sábado, 14 de abril de 2012

En - Already Gone

Link removed by request

Genre: Ambient, Drone, Electronic

A universal definition of what is “beautiful” will probably remain eternally elusive. Different tastes, different cultures, backgrounds and a myriad of other factors play into how one person’s perception of beauty differs from the next. That said, it would be difficult to imagine anyone listening to the opening minutes of En’s sophomore effort, bask in the swelling layers of sound and not feel totally surrounded by the sublime, the utterly beautiful.

Processed fields of digital ambience wash down upon the listener, guided thoughtfully by the clear bass notes of The Drift’s Trevor Montgomery, notes appear and sounds reveal themselves from underneath the veils of opener “Lodi”, which at two minutes long is a fraction of what most ambient/experimental artists put out, yet equally effective. The presence of bass guitar remains in the following track, and the fact that its inclusion works so well makes one wonder, why aren’t more artists who dwell in the limitless fields of ambience using bass in their mix? Its effect is enamoring, like a constant link between the heavens and earth, making the pristine worlds created by the reverb laden soundscapes appear more tangible. They turn from places that exist solely in dreams and fantasies to ones where you can actually reside and immerse yourself within. The bass notes, however scarce they might be, add that effect perfectly. It is extremely simple yet absolutely brilliant. I want more bass in my ambient from now on!

The rest of the album doesn’t stray far from the opening tracks in terms of quality or mood. “Already Gone” keeps going strong and the duo of Maxwell August Croy and James Devane continuously show that there is more to drone or ambient music than tons of reverb. They are able to mix things up, but do so ever so subtly, the koto plucks which bring to mind Nest’s best work, the jagged drones laid down to utmost effect amidst other layers in a manner that would make Richard Skelton proud. It’s all so thoughtfully done and keeps the listener completely locked in throughout the album’s length.

Thoughtful instrumentation and an eye for all that’s pretty won’t cut it though, I mean sure it’s gorgeous, but there’s more than the fair share of ambient musicians out there treading along these same lines. What cuts it, what seals the deal, hits a home run, touches down and does a triple backward somersault, is an ear for melody. What has always differentiated the everyday sound artist from those who excel at it, in my humble opinion at least, is melody. This might sound old fashioned, but nothing warms my heart more, especially one that has all these beautifying elements in the background, and that is exactly what makes album closer, “Elysia”, work so wonderfully.

At a little over nineteen minutes, longer than the four previous tracks combined, “Elysia” is naturally the one track which ultimately makes or breaks the album. It is the moment where the listener is faced with a more concrete, longer lasting thought rather than snippets of emotion and it shows En’s abilities at their highest; Here we have an emotional mass that provides an alluring gravitational pull, the introduction of piano, followed by psychedelic arps and synths make way for a vast field of quietude ending with sparse toy piano notes that fall away quietly into nothingness. We’ve reached the end and get a bigger picture of the effort the artists have put into constructing the compositions, it’s a trip through the details rather than a postcard of the overall result. En take us through the express route in the first half of the album and then back via the scenic route and both work marvelously.

Whether or not “Already Gone” would remain in my personal rotation for many months to come is something that I can’t tell for sure at the moment, but what I am sure of is that for the time I spent with it, I loved it deeply and if I am to take a souvenir with me it would have to be second track “The Sea Saw Swell”. That Bass!!!

Review from Fluid Radio

3 comentarios:

Anónimo dijo...

love the stuff you post.. woozy sounds.. superb ambient/drone titles.. love learning and hearing them.. dusthammer

Toxinho dijo...

Thanks for your kind words!!!

SOD dijo...

Please remove this post, the album is available to purchase on a variety of formats now.