MONADH | Muara (Further Records)
This deep into the 21st century, it’s not easy to create ambient music that sounds vital and untainted by hackneyed tropes. Monadh succeeds in this difficult task, through a combination of his field recordings from the Pacific Northwest and meticulously chosen samples mostly lifted and pitch-shifted from library records of a pastoral and romantic bent. He also cites Andrew Pekler‘s Sentimental Favouritesand Biosphere‘s Shenzhou as inspirations. Right from the first track, “Ammophilia” you can feel your tensions dissolve as Monadh coaxes a gentle whirlpool of dark-blue drones with an undertow of poignant melody swirled into the mix with utmost subtlety. “Calanque” seems to be emerging from a fathomless cave, like a palliative gas, a calming ether. It’s the chillest of chillout cuts, inducing a peace beyond peace. And so it goes throughout Muara, with slight variations in intensities and moods, but overall maintaining a watery tonal float on which listeners can glide into mentally stimulating relaxation. By the time the final track “Convection” surfaces, you feel perfectly centered… for a change.