A ghostly twilight light invades the beginning of this new album by ambient artist Max Corbacho. If this sound emanating effortlessly from the depths of Max’s studio can be transcribed into color, the chosen color would be sunset magenta. The whispering, slow synth lines come and go in a wave of blurred sound, thus unidentifiable, in a sea of reverberation, echoes and resonances in the ocean of time. Max Corbacho traces in these three pieces the quintessence of his art developed for more than 20 years with a mysterious creation. An epiphany of pure, atmospheric and minimal ambient sound.
Review by Julian Boyce:
Words do not describe music. Words describe feelings, of memories, of special places. How then, to describe the latest exploration into the extraordinary soundscapes of revered Spanish electronic musician Max Corbacho? The trick is in the name of his latest 2022 release: Atmospheric Twilight. Of course! A 74 minute long-form composition in three parts.
From start to finish, we are neither standing on terra firma, nor swimming in mysterious oceans, nor wandering light-filled cathedrals of sound. We are, in fact, cast adrift! Without tether through skies bathed in the glow of the last photons of a sinking sun – reaching out at the start of our journey in three compositions across tracts of incandescent aquamarine (pt.1). Before heading towards darkening skies of tangerine (pt.2). And finally reaching journey’s end in the ink-blue dusk of a gathering starry night (pt.3).
So, settle back in a comfortable chair, put on your finest headphones, and prepare to float away into those unnamable landscapes which exist beneath the threshold of sleep!
Part One, Atmospheric Twilight [45 minutes]. The opening title track drops us deep into the upper atmosphere of [our world?] in a rising murmuration of sound. Musical notes fade up around us: parts organic, orchestral, unknowable. An indeterminate layering of sound that instills the impression of a vast space between us, the listener, and anything recognisable. Constantly evolving clouds of sound, forever broiling in upon themselves and which occasionally flash with siren notes emerging from deep within. But we are moving! Imperceptibly, the music is thinning out – replaced by higher octaves of tenuous chords. Deceiving us into thinking we are swiftly emerging into wider, more open skies. Around us the compass of horizon falls away as the music rises in harmony. We are climbing higher towards the exosphere, towards space itself. A fine vantage point to observer the sun begin its lazy fall beneath the horizon as the music fades away in vast eternal spirals of sound. Slowly settling us into silence.
Part Two, Stillness Glow [13 minutes]. Is it the earth that moves, or just us? A vortex of sound rising from the deep surges upwards, surrounding us in a brisk allegretto soundscape, imbued with light; with hope. A richly woven filigree of sounds which are impossible to identify as individual notes, conjoining into one muscular harmony, rising, cascading, calling out. Together. Individually. And then lost out of hearing. These sounds! These wonderful sounds: they glow!
Part Three, Dusk Awakes [16 minutes]. A minor chord of sound suggests a tension that builds over time into a typhoon of swirling sounds – but always far out and beneath the horizon. They dance a featherlight symphony in our ears. These are digital loops of sound design that are finely controlled to make us feel…wondrous anticipation! Not long now, we imagine, until journey’s end. We still float through open space yet a subtle pitch in the music somehow makes this vast space exponentially larger. The ability of Max to use imaginative harmonies, interweaving and coiling around one another, inevitably reaches down to the core of our feelings at this very moment. We are lured into complete somnolence, yet, our imaginations roam large. And thus, with eyes wide open, we float into that final acoustical dusk of complete peace. A dusk made so much more joyful by the extraordinary sound and vision that is Max Corbacho.
Genre: Ambient music, space music, atmospheric ambient, drone, soundscapes.
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