Stijn Hüwels / Danny Clay – An Unintended Space

An Unintended Space floats in the unsearchable ambient ether, its softly-focused music like a predawn light which has yet to settle and morph into a complete, positively radiant thing. Instead, the music is infused with the promising glow that heralds a breaking morning.

Freckles of dust populate the music, littering the record like white flecks of sleep on the eyelashes, bringing the music slowly up and out of its dream state. Ambient music belongs here, though, and these serenity tones and slowly developing phrases do not want to budge; they don’t ever want to get up, instead preferring to stay under warm, comforting covers, thoroughly zonked as the light slowly tilts in. Serene sounds that never seem to have a starting point float daintily into An Unintended Space – gently, gently – and as they do, the other notes slowly shuffle around, making way for the new so as to not clutter up the music. Just because the music is slow and dream-like, it doesn’t mean that it’s sleepy. Brighter, glassy notes offer a piercing glint of sunlight, and the longer tracks only aid in creating a sweet reverie.

Sunlight dapples the music, thanks to the introduction of chiming, ascending notes, and as the record progresses what once started out in the key of early dawn transposes into nine or ten in the morning. The music has moved in time with, and in tune with, the sun as it journeys across the sky. Sandy harmonies evoke a kind of gauzy and golden Beach Boys vibe, and surfing beside it is the spirit of California with the suffocating heat of midday and the sheer relief of a cool wave as it splashes against tanned skin. And like a spirit, it’s there one minute and gone the next.

With an almost child-like innocence, the chiming sounds playfully explore their surroundings. Gentle and inquisitive notes emerge as well-rounded tones that never stop learning – turning, swooning, swelling, fading, subsuming, looping. An Unintended Space is soft music, caressing, preserving and caring for its environment, which in this case is an ambient outpouring. The soothing sounds are a kind of sound-bathing, washing away the grime that’s settled on the skin but going even deeper than that in its cleansing of the heart; the heart is a well-lit inner temple, and its light rivals the afternoon sun.

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