Interior Currents, the debut collaboration between Pennsylvania’s Andrew Tasselmyer and Patrick Spatz, is designed for introspection. The two musicians appreciate the older form of ambient as much as the more recent era, taking inspiration from a love of low-fidelity and close inspection to detail. The 4-part album came about from traded cassette tapes. These tapes came loaded with entirely analogue and acoustic sounds: voice, piano, pump organ, guitar, and field recordings were all used. The original tapes were then processed and treated further, and live overdubs were added, too.
You couldn’t ask for much more in terms of experience. Tasselmyer’s work with Hotel Neon, Gray Acres, and Mordançage has seen him appear on Shimmering Moods, Fluid Audio, Eilean Records, and Hibernate, while Spatz, a sound sculptor and founding member of the recording project Before Flags, has graced Past Inside The Present as well as his own personal label, Residing Records.
Together, the pair produce a cloudy atmosphere, with occasional slivers of melodic light piercing the lo-fi nimbus. A leaden atmosphere the colour of gunmetal grey benevolently arrives, circulating everlasting, deep drones which cleanse the air. The well-ventilated drones all breathe clean air, and despite the title, they’re not confined to the indoors. Instead, they escape through the cracks and rise up and out of the interior; they were made from air.
As is the case with textural music, it soaks into the pores of the skin and colours a room – the interior – and it never forces itself upon you. You can hear the organic nature of the tape as it frays and mulches, eating away like acid and breaking up over their mossy ambient textures, decaying like a disintegration loop, although not as violently. Paradoxically, Interior Currents was made for the outdoors, because it has an incredibly natural and environmentally-friendly sound, in tune with its carbon footprint and its environment, and keeping time to the metronomic swaying of the trees.
Lo-fi music can breeze through the environment, an organic and airy sound that only increases with the sound of the falling rain and the birdsong up in the rafters. Cassettes also help to evoke a natural environment, an alive and transforming ambient. These long pieces fill the space with wonder and kindness. When the slow-burn is as delectable as this, music is able to touch the celestial.