This Spotted Peccary release is a reissue of a small indie CD from a couple years back by Stefan Jönsson. ‘From a Silent Surface’ starts with slow, pounding beats, contrasted with soft background static. Sounds are added one at a time, a synth here, a bubbly loop there, and then a steady backbeat takes over. It is very catchy, and quite different from the dark ambient sound of Secret Observatory, although Jönsson’s ability to make more concise tunes was evident on Autumn Continent. This is more like thinking man’s ambient dub or trance. We segue smoothly into ‘Wishful Thinking’, the static and spoken word bits reminding me a lot of Spyra. An almost operatic female vocal sample appears intermittently. A vaguely koto-like stringed instrument pulses its way slowly along, lending a faraway pensive feeling. Like its predecessor, it turns toward modern electronica and beats near the end. The atmospheric talky bits return and then stay for the duration in ‘Overheard,’ a stripped down piece devoid of rhythm or melody that plays more like esoteric soundtrack music, as does the title track that follows. These sound more like the current Between Interval sound, perhaps a bit more abstract and dark. ‘Aerolith’ and ‘The Dark Light’ continue in minimal mellow mode, with a smoother softer edge to them, although a slow steady rhythm appears in the latter, along with some cool synths that do add a dash of melody. ‘Katakomb’ features a hypnotic bass pulse, repeating simple synth phrasing, and a panning beat that is somehow equal parts modern and primitive. The rest of the disc continues to explore various phases of ambient, some with beats some without, some with melody some without, all in interesting and listenable ways. Thumbs up.
- Phil Derby, Electroambient Space