By Ken Camden
Sometimes the space we crave doesn’t confront us when we expect it to – we have to look for it, create it, satiate in it, to enjoy less. This using of enjoyment for memory’s sake to extend our original grasp lends itself to the construct of mirrors. Mirrors are multidimensional in meaning – for a musician it’s someone to bounce complimentary thoughts off of, and perhaps go somewhere new. For a world perspective the space between humans is represented by the cosmos and the erosion of liveable states. It is interesting that there are only a few “real” qualities of state that make things worthwhile – comfort, connect and emotional crusade. When any comfort, connect or crusade is cut off, the living cells of the brain diminish in outlook, then try and find their own mirror out of the darkness. Music is one of those mirrors, for many people.
Ken Camden has taken the subject of space and transformed it into a palpable sonic doctrine, a dynamic encounter with the ultramundane in the purest sense – it goes beyond the physical tangibility of objects and objectvity about synth-based drone music. For this is whooping, helium-stretched and occupies a connectivity between Brian Eno’s “Music For Airports” and Brad Rose’s Charlatan project. A touch of Eluvium and William Basinski hold up the playing field. Unlike “The Disintegration Loops” series though, Camden is best when he lets slowly amorphous passages placate the subconscious, and noticeably take you somewhere. For instance “Trapezium” benefits from a reverberated shutter sound whirring in the background to break up the atmosphere, much like a cosmic orbit from an asteroid.
“Dominic Sunset”, while not being glitzy epic, does show Camden as having the Midas’ touch when it comes to synthesis and guitar. The way he approaches his sound design and at the same time avoiding the pitfalls of ‘demo-tune-phobia, sequencer-sound’ reminds me that “Lethargy And Repurcussions”, which I heard some years ago, has the staying power of a Trident. I think I’ll do very well to keep hold of “Space Mirror” – an absorbing, sorbet of a listen, soft-centered and strange all the same, the sustenance and fruitiness of the melodies and the way they are looped makes this release stand out from the post-kosmiche pretenders…a feat all the better unmissable in an age when the new is so often rendered “cosmic”. Very recommended indeed!