Space Shapes

Ethernet

Opus 2

Kranky

7th January 2012

A delightful collection of ambient electronica.  The promo says:

“Developing on the trance-induction and brainwave entrainment techniques explored on the first Ethernet album 144 Pulsations Of Light, Opus 2 moves into deeper, more introspective and emotive territory. A stronger focus on melody and harmonic structure results in pieces that almost approach, but never quite arrive at, traditional song forms, while still leaving much to the imagination of the listener, evading mental categorization and revealing new sonic experiences with each listen.

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The bulk of recording took place during the darkest months of winter in the Pacific Northwest, between late-night shifts providing technical support for hospital operating rooms. The pieces on the album each formed gradually and spontaneously during extended improvised sonic meditations as part of the composer’s own trance-work (or self-hypnosis) practice, this in an effort to remove specific compositional intention from the process, instead just allowing them to “happen”.

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If 144 Pulsations… was about expansion of awareness and opening to the light that surrounds us, Opus 2 is intended to induce inner contemplation and internalized focus on the light within us. It is also a statement on the gradual darkening and inexorable decay of our modern world, and the need to look within to find true support and sustenance from one’s own energetic source. Patience and perseverance.”

Layers of synths floating across the soundscape characterise this very laid back and enjoyable selection of pieces. Tim Gray is in fine form on this second release on Kranky which reminds me of early German synthesis, the quieter elements of Tim Blake’s ’70s work and Brian Eno. Minimal beats sometimes add a nice tension to the laminal nature of the synthesis – as the promo says there are no conventional song structures but rather an organic development of melody and texture. Very chilled and sufficiently varied enough to keep the attention.

An enjoyable listen and recommended to admirers of ambient electronica.

Here is a preview track for your delectation…..

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