Compact, minimalist and worthy of praise, 4 packs five tracks filled with moving drones and beautiful landscapes.
Little drops of music fall in the pavement, they form an ethereal wave of sound. It moves forward ever so slowly. What initially were drops become guitar chords, nature transforms itself into human-made sounds. Imperfectly, the chords continue to move. Until it meets its end. Tiny, beautiful and graceful notes decorate the space.
And it ends.
4, Summer Night Air’s album released on Bandcamp, and available on cassette, may just be another ambient record among many. It is, after all, very difficult to distinguish yourself from a pack of ambient musicians. In this age, it is all the more difficult because acts just keep on coming. Bedroom musicians get inspired, grab a laptop, set up a Soundcloud account and start making music. There are electronic musicians from all parts of the world seeking to be discovered or just get a couple of fans.
It’s hard out there for the listeners too. In an ever-growing market of electronic musicians, many music fans have to make their way through a lot of what can, at best, be considered half-cooked electronica. Popularized by American philosopher Daniel Dennett, Sturgeon’s Law says that ninety percent of everything is crap, something that begins to become more true in electronic music, especially ambient.
If we are to follow Sturgeon’s Law, we must be aware of its positive side: ten percent of everything is good, or at least “not-crap.” Music fans should always seek this ten percent instead of getting irritated by mediocrity. Have no doubt, it is difficult.
As for music critics, they evaluate the music and give verdicts regarding its worth. Oftentimes, the critic spends days looking for new music, something that surprises us. Something unexpected. A critic can always be surprised by new music. It is an innocent, almost childlike feeling and it comes out of nowhere.
Summer Night Air showed up in the Symbolic Interaction compilations released a while ago—“4:3” was a clear highlight. An uplifting crescendo, a guitar, just a couple of instruments and a hell of a lot of feeling. 4, which incorporates the aforementioned track and adds four more, is a minimalist affair. One that should please fans of quiet ambient music. It is also quite modest in reach. The cassette the album was released on is a sign of this modesty. For this should not be read as a type of retro affectation but an artist statement. Compact, minimalist and worthy of praise, 4 packs five tracks filled with moving drones and beautiful landscapes. The music fan has found something good.
4 is available on Cruel Nature.