A Place To Belong

Time Being

A Place To Belong

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About A Place To Belong

Tracks:

1   The Wind Has Called

2   Every Memory

3   From Where We Are

4   State Of Being

5   Farther Worlds

6   The Elements Melt

7   Here Is Life

8   An Infinite Home

Continuing the journey of deep sound exploration, Time Being’s second release on Spotted Peccary Music, A Place To Belong, is a mesmerizing array of sound sculpted micro-space ambiences, featuring Phillip Wilkerson’s signature drones and Jourdan Laik’s glistening electronic landscapes.

Beginning with wide-screen, cinematic moments of grass rippling in wind, sky-sculptures of clouds, and sweeping, swirling atmospheres of another dimension, A Place To Belong pushes the boundaries beyond Laik and Wilkerson’s first release, A Dimension Reflected, to musically explore ideas representing places filled, not with people, but rather with what makes people real: their memories.

Like wisps of wind across the abstract shapes of an inter-dimensional horizon, the shifting sonic palette of electronics, natural ambience and effects processing, are all part of this fascinating sound adventure that feels like the inscape of one’s deepest dreams. This is deep ambient listening; the soundtrack to a sojourn from the edge of perception, through farther worlds, to an infinite home.

Reviews

Time Being immerses the listener within the natural world from the first moment of A Place To Belong when rustling winds and faint moans by some unknown creature arise during the opening seconds of “The Wind Has Called.” With such sounds positioned prominently in the mix, it feels as if night is falling and that details rendered clear during the day are becoming indistinct. That Jourdan Laik and Phillip Wilkerson are able to evoke such vivid impressions speaks highly of their soundsculpting abilities; as impressive is the fact that they created everything on the hour-long album using synthesizers and programming.

Following upon their earlier A Dimension Reflected, this second full-length collaboration is deep ambient at its most potent. Though A Place To Belong is indexed as eight pieces, it, like many a recording of its kind, registers more as a singular entity of intermittently changing design. Swirling, electronically produced atmospheres dominate, but the recording isn't totally bereft of non-electronic sounds. Piano melodies tinkle softly throughout “From Where We Are,” and insect chirps, gull cries, water burble, and whistles emerge elsewhere to pull the material away from the stars and ground it solidly on earth.

That oscillation between the natural world and the abstract realm is something that happens throughout the album, and the listener comes away from the project sensitive to the duo's desire to encompass multiple dimensions. Nowhere is that more strongly felt than during the closing “An Infinite Home,” a twelve-minute epic whose blend of real-world and synthetic elements could pass for a single-statement Time Being manifesto. There are oscillations in mood, too, such that episodes of soothing calm (“Farther Worlds”) are countered by unsettling threats of physical rupture (“The Elements Melt”). Not surprisingly, the word oceanic springs to mind as the pair assemble multiple layers of glistening synth washes and whooshes into their dramatic sound paintings.

