Although theoretically anyone with a laptop, a couple of externals, and a genuine ability to self-edit can build some worthy ambient electronic fodder, high quality seams of creativity appear to be geographically focused. Scandinavia in particular churns out an abundance of solid contenders and no doubt there have been several theses on why this might be the case… any pointers toward reading material further to this are most welcome…
Lights A.M. is a new one man operation from Oslo, Norway – the sonic meanderings of Erlend Eilertsen from Essence Of Mind, a band catering to a VERY different audience to the material that is presented here.
LIGHTWORKER is essentially like a modern Rolf Trostel – The initial beats that date this track to now would never have been employed in electronic music in the early 80s, but the structure and content definitely steers in a similar direction, whether by design or accident. This is pretty much 6 minutes on the dot in duration and is arranged in 3 main repetitions. The first is the cinematic mood setter with a slow pulsing rhythm, again very reminiscent of the title track from Rolf Trostel’s Der Prophet, and a restrained swell of synths. The second repetition is where the heart of the track really kicks in, this time with a strong rhythmic bass line and kick, eventually introducing a simple old school (and very Germanic!) snare and warm melody… So far so good. The final repetition layers tones of big trance chords on top of it all, but they are tasteful in their avoidance of eurocheese or replicating a dated Jarre thing. Instead it hints at moments of OURDOM, the sprawling work of Solar Fields from earlier this year… And with that, it’s unfortunately all over.
A couple of things to note…
One – There are references to a “spiritual journey” in the press release that rub me the wrong way. Nobody wants to read this guff, and it doesn’t help to sell the idea of the music… not even Steve Roach lowers himself like that when dipping into the more dippy new-age side of his stupidly extensive oeuvre. Over-earnestness about your own creative endeavours is like recounting your dreams in a detailed manner to a trapped audience… it verges on punchable.
Two – One track is not a single… well if you want to be pedantic, it is the literal definition of “single”, but this falls short of being a solid introduction to a musical entity with a lot of potential simply because there’s so little to absorb … basically, I want to know how that potential pans out over (at least) 3 tracks. Then we’ve got something to really work with.
Gripes aside, this is a fine start from Lights A.M. The command of mood, arrangement, melody and production is all there… there just isn’t enough of it.