the beauty in Laaraji’s music lies for me. Time and space bending, you could be everywhere in the wide cosmos with your eyes closed. It contains the power to kindle your imagination, lifting you away from your earthly struggles and routines, only to return you gently to our planet renewed.

Ocke: Matthew Halsall & The Gondwana Orchestra – When The World Was One (2014)

I had to spend quite some evenings or very early mornings in the Rush Hour store to do some admin or other chores. Most of these times were with Cris, and one time he picked up this album and told me that this was extremely beautiful. Many who know Cris also know that he uses superlatives very scarcely, so I was very curious about what was to come. The result is just a great, great, great jazz experience…for just about anywhere.

Quintin: Joanna Brouk – Hearing Music (2016)

“I realized that, in many instances, it didn’t matter what you said, it mattered how you said it: the tone of the voice, the rhythm, the sound…. Because sound has an incredible effect on other people, it can make them dance, put them into trances, it can control emotions by a certain pitch, a certain depth.” – Joanna Brouk

Ocke: Green Cosmos Abendmusiken (1983)

A good friend of mine, Jelmer Schütte, handed me this gift before I went to New-Zealand in 2016. There I traversed both islands with my trusty bike, so I had some hours to listen to music. Even though New Zealand is like Mordor, with sometimes climbs of 1.4 km a day, it still has a shire with more comfortable roads… Whenever I was lucky, I would find myself on one of these, with this album as my comfy ear-cushion.

Robin: Luc Marianni – Voyage Vers L’Harmonie (1983)

This has been one of my favorite armchair albums for quite a while now, because I honestly like every single song, which I don’t often have with my favorite records. Usually I favor just two or three songs tops. I actually bought this album for the b-side, because a friend recommended a song on this side, but once at home I played the a-side and it was a true trip. Every single song compliments the other in a very profound way, making it one of my favorite trips..