Ian Nyquist – Endless, Shapeless

Endless, Shapeless effortlessly creates an electronic, ambient, and post-classical landscape, where swirling, emotionally-charged melodic fragments are met with a soft ambient breeze. At first, electronic clusters are gently inserted from time to time, but an electronic sound soon finds more of a presence, driving some of the tracks forward with nothing else to back it up. However, there’s always some kind of melodic pause after an electronic storm, where a piano will enter, or a softer orchestration will come to the fore.

What could feel like a cluttered collection of sounds actually feels like a connected whole, as all of its sounds come together as one. The styles of electronic, ambient, and post-classical music already share similarities, so there isn’t anything jarring or out-of-place here. Of course, this is also down to Ian Nyquist’s considerable skill at blending these elements together. An expert in any artistic endeavour knows when to add and when to remove, when the time is right to increase and when to decrease, and Nyquist’s music is almost balletic in its push-pull motion.

As silk dances in a breeze, so too is Endless, Shapeless born with a beautiful, flowing momentum, and it’s made all the more powerful for its quiet, understated movements. Feeling reserved in its classical influences and expansive due to its ambient and electronic makeup, the music thrums against the air like a butterfly’s wings, the musical elements of tension and release magnetically drawing together and then being dragged apart. In some instances, the tension is such that one can almost hear the music ripping itself apart, its atmosphere pulsing wildly before being pulled back into its electronic shell. But any pressure is eased with ‘Sanctuary (Epilogue)’, which is a calming ambient piece. At its end, everything is as it should be.


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