Although the sonic traveler taking a ride on Ambient Fabric’s In Space will not be exploring particularly new worlds, they will certainly realize that their tour is in the hands of a very skilled pilot. Wending his narrative way through expansive galaxy-spanning drifts and a sense of the vastness of the cosmos, composer Øystein Jørgensen spins a tale in eight tracks of quality spacemusic. Thematically speaking, Jørgensen helms his craft perfectly. The voyage begins on the dark side of somewhere with the quavering pads of “Spaceship” coming across as tentative and mysterious. Light begins to fill the space in the next track, “Cosmos,” and there’s an actual sense of relief. From here In Space takes on an easier tone, perhaps best showcased in the calmness of “Sphere II.” But don’t get comfy. If the sparse, darkening stretches of “The Outer Limit” or the something’s-not-quite-right-here hesitance and subtle dissonance of “Beyond” don’t unsettle you slightly, just wait. Jørgensen culminates the voyage in the starless void of “Empty Darkness,” the longest track on the disc, the one he’s been setting you up for, a fantastically dramatic piece where deep metallic percussion rings out like an unknown something banging insistently against the hull while intermittent inhuman snarls tell us that We Are No Longer Alone. We’ve come too far, our craft is powered down and drifting, the radio is dead and our fate is left to be decided as the last note fades. A superb choice by the artist to leave the listener with a sense of “And then…..?” Headphone listening is required to capture Jørgensen’s excellently crafted depth of sound, down to the slightest flecks of sonic texture that bring a more dynamic life to a piece like this. A strong release from Ambient Fabric that hooked me more deeply with each listen.
Available from Auraltone Music.