The latest offering (after a seven-year hiatus) from the reclusive electronic music producer known as N Pa is a haunting track titled “Nothing In Your Eyes.” Instrumentally, the song has a frosty feel. The opening guitar riff and synth pads, provided by Glaswegian guitarist Gloom Is Okay and N Pa respectively, envelops the listener in a sonic snow globe while the pleading vocal from singer Marcie Joy provides a flickering spark of warmth and hope: “Give me one warm thought, Just one warm thought. I’ll make it last through colder nights, I’ll make it last through lonely times.” The pathos in these lines is palpable, and the remainder of the song swirls cinematically with drums crunching underfoot and an icy synth line from Android Invasion lingering in the air like frosty breath. All told, a two-minute odyssey into the darkness of a love gone cold.
The leaves are falling en-masse, there’s a tiny pear-shaped gourd on my kitchen countertop, and I’m listening to an extremely relaxing ambient music album by Akito Misaki titled 9 Minutes. The album’s ten nine-minute tracks offer a combination of soft electronic drones, the natural sounds of singing birds and running water, and/or slow-bubbling synths. Misaki also makes some interesting textural decisions throughout: chords briefly strain against others in some places to produce a pleasant dissonance while synths fade in and out like elements of an early-morning dream. The album as a whole feels like listening to a 90-minute sunrise. I want to listen a few more times to see what emerges.
States of Wonder, the latest ambient music EP from Android Invasion, explores the tension between nature and technology, striking as it does so a precarious balance between organic and electronic sounds. The key track to listen to as far as this balance is concerned is “Mysteries of Spring,” though “Chemical Plants” offers a creepy, gooey, post-apocalyptic Blade Runner vibe, suggesting that technology may be getting the upper-hand in all of it. Also noteworthy is the guitar line in the EP’s fourth and final track, “A Matter of Little Urgency,” which calls to mind mid- to late-60s surf instrumentals. Best of all, the EP is free to download: https://www.hungryhourmusic.com/statesofwonder