Suisen (Tomotsugu Nakamura & Darren McClure) dive deeply into their ambient music, falling without wings into their aquatic ambience that glints just below the surface. The two musicians are sublime sound artists and as such they gradually, patiently, evolve their minimalist music. There’s no need to rush. In a lush, fluid motion, the music swirls lightly, undulating with the currents. Under the surf, gentle harmonics loop like a returning school of fish.
The ambient altitude drops with a deeper drone. Smooth electronics retain a supple, round texture, despite the slightly glitch-led approach and the undercurrents of static that try to upset and disrupt the serene sails. The abrasive grit tries to drag the music under, but the drones are lighter than air and always return to the surface. Acoustic guitars are left to ring, looping around with a gentle lack of purpose, like fallen leaves that slowly swirl on the surface of a cool pond, leaving ripples behind as they travel. Some of the more effective ambient tracks use this loosened structure as a form of freedom, roaming their environment and taking the listener deeper as a result – that’s just what happens here. The tranquility of the water and its motion can be therapeutic, as can ambient music, so when they link up we are left with a replenishing, reviving and rejuvenating listen.
Static fizzles, like tiny bubbles of air that race to the surface. The drone is oxygen, filling the lungs with life. There’s plenty of breathing space, too. Glowing lights flicker into life, filtering in through the dim murk of the deep. ‘Decoy Fish’ has a lighter ambience that sits on top, dappling the music with its slow touch of sunshine. Dolphins come to play, joining in with the melody of the acoustic guitar, looping in playful, passive motions. Electronic textures fizz into life, but they are never a burden. Instead, they lightly anchor the music to a specific point, the calming destination reached.
‘Open Aperture Metering’ has a lovely, rosy drone – vitality, warmth, bright eyes. Shards of electronic ice graze against the drone, never really interfering. They occasionally ghost into the drone, jutting into it and then falling back. Light crackles enter the mix, floating as if on the wings of a bird. And as ‘Cascading’ will tell you, the music rests close to the water, the willows breezing, the ripples circling outwards against the tickle of water. The note, along with her vibrations, swirl around, leaving invisible lines behind. It’s a healthy listen; one that sports flushed cheeks and optimistic dreams that gleam just below the surface. But just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water, the hiss of static comes back, claiming the drone like a predator to its prey. We’re gonna need a bigger boat.