The strangeness of finding labels springing up like fireflies, in a field of radiant ambience, is normal these days. Although the breed of firefly does pay diviends in how the light travels to the audience, the surfeit of pollen from the drone plant of Shimmering Moods Records is something delightfully fragrant. This review documents a trio of releases released at the same time, starting with Projektions – Shores Of Valhalla, a double disc in Kraft Paper sleeves in an edition of fifty professional copies.
It can be tough to keep attention held on music when one of its sole purposes is to play truant, to become ignorable. The music of “Projektions” answers this thought by being something of a protrusive oddity from the outset. The literary housing alone – the idea of “Projections”, in English, is to project some kind of image onto a landscape or sound recording, or both. In this way, the artists here succeed in collating an important document of hope and glory, rather than glory and vanity.
But that’s always been something that’s been on my mind in music reviews and discourse of good products, the saleability of the music as “art” and holding its status as “art” as opposed to clutter, bric-a-brac, bits and pieces, what have you. Partisan viaducts into the ultramundanity of collect-a-holic behaviour generates a kind of whimpering groan on the mechanism of life, where these days the only thing we should perhaps be interested in is if the music is functional, in that it serves its purpose, is dialectically or blankly representational of a state of matter, magnitude or fascination.
Let’s begin to explore the dynamics of these musics. While Projektions artist is as a complete contemplation album very debonair and sultry, like a lick of paint in a cobweb-swept feature wall of a town house, I find its vulnerability very appealing, it feels like music to snuggle up to anyway. There are many passages of note, but words obstruct the projection quality of the sub title. The whole thing is buffered by piano lines that lollop like a cross between The Caretaker and Delia Derbyshire. All the while, the sound palette is intrinsically dusty, an old 78rpm record set to capture “The Shores Of Valhalla”.
If Projektions are viably smoky and soft in their sonic perfume of texture, the massive gulps of interstellar ambience on James McDermid’s “In Little Swallows” could not be more nuanced in its differences. So although occupying the same type of musical frequency – like a mix of Tangerine Dream and “SAW” era Aphex Twin – the sheer ripping and ripening of the ambient fruit growing beneath the bowl edges of reverb are a skateboarder’s vertigo-heavy dream, if you can imagine a vertical ramp going concave. On “All Letters Dry With Time” the drone parchment is inked with a veil of rhythmic pulses, as if the ink has stopped and clotted like blood trying to repair a wound. Once again the lines of vulnerability are shown and become a guiding lotus flower that blossoms beautifully on this release.
The final release is perhaps the true enigma of them all, combining finger-picked classical guitar with layers of amniotic noise from the sound technician Federico Mosconi. Collaborating with the KrysaliSound label boss Francis M.Gri on a recent limited album, I was very pleased by the sounds offered to me and how Mosconi’s sound has compacted and matured like a cheese kiln. This record, titled “Light Not Light”, takes the concept of two different meanings for the same word, or two different inferences at least, and along with the guitar and noise duality, creates that altruism in sound almost perfectly. A criticism could be the album is too short, because this feels like the stuff my dreams are made of, and once I went for it, it was all gone. Still, you can gather from my excess of two hundred critiques on this site that anything I do criticise must be very special indeed.
This is a really brilliant set of records I think. Shimmering Moods has once again injected new life into the drone architecture to 1) take the sound beyond dark ambient when it goes deep, and 2) breaks the hubris of itchy waiting times for nourishment from this kind of stuff. I, frankly, love it all – recommended!