Eluvium – Virga I

Virga I is the first in a series of ambient albums made from generative music and long-form loops. Matthew Cooper, who we know as Eluvium, had begun to play around with long-format looping, evoking patience within their minimal designs but also searching for other layers of depth. This is even reflected in the title: Cooper named it Virga after ‘the drifting of rain we sometimes catch drooping on the horizon, disappearing before it reaches the ground’.

As such, the music has the feel of older Eluvium music; music that was felt and not overtly composed or thought over. This makes the music relax, and it feels loose; elemental music which, despite the supposed cage that a loop may bring, feels all the more freeing because of its loop. It isn’t shackled to any demands or expectations, but it is chained to slow-motion moments and obscured memories.

Eluvium’s new series enables him to explore emotions and sensitivities, and the music also reflects the period in which it was recorded: during a snowstorm, and in a garage studio, when both he and his wife were forced to move from their home into their garage as they had work done on their house. The music feels comfortable and intimate, as cold as ice but strangely comfortable and cosy, and still lit by the pale embers of the sun.

The album relaxes and is perfect for those long and deep evening hours, with the slow, elegiac quality of Static Nocturne and the melancholy of rainfall. The expansive ambient soundscapes unfold over a long period of time. Like Moby’s recently released Long Ambients 2, the music echoes and resounds with very little movement, but that’s not a bad thing. The world craves instant karma and on-demand access, so patience is indeed a virtue. Perhaps patience is needed now more than ever and in more ways than one. Loops are predictable by nature, and these sounds lull the listener with their repeating mantras. It’s the sound of a dream in suspension, drifting eternally, a weightless returning to the womb. The mesmeric music will pull you under.

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