Archive for July, 2012

Because I forgot to do my late night ambient review last night, here’s some emergency 2012 Celer.

This is actually another brand new Celer release, dropped on the 22nd June. It was so new, in fact, that I had to make its own profile on Rate Your Music. I must say I was rather confused initially when I didnt see it there, before I checked the release date on his Bandcamp. You can listen for free on Bandcamp, as well as purchase as a Limited Edition cassette.

It’s slightly alarming to think that Lightness and Irresponsibility is Celer’s 8th album release this year; there are thousands of artists who wont release 8 albums over their entire career. Celer produces music at a terrifying rate, far too fast for anyone to even hope to keep up with. You’d have to be a serious fan to have listened to all 60+ albums they’ve release over the last 6 years. Luckily, most of his/their work is of a similar level of quality, so it is possible to dip in almost anywhere and start listening.

The other 2012 Celer album I reviewed was Evaporate and Wonder, a deliciously delicate, heartbreakingly beautiful release, filled with 40 minutes of shimmering, careful drones. This album is very much in the same vein if not, dare I say it, even quieter. My house in the day isn’t a terribly noisy place (at times), but I’m having to turn my volume slider to maximum to really hear it. Updating the ReplayGain in Foobar is helping give it some extra welly.

“An Unforced Cheerfulness” has already been playing for 18 of its 20 minutes, and I have no idea what I’ve done with that time. It has slowly been building for its entire duration; a sad, thoughtful sound, with brighter drone sequences weaving and unravelling as a deeper, darker, bassier drone begins to emerge in the latter half. It’s a curious piece, unfolding out of air very slowly, its wistful tones bearing an ounce of optimism, a wry smile behind an otherwise unhappy face.

“Involuntary Impromptu” is a different animal; a deep sub-bass permeates the core of this piece, breaking the surface every so often with a rumbling roar. Airy drone fragments dance and float around the cresting bass before growing more isolated and just hanging in the foreground until they’ve run their course. There’s a great deal more activity here, and it’s not submissive either. The bassier, almost orchestral pulses, are big, bold and determined inclusions that mirror the “impromptu” thought process that went into creating them.

Once again, titles and names tell as much of a story as the music itself; there is a childlike innocence and contentedness here, it feels like a burden has been shed and life has gotten more carefree. There is a tinge of sadness in the first track but there’s also an unselfish happiness, followed by a bigger, bolder track than before as our responsibilities are jettisoned and life gets more spontaneous as the world and its possibilities open up before us. It’s quite a protracted way of saying that even though things may look bad in your world right now, the load will eventually lighten, and when it does you’re allowed to be happy and do things that you want to do.


Clearly satisfied by the outcome of their first seven-inch release, Maastunnel/Mt. Mitake, Will Long and Rutger Zuydervelt return for another installment, this one similar in concept and titledNuma/Penarie. Put together in Tokyo and Rotterdam earlier this year, the two tracks contain original sound elements stitched together from longer source material, and the release is enhanced by its postcard collage presentation and two complementary videos created by Marco Douma.

The tracks themselves are a contrasting pair, the first “Numa” very much in the Celer tradition in fashioning a mood of becalmed iridescence, even if some measure of turbulence briefly intervenes halfway through its five-minute run. “Penarie” immediately distances itself from the other in opening with horn-like synth flurries, though it, too, gravitates repeatedly in the direction of soothing splendour. In both pieces, one often witnesses an ongoing oscillation between the ambient stylings of Celer and the rougher textural play of Machinefabriek. Needless to say, that’s a good thing, as the collaborators’ respective tendencies render the material less homogenous and predictable than it otherwise might be.

Douma’s videos form a nice part of the package as they evolve in accordance with changes in the musical textures—as the music becomes grainier, so too does the video display. “Numa” offers a logical analogue to the musical material as it’s abstract in nature but powerfully evocative, with the visual content suggestive of sunlight reflections on rippling surfaces and showing geometric shapes viewed through a prismatic mist. By contrast, real-world elements, such as electrical towers and hydro wires, appear more identifiably during “Penarie,” though the video retains the dream-like quality of “Numa.”