Review: The Floating World - The Apparition (2012)


artist: The Float­ing World
release: The Appar­i­tion
format: CD
year of release: 2012
label: Cyc­lic Law
dur­a­tion: 42:46

detailed info: dis​cogs​.com

If you know The Float­ing World from before, you’ll remem­ber waves of drift­ing flute melod­ies and an oth­er­worldly, mys­tical atmo­sphere. As far as I know, there were only a hand­ful of releases, all round 2005, on small edi­tions. Since then, Amanda Votta has col­lab­or­ated with Gustaf Hildebrand on Lacus Som­ni­orum, with Far Black Fur­long on their lovely self-titled album, and now, finally, with a new solo album on Cyc­lic Law.

The Appar­i­tion builds on Votta’s dream­like style as a flaut­ist, but the accrued influ­ences of the past few years are given lots of room on this new album. So much in fact, that the flute is kept to a bare min­imum in the first stages of the album. Instead, the dark drones so typ­ical of Cyc­lic Law music dom­in­ate for the most part. As the album devel­ops, eerie voices, bells and melod­ies pierce through the thick lay­ers of dark grey clouds.

The res­ult is a very evoc­at­ive album, at times a bit under­stated and drift­ing, that sounds quite a bit like a soundtrack to some­thing, a black and white movie, a mys­tical paint­ing, or even just to things that are ghostly and between worlds. Only in the last track, “If Only the Moon”, does a bit of con­crete­ness sneak in, borne by the voices of Nicole Votta, Ned­dal Ayad and Timothy Ren­ner, in all their high-low con­trast. Their lines quote Oscar Wilde’s Salomé, per­haps among other sources. An impress­ive cli­max.

The Appar­i­tion is more in line with Cyc­lic Law’s exist­ing dark ambi­ent cata­logue than I had per­haps expec­ted, but it feels like a nat­ural devel­op­ment to com­ple­ment the dreamy flute melod­ies of the older works with deeper dron­ing under­tones and hints of other instru­ments. It makes this album an excel­lent moody piece that will sit well any devotee of the label’s his­tory, though it might dis­ap­point those pos­sible few who expec­ted more elab­or­ate folk/ambient hybrids like Far Black Fur­long.

Reviewed by O.S.

Track­list:

1. Another Way (6:04)
2. Ver­nal (5:38)
3. Belief In Sum­mer (6:04)
4. Chro­matic Abber­a­tion (6:07)
5. Impossible (6:04)
6. Suc­cor (6:08)
7. If Only The Moon (6:41)