Album ReviewsReviewsἈρέθουσα

valyri - Phases

2018, Hairs aBlazin’

At first the 99:11 dur­a­tion stared me down like some for­bid­ding castle wall. When you’ve got a few hun­dred albums on your ‘to check’ list (don’t ask), it’s not easy pick­ing or even jus­ti­fy­ing pick­ing an album of this length over one of, say, 40 minutes. But I did. And I’m glad I did.

I star­ted with one phase, and the other three fol­lowed as nat­ur­ally as the flow of a river.

The haze is just per­fect on valyri’s synths. Her melod­ies on Phases are abstrac­tions, echoes of clas­sical influ­ences, stretched into a kind of non-repet­it­ive ambi­ent min­im­al­ism. A hun­dred minutes flit by in a divine instant.

Each of these four phases has its own warmth and depth, its own tex­tures, the mys­ter­i­ous kind of wind­ing spa­cious­ness and wet­ness of a cave sys­tem, reluct­antly reveal­ing new nat­ural treas­ures after each pas­sage. 

This album has the power to calm me, the way pre­cious few things have in this tumul­tu­ous period of my life. It trans­ports me to its own world, but more import­antly, it man­ages to chan­nel some of its serenity back into our world, which is more valu­able still.

Thank you, valyri.

Phases is out on Hairs aBlazin’, or avail­able through a sub­scrip­tion to valyri’s Band­camp.

Reviewed by Ἀρέθουσα.