On Water’ by Ben Cox is a lovely recording filled with fluid drones and vivid imagery.
Sparse and darkly beautiful in its use of sound, Cox has created a work that envelopes the listener in a liquid embrace. A wonderful example of the expressiveness of dark ambience, and a fine example of the emotionality of drones.
‘Anhinga’ opens the disc with a beautiful blend of simple guitar and piano notes played overtop a droning background. ‘Merganser’ follows, a dark ambient drone coupled with distorted guitar and minimal vocals weaving throughout to create a stunning piece.
‘Willet’ returns the disc to brighter territories, a synthesis of piano and field recordings matched with high bell tones. There's a sense of hope and renewal to this track, discovery and possibility despite the threat of oncoming rain. And really, who can't use a little more hope? Track four, ‘Gannet’, is a spiralling piece that gives a sense of movement and fluidity around a centre or fixed point, growing as time passes, gaining clarity and form as the piece progresses. Very powerful and very beautiful. The fifth piece on the disc, ‘Grebe’, continues along the brighter path of ambience, with small arpegios and bright flourishes interspersed throughout a steady drone. ‘Plover’ follows, a series of pads mingling and entwining with an ebbing and flowing pulse. Trumpet swells throughout adding an organic quality to the track, the feeling of a living organism. ‘Pray for Rain’ closes the disc, light hand percussion playing throughout the piece overtop slight synth patterns.
A stirring, fluid track to close the disc. Wonderful.
Without doubt, ‘On Water’ is an impressive collection of drone-based work, a series of pieces that cover a wide range of emotions and environments. Highly recommended for the obvious fans of drones and dark ambience, and for those who enjoy the creation of new and distinct environments. Beautiful work.
- Rik, Ping Things