- Ron Schepper, Textura

Intense! Moments of intense ambiences. It's the most precise qualifier which comes in mind to describe the universe of soundscapes which flow out between our ears with “A Place to Belong”. Defying the parameters of serenity which poured out into A Dimension Reflected, released in 2011, Phillip Wilkerson and Jourdan Laik modulates this time a work, always so ambient, propelled by superb surges of intensity which try to prove that the rhythms can be born as much from the push of winds and of its elements as by the sequences and the percussions, set apart the brief pulsations which clone the small passive rhythm of "The Wind has Called". This 2nd opus of Time Being is a real one story of atmospheres with a backdrop stigmatized by the noises of a nature imagined by our senses where the shadows of the quiet rhythms, these moments of implosion which define the character of “A Place to Belong”, rumble beneath a nice meshing of drones and synth larva which float slowly like those long and elegant flights of pterodactyls or yet like the slow wrapping from the rollings of the celestial waves and of their singing prisms. The approach is very American esoteric with influences of Steve Roach and Robert Rich as well as a hint of ShaneMorris & Mystified for the noises of nature.
Some menacing winds buzz and perturb the quietude of the carillons which tinkle with a sensation of panic in their sonic glimmerings. From its first seconds, "The Wind has Called" spreads all the amplitude of the ambient spaces of “A Place to Belong”. The hummings sound like industrial explosions of which the threat is amplified by the military drones which sound so much like these warning sirens of disaster. And nevertheless, the calmness will assail our ears with an azure wind which shares its sound drizzle on the curves of synth lines full of remorse. The paradoxes which encircle this 2nd collaboration of Time Being are in the heart of the charms of “A Place to Belong”. The winds transport their thick clouds of prisms while the synths harmonize their sonic horizons with the bipolarity of Phillip Wilkerson's breaths and hummings. We even hear onset of rhythms which will challenge the moments of ecstasy as here, around the 7th minute. "Every Memory" hangs onto the finale of "The Wind has Called", the eight tracks are linked into an immense mosaic of atmospheres, with a mass synth lines filled of brilliant colors which defy the threat of winds and of which the hummings will never pierce its wall of serenity. The sound image depicts some waves of cosmic water which roll on the vestiges of an arid ground. This strange fusion of the secant strengths weave an intense soundscape where the drama is hiding in every denouement; passive or stormy. Like here, where these contrasts wrap the delicacy of a piano which scatter its pensive notes in the din, fading in and fading out, of a delicious concert of crickets which in the end are being discreet in face of this threat dressed in sibylline charms. The atmospheres of "State of Being" transports us towards another level. We are a little like some souls lost in a cave where the mooing and the iridescent chants of the winds are buzzing like immense singings separated by the passages and the faces of the caves. Intense that I told you from the beginning! And I would also add, dark! Somber and charmingly seducing.
“A Place to Belong” is a perpetual fight between the tenebrous and dark Phillip Wilkerson's windy rustles against the delicate harmonious envelopes forged in the celestial prisms of Jourdan Laik's synths. Just as much meditative and introspective but astonishingly brilliant, "Farther Worlds" offers a different sound pallet. Here the crickets are replaced by the effect of radiance of the cosmic waves which roll over the ringing of carillons as much pensive as the piano notes. The title ends with a beautiful effect of intensity, weaving a slight duel between tragedy and esoteric romance. "The Elements Melt" is feeding of the same elements, this same fight of contrasts than on "The Wind has Called", while that "Here is Life" is definitively the most seraphic track of “A Place to Belong”. The slow larvas from the synth are flowing here with the fury of engulf a sonic fauna filled of multiple jingles. It results from it a very beautiful relaxing piece of music. The ambient noises which mark out the structures of this 2nd opus of Time Being are even more alive and more sparkling "An Infinite Home". This long track which leans on ashes of "Here is Life". but with more time to exploit the celestial harmonies of the synth lines, concludes an album which is a nice little sound delight for those who like the genre. Another nice ambient gem out of the Spotted Peccary landscapes.

- Sylvain Lupari, Synth & Sequences

Launched as a theme-continuation from their previous album, the music featured on "A Place to Belong" takes the next step into deep exploration of ambient sounds and design.

The eight free form tracks further extend on timeless, deep-drifting ambient atmospheres and textural land/farscapes, addressing cosmic, immersive, heavenly, ethereal and tranquil realms beautifully. The introspective but powerful current running through each of these pieces comes up close and personal, spreading a ray of emotions and contemplation along a soft glow.

Moreover, it’s down to earth as well as in a more elevating state, expertly transformed and blended on e.g. the stellar "State of Being", "The Elements Melt" and "Here is Life". It all becomes full circle on the grand finale "An Infinite Home" where we fly over a sea of bliss and shift gradually from the dream back to reality.

"A Place to Belong" is both a visionary and imaginary soundtrack to caress and uplift mind and soul.

- Bert Strolenberg, Sonic Immersion

STYLE

Beatless ambient soundscapes.
Time Being further their exploration of subtle tonal intricacy with this suite of attractive meandering zones. Very much multiple-depth recordings, the eight tracks here seem open and fathomless in scope whilst infusions of sonic colour and peripheral hazes provide middle distance substance, to the fore gathering waves, restrained melodic hints and more highly contrasting textures detail the surface. Music of this smooth, nebulous, ponderous nature often suggests the cool immensity of space and whilst this is true of A Place To Belong in many passages, there is also a warmth and open-hearted passionate content that grounds much of the music, this is enhanced by small touches such as the peaceful water movement near the start of An Infinite Home and the submerged voice recordings swimming within Every Memory.

ARTWORK

A Place To Belong is packaged in a crisp card wallet of two panels, plastic-free, disc contained in one end. Crepuscular pinks and pallid amber hues flush darkening star-spotted skies above shadowy landscapes captured by Jordan Laik. The front cover is split by a beaming vertical slit of light: a portal, a monument, an ascension? Track titles reside on the rear cover with running times alongside as if rising up from behind the horizon. A panorama of tree silhouettes fills the inside, bathed in light from behind. Here, to the left, is a passage of inspirational text expanding the theme 'a place to belong', placing the various track titles in context, and to the right, simple credits. The music is, of course, available in a variety of digital formats as well as on CD.

