There may come a moment as you listen to Bob Ohrum’s Elevated where the irony of the title hits you. Elevated? This set of lonely, somber, near-cold, pensive drone-based drifts is called Elevated? But then you’ll set that aside and gladly resume your quiet walk through Ohrum’s grey and ghostly creations. Built largely on processed bass guitar drones, keys and field recordings, Elevated possesses a beautiful density and fullness of sound that offsets the sometimes cloying darkness that runs through it. The balance at work is intriguing–there’s no denying that Elevated skirts the border of dark ambient, but the skilled layering and, for lack of a better word, softness of his underlying drones brings a quality that manages to soothe your mind even as the edginess of it all keeps you listening closely. The combination of “While They Slept” and “Everytime I Close My Eyes” (which makes great use of a field recording of a train passing by) is about the best 20 minutes of ambient I’ve heard in a while–enveloping, interesting and likely to take you out of your body.
Minimal at its core but packed with solid emotional content, Elevated is a must-hear for fans of drone. Let it loop.
Available from relaxedMachinery.