Here’s a rather pleasing, majestic, and dramatic drone release from this long time & highly prolific US based project. The CD takes in eleven tracks that move between lush slow-mo strings based ambience, and short slices of field recordings from Japan.
The releases front cover takes in a picture of silhouetted figure staring out of a train window at the rushing by landscape, and this is most fitting because as you listen to the album you can almost imagine vast landscapes & cites scapes slowly unfolding then disappearing before your eyes. The shorter field recording tracks work as brief slices of normality/ reality; as they taking in train station noise/ chatter & noises of everyday modern Japanese life.
Sound wise it brings it to mind the likes of Stars Of The Lid, more string based work of William Basinsk, or the slower & rich cinematics of Popol Vuh – as the ambient tracks unfold with slowed & lush string work that is both harmonic & dramatic. This is stretched out into rich & golden sweeps & hovers of compelling & relaxing ambience, which is both pleasing yet at times slightly melancholic.
All told this is a most compelling, soothing, and richly harmonic drone release, which over the last few weeks, I’ve found myself returning to again & again. Certainly this is one of the more captivating & re-playable drone releases in recent memory.
As long as a train Shinkansen, TGV Japanese discography CELER (alias American Will Long) gains a
‘Sky Limits’ (Baskaru) where the great classics of the gentleman are not upset, while gaining in depth and intensity. Always adept ambient tablecloths, sometimes turn into splendid dreamy setting for a fan of Brian Eno (the incredible and upsetting ‘Circle Routes’ which opens the album), Celer enriches his remarks with field recordings the more they are inhabited film. all the Both beaches (shorter), we believe in a film by Hou Hsiao-Hsien or Yasujiro Ozu, and all fans of cinema from the Far East will be delighted. Then, and systematically, it plunges into a trippy drama which, if not new, is of exceptional formal beauty.
Ce fut ensuite Celer, artiste américain exilé au Japon, et qui a sorti en décembre dernier « Sky Limits » sur le label français Baskaru. Ayant pour thématique la nature éphémère de la mémoire, des rêves et de la réalité, cette production nous fait effectivemment entrer dans un état second. Ces cordes synthétiques aux douces harmonies nous laisse contemplatif. Comme lors d’un voyage en train où nous observons à la fenêtre le paysage qui se déroule sous nos yeux dans un demi-sommeil. C’est bien cette image que Will Long, de son vrai nom, utilise pour illustrer ces 11 titres, qui font la part belle aux morceaux éthérés, entrecoupés de quelques enregistrements de terrain. Peut être même des souvenirs sonores que notre artiste a capté et a souhaité invoquer ici. La force de certaines captations sonores sur notre mémoire est rarement évoquée. D’une manière autre que des images, elles nous remettent bien plus vite dans une situation passée tellement les sons laissent une trace. Ils s’inscr ivent dans notre mémoire, peut être davantage de manière inconsciente, mais quand ils sont invoqués de nouveau, par le biais d’un enregistrement, leur impact est plus fort. Cela Celer le fait aussi bien avec ses sons de la vie courante, qu’avec ses sons synthétiques de cordes. La réalité pour les premiers, le rêve pour les seconds.
Then it was Celer, american artist who lives in Japan, and has released in last December “Sky Limits” on the french label Baskaru. Having the ephemeral nature of memory as a thematic, we are indeed in an altered stated of mind when listening to it. Those synthetic strings with soft harmonies leaves us contemplative. Like a trip in a train where we look at the landscapes that unfold before our very eyes in a half-sleep. This is this picture itself that Will Long, of his real name, uses to illustrate those 11 tracks, that give prominence to ethereal pieces, interspersed by field recordings. Maybe they are sound memories that he has recorded and wished to invoke here. The strength of some recorded sounds on our memory is hardly ever mentionned. Differently than a picture, they get us back in a past situation faster so much, because sounds leave a trace in us. They fit into our memory, maybe more in a unconscient way, but when they are invokated, by a recording, their impact is stronger. This Celer has done it both with every sounds and synthetic strings sounds. Reality for the first ones, dream for the second ones.
Since the disappearance of his wife Danielle in 2009, the American Will Long is alone at Celer ship bar. Currently based in Japan, it multiplies activities (musician, writer, photographer, educator and manager of Two Acorns label). In ten years of existence, has become a safe Celer vative of minimtaliste ambient; along qu’Hakobune example (with whom Will Long has also worked). The choice of Long étabiir to the country of the Rising Sun does not seem fortuitous as the Ceier music is inspired by the Japanese refined aesthetics. Long incorporates this new disc field recordings recorded in Tokyo and Kyoto – five of the eleven tracks on the album are thus made noises of Japanese urban life. Apart from these short interludes, the rest consists of cottony plies, the American was secret; the atmosphere in its purest form. A dreamlike journey where soothing sounds of waves are superimposed harmoniously, coming and going endlessly. This is a sweet electronic music, without artifice. Within these pieces, no variation. Nothing deviates from the initial scheme, which sometimes stretches for ten minutes. Annoying? Perhaps, but God it’s beautiful!
Recorded a couple of years ago in Tokyo and Kyoto, this disk mainly maps travel through large clouds of mushroom vapor, brought to you by Celer’s Will Long. The album’s title Sky Limits refers to areas explored, as the tracks seem to be expanded astral projections of a dreamy state of mind. A solo project since 2009, Celer is very successful on Sky Limits in escaping daily reality, and paints the enlightened state described under influence by early morning sunlight.
Expressing endless longing, drifting through celestial landscapes, Long’s state of mind resides in vaporised memories, making discrete snapshots of far out thoughts, impossible to determine their origin, and then stretching those stagnant stills into endless visuals of eternity, holograms of imaginary landscapes. Or something like that…..
No matter the words chosen to describe, don’t assume this is some kind of New Age or so, nor does it come close. It is effective in achieving what that genre is aiming for as Sky Limits breathes aether and does this to such an extent that the album, certainly when played at high volume, maybe adds more insights into space’s outer limits than NASA’s 10 last years of basic research.