Ἀρέθουσα, 14 October 2018


isol­a­tion, intro­spec­tion, relax­a­tion

ambi­ent, folk, drone, acous­tic, vocal, field record­ings, early music, spir­itual

Going slowly into the night with Anders Brørby’s layered ambi­ent on Trau­mas (2018, For­wind). The start is calm, mys­ter­i­ous, but about halfway the album starts adding stel­lar beat-based work to the mix, as well. A reward­ing listen.

Put the Ospreys on it and You’ll Know the End was released by Andrew Weath­ers for last month’s Band­camp Voter Fri­day event. It’s one of his clas­sic long­form amer­ic­ana-tinged drone works, gradu­ally cres­cendo­ing synth and elec­tric gui­tar. Hazy as the desert.

Hespèrion XXI; Jordi SavallOstinato (2001 Alia Vox)

Starts out with a nice selec­tion of courtly dances, before mov­ing into a series of more mourn­ful exten­ded Baroque com­pos­i­tions. Pur­cell, Cortiz, et al.

James Mur­ray’s Fall­ing Back­wards (2018, Home Nor­mal) is deeply con­tem­plat­ive, mel­an­cholic ambi­ent. Synths and drawn out bowed strings con­jure music that is as accept­ing yet unset­tling as the lit­eral vol­un­tary falls the album refers to.

Munir Bashir - Meso­pot­amia (2003, Har­mo­nia Mundi)

The Iraqi oud mas­ter on a double album, deeply tra­di­tional in inspir­a­tion but vir­tu­oso in his work­ings. Bashir shreds.

You can always rely on Rabih Abou-Khalil for a choice blend of jazz and middle east­ern clas­sical music, but the lat­ter is par­tic­u­larly prom­in­ent here on Yara (1998, enja). Haunt­ing and mas­ter­ful work on the strings and per­cus­sion here.

Rapoon’s Off­world OP1 Equs (2018, Winter-Light) is a bril­liant piece of space ambi­ent, eschew­ing the usual trap­pings of the genre, and bring­ing the full weight of his exper­i­ence to bear. Alien bells, strange arcane devices… Off­worldly, indeed!

Swal­lowed into the Abyss by Sangam: warm urban ambi­ent (2018, Geo­met­ric Lul­laby). Night­time strolls, neon haze, strangers in the night. Some­times unset­tling, but never viol­ent or lurid.