Four seconds of static start ‘Evaporate and Wonder’, another release from the secretive ambient project Celer, comprised of the late Danielle Marie-Baquet and William Thomas Long, before the slow-motion descent begins. Recorded in California in 2009, and released on March 13th, ‘Evaporate and Wonder’ is comprised of two sidelong compositions, and whilst these can be immediately distinguished from their more obviously sparse and glacial predecessors, the overall effect still gels with the pair’s labyrinthian back catalogue, which is identified as being amongst the most well loved and respected within the genre.
Although upon hearing that the source material was limited to improvised synthesisors and field recordings one may initially begin to imagine Celer’s soundscapes to be decidedly ‘split’ down some half-way mark, both elements are in fact merged seamlessly, making listening to any individual record decidedly similar to slowly being pulled around by tides deep under the surface of the ocean. Whilst the heartbreaking backdrop to Celer’s releases post-July of 2009 does of course add a certain melancholy to their output, this isn’t to say it is in any way reliant upon this to impact upon the listener – this rather makes the recordings stronger in their emotive foundation. Long’s title to this particular section of their work, redemptive as it reads, seems to encapsulate both the artistic and emotional bond of two people more clearly than many other releases of a similar ilk.
Opening track ‘Bedded in Shallow Blades’ immediately brings to mind the Celer of yesteryear, such as static-laden ‘Emotion’, yet still shows a definite development in sound that was so tragically cut off before reaching its apex, and is only being heard now, several years on. Deep sub-bass throbs glide to and from the listener through foggy notes, played at such a volume that they solidify, yet far away enough to remain as faint echoes of what they were, and walls of malleable tones. Indeed the sounds on ‘Evaporate and Wonder’ are, somewhat counter to what the former half of the title suggests, denser than ever before, yet still not claustrophobic in any way. Celer’s compositions still manage to retain a certain distance, as if coming from everywhere at once, and so don’t overwhelm the listener as other groups’ works so often can.
Continuing on in respect to the quite obviously dual nature of the record, B-side ‘Repertoire of Dinless Shifts’, again far from what the title suggests, lifts the listener from the bottom of the ocean that ‘Bedded in Shallow Blades’ finally planted us on, but with one only realising as such as you begin to drift away. With the titles of the material being the only input that Long has had since the initial recording sessions were done, Celer releases are beginning to look, if not brighter, more accepting of the decidedly ill-hand the group, and Long, was dealt, with this release especially being a far cry from 2008’s ‘I Love You So Much I Can’t Even Title This (The Light That Never Goes Out Went Out)’.
Saying much more about ‘Evaporate and Wonder’, although infinitely possible, become irrelevant. This is because simply labeling Celer’s releases as anything from ‘Drone’ to ‘Minimalist Electronica’ to simply ‘Electronic atmospheres’, as well as trying to aptly describe them, cannot do them justice. The simultaneously ethereal yet deeply emotive creations of the late Danielle Marie-Baquet and William Thomas Long are ones that simply must be listened to, time and time again.