Air Space Ark - All Rivers Lead
Moonshoe Records has bowled over first listeners by presenting this new side of their sphere - Air Space Ark’s debut, “All Rivers Lead” charts the course of divergent streams of contemporary ambient music, downtempo rhythms, and electroacoustic experimentation, arriving at a calming confluence of these sources. Across the 6 songs on these two sides, they evoke a calming and contemplative headspace.
333 is an exquisite study in balance - the intermingling of bird song water sounds that could equally be field recordings or synthesized foley - the ambiguity adding a delightful trompe l'oreille effect - and crystalline keys ; these airy sounds weighted by washes of subbass. BLANK PAGE is almost like a version of the previous track, retaining the nimble birdsongs and heavy sub, but foregrounding a lolling, stumbling hip-hop beat and placing more emphasis on the effects wizardry as abstract sounds careen across the track in wipes and wisps, before stripping down to a beautiful coda of birdsong, piano plinks and a textured backdrop. The celestial keys, flute-like thrums and gentle chimes of WORDS BETWEEN SELF evoke the golden age of spiritual jazz, but the hazy ambiance and shuffling beats transmute the other elements around them into something more introspective and personal than jubilant praise.
Lyrics aside, the subtle funk coupled with the pensive, meditative air channels the spirit of Stanley Cowell’s classic TRAVELLIN’ MAN. LOFT IN 7 Is the most “out” moment here. It has echoes, literally, of jazz. Like decaying tape reels disintegrating in real time, we feel the tape buckling and warping under the weight of time as the sounds of a synthetic band warp and shift against electronic impulses and glitches, eventually leaving just a lingering, ghostly imprint.
. DUST SONG veers the closest towards a straightforward instrumental hip hop cut - a submerged sounding breakbeat coupled with a tender piano melody - but is buoyed by drifting pads and a dense, hallucinatory bed of effects. CONCRETE closes proceedings. Charged with a crepuscular energy, it’s all-together as mercurial and magical as the transition from day to night. Different elements swirl and coalesce, honing in on dense, textural moments across a horizontal drift. The end effect is hypnotic yet captivating, so much so that when the track eventually blooms into silence at the end you’re struck by the brevity of the whole experience. Thankfully you can listen to it again!