OVERALL

Released via Spotted Peccary Music, A Place To Belong is the second collaborative album from Phillip Wilkerson and Jourdan Laik. Promotional material speaks of "sound sculpted micro-space ambiences" and "wide-screen, cinematic moments of grass rippling in wind, sky-sculptures of clouds, and sweeping, swirling atmospheres of another dimension." This nicely captures the pleasing balance of touching emotion, earthly intimacy and other-worldly far-seeing expansiveness that this well balanced duo unfold. This is an album that has more in the way of carefully-crafted structure to hold the attention than much beatless minimalism yet elegantly avoids overt melodic forms.

- Paul Jury, Morpheus Music Reviews

Lovely minimalist ambient

The second album from micro-ambient composers Phillip Wilkerson and Jourdan Laik begins with the icy digital drone tones of “The Wind Has Called”. “Every Memory” is a more ethereal trip into the clouds at daybreak, and “From Where We Are” brings a piano element alongside the fragile drones. If any album release were tailor-made for the wee hours, or for the waking dream state, this is it. Wilkerson and Laik’s gentle and unobtrusive ambiences are both soothing and narcotic.

“Farther Worlds” is an awakening of sorts, with big ominous bass drones amongst the shimmery tones. “Here Is Life” is more typically ambient, with a shifting juxtaposition of darker elements with lighter, lilting fields of cinematic sound, and the finale, “An Infinite Home”, reminds of a superb Eno piece, a seamless and refined statement in minimalist ambiance.

A beautiful release of gentle and evocative sound.

- Todd Zachritz, Goatsden

A Place To Belong is the second collaboration of Phillip Wilkerson and Jourdan Laik under the Time Being moniker, featuring a polyvalent peritoneum of eight tracks released in June 2015 on Spotted Peccary Music, available to purchase at Bandcamp, iTunes, Amazon MP3 and other stores, with a physical CD being available as well. The history of both synthesists and the front artwork tell the basic gist of the album in tandem, or so it seems: A Place To Belong is undoubtedly a New Age-oriented Space Ambient work filled with Wilkerson’s immersive diamantine drones and Laik’s benthic chimes and elasticized pulses. There is more to the album than just the pure audio-related craftsmanship though, and that is the simultaneity – or superstructure – of shapeshifting constancy, an oxymoronic pairing used in order to highlight the positron-fueled gamut. Aesthetically speaking, this is not a concept album with an attached story; neither an accompanying text nor explanatory notes are to be found, but what the album willfully lacks in this regard, the twilight brings into the amniotic ventiducts big time. A Place To Belong is a strong album title right from the get-go, probably a tad too common to truly grasp the intrinsic meaning, but that’s why the gentlemen created the viscid soundscapes to begin with. Here is a closer observation of all eight tracks and their gyration between suave benignancy and enigmatic mysticism.

Nocturnal suprematism, a soothing circumambience, everything is calm until the first – unexpectedly violent – strychnine-alloyed synth stab scythes through the atmosphere: The Wind Has Called is an eldritch affair right at the beginning, an iconoclastic-inimical centriole that frightens the soul due to its fitting cross-linkage with the album title. However, Jourdan Laik and Phillip Wilkerson soon rev up the arid wasteland with magnanimously incandescent illuminants. These diaphanous drones not only augment the holarctic aura, they provide a shift into salubrious, almost hieratic aureoles of understanding and set the tone for the locales to come. Every Memory, for instance, inherits the apocrine cytoplasm via gravitational microlensing, adding volatile swooshes and baroclinic lariats of light to the spectrum, all the while From Where We Are enhances the album’s macronutritious complexion with meta-pentatonic koto-esque yttrium synths, retrosternal riverbeds of adiabatic legato liquids and that kind of shelter-giving cenobitism which even offers warmth when the afterglow of the sonar waves echoes into the nullspace. The ethereally arpeggiated State Of Being then rounds off the albums first half with a pulsatile physiognomy, fluvio-lacustrine circulators and a tidal flexing; iridescent and rotoscoping ad infinitum, its silkened core is surrounded by synth interferometry and seraphic pitch shifts, making the track an aeriform affair.

