Enveloped (Constellation Tatsu)
Not so much a series of drones as a series of blurs, Canadian Jordan Christoff’s marvellous debut album Enveloped is aptly named. As one fan at Bandcamp observed: “His music is like air, but at the same time like the connecting viscera of everything.” Christoff’s pieces are luminous like the softest light, and his sounds gently swell and recede like cycles of deep breathing. On “Alice” he uses filters and droning synths to soften a sparkling bed of notes from a hammer dulcimer or zither and the result is extraordinarily beautiful. The 19-minute “Waves” is just that, the rolling ebb and flow of the ocean translated into layers of blurry tones. Interestingly, his creation process uses no computer screens, which I assume means minimal editing and a more “live” creation than a lot of ambient fare. Not that I think one approach is superior to the other, but it’s a path that’s taken this particular musician to a rare and magical place. Also good this year: his Liminal album on the Past Inside The Present label.
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