LOSCIL – ALTA
I guess I can safely assume that (Scott Morgan) aka loscil (no capitalization) needs no further introduction. If it does, I strongly recommend you to check his back catalog which started in 2001 and contains quite some reference albums when it comes to ambient music.
Apart from all ‘official’ releases (by which I mean those that are released on labels like Kranky and Glacial Movement), Morgan sometimes also self-releases music, not on any label. Alta is a recent example.
Alta is a rendered version of a generative music piece created for an audiovisual installation in Vancouver BC in March 2023. Originally an endless piece of music for four channels (oh how I would love to suggest Scott to also release a digital multichannel version like Robert Rich does), but now available as a stereo version of 42 minutes. (And ‘available’ means ‘name your price’!!).
The piece is related to the music for Adrift, originally written for a mobile application, but available as a download since 2020. Like the music on that release, Alta is also named after an abandoned sea vessel.
With the sound rolling in like quiet waves, the piece is extremely relaxing, and I can easily imagine it going on for a very very long time without getting boring. By the lack of the endless generative version, it’s best to simply put this one on repeat.
ANDREW HEATH – FOLD
Just a few weeks after the release of Landscape Studies No.3 (see below), the Dronarivm label surprises us with a full-length release of music by Andrew Heath.
Knowing his ‘lower case music’ (as he calls it), ánd knowing the consistent quality of the Dronarivm releases, my expectations were high.
And Fold does not disappoint.
Andrew Heath‘s music is like a breath of fresh air, with its perfectly produced sound field. Every single instrument can be clearly heard without dominating the field.
Still, Heath claims this album is a shift in his work ‘towards a more open and tonal sound – warmer and more dreamlike’.
Of course, I am not to argue with that but I would have used that description (open, tonal, warm, dreamlike) for most – if not all – of his previous works. Because that is exactly why I love it so.
‘Fold is a slow-moving tone poem with delicate piano motifs and evolving e-bowed guitar notes that seem to form from nowhere and then disappear into the ether, always searching for that elusive and constantly shifting space between sleeping and waking.’
I simply have nothing to add to that.
Physically, Fold is only available in a cassette edition in a strictly limited edition of 50 handmade boxes that will be gone in a blink of an eye. However, there’s also a digital download option.
ANDREW HEATH – LANDSCAPE STUDIES No. 3
The music of Andrew Heath is always closely connected to the landscapes that surround him. Often – but not exclusively – with a genuine ‘English’ atmosphere (although it’s hard to explain why I feel this). On Landscape Studies, however, he focuses on ‘places I have visited and even those in distant memories’.
Each edition opens and closes with a short environmental recording, between that the music drifts off to explore the landscape – imaginary or real.
Landscape Studies No.3 is the final part of this series of short albums. This time, the field recordings are from Norway, because this edition ‘takes us to winter and the season\s cold grasp on everything around us’.
Do not expect cold, glacial dark ambient though: Heath’s music is warm and comforting as always. Maybe because he focuses on the different light in winter: ‘gentle soft colours and tones that obscure the distance or a moonlit radiance on the soft snow’.
Each edition of this trilogy is around 25 minutes long. So they would perfectly fit together on a CD if you ask me. Unfortunately, there’s no sign of this happening … for now, the three Landscape Studies are only available digitally.