The album’s second half launches with the wind gust-perturbed Farther Worlds, but despite its abrasive stature, ultramafic cyberbirds and soothing dark matter pads create a cavernous syncytium where even the ligneous vesicles and cautiously clandestine concestors emanate mutual friendship, understanding and a habitable place. Space Ambient and New Age are united, and Time Being won’t stop with fathoming their interstices. The Elements Melt offers a decidedly droning diorama where the molybdenized metallicity of the sawtooth synths is heated up and succumbs to a supreme spherification of the churning, inapproachable kind. It turns out that the puissance is monoclinic and electropositive, made of steel and stealth; an inorganic pageant. Here Is Life however returns to the veiled phytoliths that are so essential in this album and interlocks them with the former track’s steel-girder construction. The ensuing megafauna is hence based on a diffeomorphism between rhombohedral lozenges, lanthanum-covered hisses and wisps as well as cherubic cristae amid an ebb-and-flow cycle before An Infinite Home enchants with its anthocyanin-focused viridian hue that augments the crimson sunset of the front artwork with gaseous fibroblasts and orographic lavabo profusions, extrapolating the sensorial apprehension and intrinsic cryovolcanic superresonance into a plasmatic masterstroke that points leeway.

It would be comparatively easy to attach the proselytizing polymers of New Age to Time Being’s A Place To Belong, for these adjuvants are indeed the constants and cornerstones of Jourdan Laik’s and Phillip Wilkerson’s second collaboration at Spotted Peccary Music. Likewise, there is the darker edge of Space Ambient, a certain – albeit toned-down – histrionic cinematography with periglacial horizons, aliphatic dimensions and a phoresy that feels more like the greatest of all journeys than just a mere Ambient album that can be enjoyed in one’s abode. In-between these contrapuntal progenitors A Place To Belong is situated, transforming the stylistic gaps and aesthetic morphogenesis into a nomological-technocratic twilight that both enchants and offers a spine-tingling tropopause. Warm glucans and cold perianths become enmeshed, causing a chirality where the original intention of each track isn’t necessarily mirrored by the applied synths, colors or textures. What sounds like the description of a bewildering arbitrariness couldn’t be farther away from the (possible) truth: the photometry is indeed shifty on a per-track basis, but wondrously homeostatic if the complete album is considered! After all, the album title not only gives a hint about the incumbent feeling Time Being pour into the sound waves, it is also the apotheosis that is indeed reached, not just in the final track, but throughout the chromogenic octet.

- Björn Werkmann, Ambient Exotica

Phillip Wilkerson and Jourdan Laik return in their Time Being guise to escort us through the spacey ambient expanses and subtly nuanced topography of A Place to Belong. An excellent blending of styles moves this release along; meditative passages and quiet melodies are given equal say, as are light and dark. The album opens in what is, for me, a much darker tone than I expected from Time Being. “The Wind Has Called” is not dark ambient, but it is built on a heavy low end that enters with full dramatic force, big, single notes of it like ominous footsteps. The duo fade it down to reveal a broader, lighter ambient space—but those first few minutes definitely catch the attention. A dramatic swell at the end reminds us of the tension. At that point, A Place to Belong settles into the softer side of its mix. “From Where We Are” brings in piano to maintain the balance over more of those bass-loaded drones (while also hitting a sort of Steven Halpern vibe). “State of Being” is a lush ambient coaster, packed with high-soaring pads and a particularly potent emotional content. Then there’s a shift as “Farther Worlds” heads into an appropriately star-filled place reminiscent of your favorite spacemusic pieces. It’s a deep ride with many small elements at work. Again there’s great dramatic use of bass here, pulsing in at certain points like we’re bringing the engines up. Then, when we drift, especially in the closing moments, we rid ourselves of gravity. Everything comes together in the mid-length closer, “The Infinite Home.” We open in a melodic, orchestral place that rises to a bombastically dramatic swell that drops us off into the sound of the ocean lapping softly at the sand. I’m a trifle distracted by the reverb that’s put onto the water sounds. It makes it almost too artificial. Still a nice touch. Melodic ambient pads take us to the end.

A Place to Belong does what a sophomore effort should, following a good debut: it ups the ante. Wilkerson has long been one of my personal favorite artists, turning out consistently superb work. In Laik he finds a partner who gets his sensibilities and then amplifies the overall effect with his own excellent contributions. This is a duo I truly look forward to hearing more from in the future.

- John Shanahan, Hypnagogue

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