Matt Robertson – Enveleau

Photo by Annie Forrest

Water will always follow the path of least resistance, trickling along and naturally finding the easiest course. It does so effortlessly, without thought. Of course, life is rarely like that…but somehow, things usually have a way of working out for the best. Relationships may turn to ash and dreams may be broken, but life has a way of (eventually) settling down. Glorious things await, and they wouldn’t have been possible without heartache or pain. Even at the lowest ebb, there is always hope, and accelerated growth is possible after experiencing pain. From ground level, what looks messy and blinded by fog can look crystal clear from a bird’s-eye view. Battle-worn, the heart can recover and be all the stronger for its experience.

The pandemic has been a ripe blossom for creativity, even at a time when the rest of the world experienced stagnation, confinement, and death. In 2020, music, creativity, and the arts in general all grew with the advent of lockdowns and the absence of light. Matt Robertson’s ‘Enveleau’ (Subtempo, April 30) finds envelopment, peace, and ultimately gratitude in and among its surroundings, be it in the solitude of lockdown or out in the open. No matter where you are, you can be thankful for where you’ve been planted.

Robertson’s ambient sound and subtle, flexible electronics combine with organic techno to produce radiant and effervescent music. It’s benefitted from being in and enjoying its own surroundings; you get the feeling that Robertson loved every minute of creation and recording, pouring it all into every tweak and tonal transmutation. Rhythms are crisp, lean, and in great shape, but there are also jaw-dropping ambient vistas to gaze upon, such as the sublime ‘Syntropic’, which features glowing sunset synths and a glorious, expanding atmosphere. The music doesn’t have to work hard to make things happen; it naturally follows the path of least resistance. It should be like that with the right person, too. You won’t have to work so hard to be happy when you find them. It will just happen. Like Enveleau, life is smoother when you go with the flow.

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