Celer is an established name in electronic ambient, and a prominent name on my sleep playlists already. This four-disc set, with one single piece on each disc, adds confidently to the repertoire without throwing in any major surprises.
The press release states that “each piece begins with all layers playing, with minimal additional long-term structural development in order to maintain a state”, and frankly it’s difficult to either argue or add to that. Each piece is rich, and quite densely layered, with calm and tuneful top ends over soporific bass hums that can wash over you with pleasure.
The warmest is first piece “Merita”, a 35-minute concentrated sonic lullaby that pulls you gently out of time. Despite its name, “No Sleep In Medan” is certainly something you can fall asleep to, but a slightly gritter low rumble and a more plaintive slow two-chord alternation do add a sense of loneliness and melancholy.
“Nothing Will Change” has a strongly Eno-like vibe to it, again rotating the chords but with a slightly more acoustic flavour and a velvety tone to it that might or might not be connected with the use of old reel-to-reel tapes for recording. Final piece “Qarauan” adds more of a gradual rise and fall to the slowly evolving melody parts, a stepping process that feels oddly inebriating after a while, playing on the most primitive of psychological effects where rising tones feel optimistic- so there’s a certain happiness to the audio drunkenness here.
If I were looking for something to criticise, I would mention one gripe which is more environmental than artistic. The average running time of these pieces is under 40 minutes and despite being a four-disc set, the music on here could easily have fit onto two discs, with room to spare. So in a physical sense, it is a touch wasteful. And if you fell asleep whilst the first track on a disc was playing, and slept through the second piece, would it really matter?
The press release also describes the concept as “a meditation on future events”, and while it’s hard to discern where the future events lie within this sound- or indeed any events at all, an implication reinforced by the track title “Nothing Will Change”- it certainly is meditative music of the highest order.