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