Manual - Confluence

Darla Records
(DRL216-3: 708527021620)

Confluence is Danish producer Jonas Munk's third installment in a series of ambient albums, following the much loved The North Shore (2003) and Bajamar (2006).

Unlike Munk's better known work, which centers around electronica and shoegaze aesthetics as well as a love of 80s production techniques, these ambient works are completely without beats, or even time signatures, and are delicately constructed out of slowly evolving streams of guitar that has been processed into oblivion and back. But even compared to the standard set by the two aforementioned albums, Confluence is surprisingly dark and minimalist.

These eight new compositions move slowly and seamlessly, like the ebb and flow of the changing tide, with subtle layering and filtering providing the essential means of movement. In spite of all the pieces having been created out of endless digital processing and manipulation of guitars, the result is warm, organic and timeless. Occasional piano is basically the only other element present amongst the haunting cascades of guitar drones.

Opener "Blue Stone" is a simple  composition that recalls the minimalism of Gavin Bryars or Morton Feldman, with highly evocative chord combinations replacing one another like cloud formations in the sky; the title track, "Confluence", visits a musical territory similar to that on Brian Eno and Harold Budd's collaborative efforts, with its broad soundscapes and vulnerable piano playing; "Oracle Night" could be an Angelo Badalamenti piece if he was to score a David Lynch movie set on a tropical island.

This is music without any clear character traits though. It can change its character depending on the conscious state of the listener. A confluence of light and air; past and present; dream and reality; day and night. Haunting, oceanic ambient music, perfect for the dark season.

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