I don’t know ambient music much beyond the 1970s, aside from a few 1990s albums I’ve encountered due to my podcast. But I do know that the vast majority of ambient music in existence has been created with synthesizers and other electronic instruments, keyboards hooked up to synthesizers and now computers, not rock band equipment. That this music is created in part by guitar, bass, drums and vocals is mind-blowing.
Because it’s usually full-on ambient, or very close to ambient anyway (because there’s a beat, which makes it less ambient). I’m not sure I would have known it was created by a “rock” band without reading about the record. That in and of itself breaks my brain and makes me want to commend them.
There moments when you can tell that it is sort of on the post rock spectrum – they do occasionally sound like a more ambient friendly, less jazzy version of Tortoise – or the dream pop spectrum – especially when there are vocals – but, on the whole this is much more approachable if you like ambient music, or ambient techno, or other soft electronic music.
It is a fascinating record and, dare I say, a brave, rather radical one, given how it was created. I don’t know that I like it, but that’s because I don’t generally know how I feel about ambient adjacent music for the most part – I have a really hard time deciding what I think about something I can mostly ignore while it’s playing.
Still, just a remarkable sound given what was used to create it.
8/10 I guess
All tracks written by Mark Clifford except where otherwise noted.
- “Climactic Phase #3” (Mark Clifford, Justin Fletcher) 8:24
- “Polyfusion” (Clifford, Sarah Peacock) 6:22
- “Industrious” (Clifford, Peacock) 6:38
- “Imperial” 6:37
- “Plainsong” 7:40
- “Charlotte’s Mouth” (Clifford, Peacock, Daren Seymour, Fletcher) 7:25
- “Through You” (5:46)
- “Filter Dub” (8:45)
- “Signals” (Seymour, Clifford) 5:47
- Mark Clifford – guitar, sequencing, rhythm treatments, engineer
- Sarah Peacock – guitar, vocals
- Daren Seymour – bass, radio
- Justin Fletcher – percussion, rhythm programming