Ambient Sunday with: Bruce Brubaker, Max Cooper, Philip Glass; Accidental Allies; Fillup Waters; and Der Waldläufer #Ambient #Drone #NeoClassical

Four tracks rather than the usual three for Ambient Sunday. But six artists in total – Bruce Brubaker, Max Cooper, Philip Glass; Accidental Allies; Fillup Waters; and Der Waldläufer.

Let’s start with electronic meets classical in the combination of Bruce Brubaker, Max Cooper and Philip Glass. Max Cooper is a firm favourite here at AcidTed with his precise electronic combinations and science background. Philip Glass not so much. I’ve tried a few times with his stuff but my attention wanders. Let’s see if Max can fix that?

The track is eleven minutes of sixties track Two Pages. After his work with Ravi Shankar in the 1960s, Philip Glass composed his first repetitive, “minimalist” music, including Two Pages. A short melodic fragment or cell is repeated and gradually lengthened by adding one note at a time. In Bruce Brubaker and Max Cooper’s Glassforms, Two Pages is framed with slowly evolving harmonies. They say it’s not a remix but a new set of clothes. I don’t really know the original to offer a proper comparison. But their efforts is classical piano endlessly looping set against insect rustles and aliens harmonies. It’s all very Philip Glass meets the bug aliens and gets his head bitten off. What’s left of the corpse is a sweetly pulsating piece that is half meditative but also too awkward to allow you to settle completely. As Max Cooper says, “It’s a balance between order and chaos, which for me, is where the most beautiful music emerges.”

Also ploughing a neo-classical furrow this morning is Accidental Allies from the UK who returns to offer Time Will Tell. This comes with the tantalising strap line, “How will the future look after a lock down, only…” This starts all neo-classical and piano led before subsequently fading into electronics of an almost indie sort. But before it tips over into something more rock based it holds itself back and retreats into pitter patter electronics. It’s all quite swirling synths as if intentionally opaque in meaning and offering only a Delphic vision of the future. You rather hope that the ethereal wordless element towards the end is a scintilla of hope for the future. But who can tell…

To Kassel, Germany next with Der Waldläufer (tr. The Forest Ranger). The track is Water Moon, taken from the album Fluidum. The track allows us to transition from ambient drone to something more chilled. It’s all very Café Del Mar in the classic mid-90s sense. And we love that. There’s a delightful use of trumpets here set against the washing of waves. A mental holiday from the lockdown to a better place. It’s all gently uplifting. It doesn’t take you anywhere you don’t want to go but sets you down gently. You return just that bit better for the experience. These days, you can’t ask for more than that.


And finally, Fillup Waters to bring us down in the most beautiful way with a happy / sad kind of track in which melancholia wins out. The track is DREAMS. It starts with “I think it’s good to have dreams. Don’t you?” set against wistful dreamy chords that float almost daydream aimlessly. Of himself Fillup Waters offers, “I am a dreamer, my entire life and career path has been made up of dreams, I tend to dream about things over and over until they eventually manifest themselves into a reality.”

The track moves from dreaminess to a more edgy haze as reality intrudes. As it always does in the end. This is life in slo-mo. An endless loop of near misses and what-could-have-been. But utterly beautifully done. Sounds wash in and wash out again. from banks of synths to single sounds, held for a moment and then gone. And if you don’t believe me that melancholia wins out, let me leave the last word to FW who says, “The sad truth about the song is that like most of us, I’ve given up on many of my dreams.”



~ by acidted on May 3, 2020.

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