In Phillip Wilkerson’s bio, he mentions that he spent several years experimenting with various types of synthesizers, sound modules, virtual instruments and guitars before he ever starting noodling around with creating ambient music. That diverse and focused experimentation helps to explain the way in which Wilkerson’s sound consistently evolves with each release, retaining elements from the direction of previous works while distinctly turning to a new heading.
Wilkerson’s latest is the very gentle and graceful EP, Interplay. The five tracks here present a thoughtful story told in a near-whisper. The sounds evoke spaces both inner and outer, deep and far. There is nothing here but easy, soothing beauty.
At times it seems that Wilkerson’s main instrument on Interplay is nuance–and he plays it beautifully. You’ll sense it at work in the subtle heartbeat pulse that calmly counts its way through the misty drift of “Markings” and the way a bass-note melody explains itself one unhurried syllable at a time in “Certainty.” In each track Wilkerson’s silken synth constructs veritably float through your head. The overall feeling hovers somewhere between the voyaging drifts of classic spacemusic and a perfect soundtrack for simply watching clouds cross the sky. I invariably find myself putting this disc on repeat play because once through its 50-minute length simply isn’t enough to fully appreciate it.
Lush, calming and beautifully introspective, Interplay is a Hypnagogue Highly Recommended CD.
Find it at Phillip Wilkerson’s web site.