tino’s interpreting clouds peppers washes of ambient synths with keys, occasional guitar, and found sound recordings and sonic manipulations to create evocative tracks that have the qualities of dreams. “For the Stratus Family” plays a warm, ostinato keys pattern under chatter reminiscent of a family dinner; it feels for all the world like a memory of Thanksgiving (I can pick out the phrase “the joy of community” from the voices). It resolves into the sound of wind, taking the memory away. “With Distractions on the Dash” feels like a hazy Teen Daze introduction that never picks up a beat, then gives way to sounds reminiscent of radio channel switching. “Turned a Slomo Firework” works that in reverse, transforming radio chatter and stuttering into an elegant drone. It’s lovely work throughout, for fans of Hammock.
I love vaporwave. I think that wasn’t ever really the goal of vaporwave, to have anybody love it, but lo: I love it. Cool Maritime takes everything appealing about vaporwave (the unusual keys sounds, the faux-seriousness mocking new age music, the digital vibes, the relentlessly optimistic and unintentionally mysterious melodies) and builds on it.
While opener and title track “Big Earth Energy” is essentially a contribution to a vaporwave storehouse somewhere, follow-on “Amphibia” adds in arpeggiator as a base and birdsong as a garnish to the proceedings. The subtle changes make a big difference, and the results are very appealing. “Temporal Dryft” and “Apex” are about as maximal as a vaporwave-inspired electro track can get without introducing real percussion of some type; the zinging counterpoints are melodically excellent. The mysterious “Avian Glide” sounds like it could have been a soundtrack to Myst in another life. This album probably hits a very specific niche, but if you’re in that niche, you’re gonna get hit by it. Big Earth Energy is a fantastically great album that makes serious work of goofy source material. Highly recommended.
Milan by Alister Fawnwoda and Greg Liesz (and featuring Suzanne Ciani on every track) is a vast ocean of ambient country. Composed of feathery synths, pedal steel, and electronics, these tracks feel Western (via the floating pedal steel) but also oceanic (in that they feel liquid and malleable, rolling gently like waves). Opener “Night Bunny” is the perfect example, as the tune seems to just wash over me with delicate notes, over and over.
“Sweetheart” does the same, with a bit more consistent delivery. “Delayed” relies more on melody than the first two, with the pedal steel confidently traversing its landscape. These pieces play out like movements of the same suite: the record is best listened to as a whole, preferably with headphones while laying in a hammock OR while floating in a float therapy pool. Hazily beautiful, beautiful haze.