Music Reviews


The Day After


Relax time. We enter the world of ambient dub with found sounds, and it’s like being in a soundtrack to an experimental film. There are simple child-like melodies played on a tin xylophone, wispy rhythms, and muted synthesizers, and it’s mood, not sweat, Mr. Arpatel is after.

“Hit the road” sounds backwards. Its notes have long attacks and short decays, and it’s not exactly annoying, but you want to reset something and get the music to play the way your brain cells think is correct. By the time “Arctic Trip” arrives you’ve given up; if the composer wants it to sound backward, he must have some damn arty reason for doing so. You’re also more familiar with the effect by now, and we know the old saying about breeding. “Satie’s Birthday” opens with an ominous calm that’s more a funerary march than a happy cake-and-ice-cream dream, but it introduces us to the synthetic chirps and watery dusk of “Crickets.” Small insects are the soul of ambient music; what they do naturally in the wild inspires the studio composers to replicate in captivity. We’ll skip “Headache,” it wears its concept on its sleeve, but “Wake Me Up” offers a more positive and helpful sound.

As ambient collections go, this one is a solid and usually interesting exploration of what sound can be if you suppress the beat and lock up the singer.


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