We’re preliminarily closing out 2016 today, since the amount of promos we now receive means we’re really going to have to focus on new and upcoming releases for a while. One album we’re taking a look at before moving definitely on to the current year is Seattle based musician Jeff Brown’s project Spacement, and its December 2016 release Progress between wars. Since it is released (digitally) on Sergey Pakhomov’s Minimalist Rex, you know it’s going to be at least interesting.
The music we’re talking about here is essentially a type of ambient, very minimalist, with very few layers. The self description “Berlin School/Minimalist/space music” covers it quite well. The synthesizer sounds all bring Sci-Fi and older space documentaries to mind; nothing of this would be at all out of place in the background of an 80’s public access film about some aspect of space travel or outer space.
The exact tone and atmosphere shifts subtly between the different tracks. Long notes mix with “space sounds” of the type also utilized by Kosmodrom, whose artwork and concept are quite similar to Spacement’s. The first two songs, “Triangulum Light Curve” and “Beyond the Temples” sound like suggestions for an alternative soundtrack to 2001: A Space Odyssey, which is something that would make some degree of sense to say about the entire album. “Trail of Bent Time” goes slightly darker, though the far flung corners of the universe remain ever present in the sound.
“Collapsed and Then Forgotten” has a certain vibe of Burzum’s “Tomhet” off of Hvis Lyset Tar Oss, and is probably the least obviously space related track soundwise. The closer, “A New Form Clears the Past” (Mr. Brown knows how to capitalize titles, which makes us very happy) is the most experimental composition, without entering or even approaching noise or industrial territory. Soft notes and quasi-tonal sounds unite to execute a nice finishing move for a solid release.
Progress between wars is so far only available digitally, though there has been talk about a physical version. To inquire about the latter, you can probably contact Minimalist Rex, from whose bandcamp page you can also buy the album for whatever price you care to pay.