• Mon, Dec 11, 2023

Sungarden Aims For The Ethereal On Debut


album Reviews Jul 28, 04:58pm

‘Textures’ is an ambient album that does all you would expect it to, but well

This is the debut from an ambient/electronic artist named Sungarden (an alias of Aditya Ray, a producer, sound designer and so on). Now, there’s obviously a lot of effort that goes into making every little element just right in a genre like this, considering it’s more about creating atmosphere that doing anything traditionally ‘written’ in that sense (though this material is as moving as any music you might enjoy). Often, the idea is to make something that grabs attention while simultaneously allowing the main instrument to be the listener’s imagination, in a sense. ‘Textures’ does both those things.

It doesn’t make too much sense to overtly describe the synth sounds, occasional drones and other sonic bits that make up the four songs here. They are completely in service to the bigger picture and none of them take particular precedence over the other except when Aditya gives them a bunch of extra time and space, like towards the end of the opener ‘Voyage’ for example. ‘Dawn Chorus’ allows bits of melody to peek through the gaps otherwise filled by a constant, droning web of noise, so when you pick out little bits of what seems like a tune, it feels quite fulfilling. It should be said that every song lives around the nine-minute mark, so Aditya is asking for a lot of patience from the listener. What it genuinely sounds like is very specific to the ear, but it does have a sort of synthetic feel to it overall. ‘Shringara’ has the most obvious transition to a ‘bloom’ of sorts as the song builds up layers and percussion slowly until it ebbs and flows into its climax. ‘Seafaring’ is pretty aggressive for a closer with its more brooding sounds and what sounds like crashing waves; it’s the strongest track here and an impactful way to end the album.

‘Textures’ does ask for quite a bit in terms of time for a payoff that isn’t instant. This is music without a hook or a solo; however, give yourself 40 minutes to really pay attention to every little thing and the all the sonic niceties in here start to work.

Listen here.

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