En Already Gone

[Students of Decay; 2012]

Styles: free-floating galactic debris
Others: Jefre Cantu-Ledesma, Billy Gomberg, BROKENDISK, Root Strata

Already Gone is the ideal soundtrack to being shot into space, at least once the fiery, smoke-filled blast-off has taken place. Its contents free-float like galactic debris, the only grounding feature being the Campfire Songs strums of “The Sea Saw Swell” and the glittery harp sprinkles of “Elysia,” the latter much more stuttered and echo-drenched, as well as the soft onward thrust of En’s drone coordinates, which imbue the arrangements with a feel of endless, eternal drift.

Then again, maybe the mood of En is more akin to viewing a huge, gushing dam from above, the cool mist of liquid effects spraying the face every so often and leaving a thin sheen on the skin. All that’s missing is the roaring of the H2O; you simply won’t find any barbaric forces of nature within Already Gone; that is, unless you crank it up so loud the speakers shake in spite of themselves.

In a nutshell, that’s what this recording is about. Hints of minimalism abound, but you won’t find the compositions couched in the long, pregnant pauses that render many examples of the artform so spare there’s nowhere to hang one’s ear. Already Gone is a constant companion that leaves little to the imagination and even less to the brittle fallback that is filler, as each moment and transition is carefully conceived and midwife’d by a thoughtful knack for the tricky art of creating long stretches of sound that keep the listener in mind.

As useful a resource cassette tapes have turned out to be for ethereal mind music, I find vinyl to be a much better conduit for the more delicate spiritual journeys out there, and Already Gone is no exception. I might be (high-)biased, as my tape player is a sputtering ass-mess right now, but the sounds of En deserve to be heard at high fidelity, even after you’ve spun its contents to the sun and back.

Links: En - Students of Decay

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