Here’s your pitchline: Crowd-funded drone/ambient soundtrack for use in a floatation tank. That being said, I was surprised to find that Sircle’s A Relevant Space wasn’t just a stretch of quiet, long-pad ambient. Instead, the six tracks here blend the soft and hypnotic drones with a lot of texture and additional sounds. Children’s voices, surprisingly enough, greet you as the disc begins. This seems like an odd or even jarring choice for a relaxation piece, but it’s a happy, playful sound, mixed with what almost sounds like the splash of a fountain, and it’s soon subsumed into the rising drone-haze as we glide off into our mesmerized state. In places, we get the lap and hush of water; in others, the surface bristles and roughens, but not distractingly so. It’s part of the dynamic that’s at play throughout the release. Sounds move all around your aural periphery, shifting places and dropping familiar snippets to keep you cognizant of what’s going on in your ears even as you’re losing track of time…and possibly losing track of where you are, physically. Strictly in terms of its effect on the listener, A Relevant Space is one of the most relaxing sets of work I’ve heard in a while. Whether musician James Mills is employing a bit of binaural tech in his compositions or it’s just the allure of very quiet sounds and some near-white-noise backgrounds, the music here absolutely does what it sets out to do. This is a release to set aside an hour for, get somewhere comfortable, and just literally go with the flow. My only issue with A Relevant Space is that I wish Mills had found a way to flow the pieces together. The space between tracks becomes very pronounced, and almost interruptive, because the music takes the listener so deep. Its sudden disappearance pulls you just slightly out of the soothing space into which you’ve been lead. Still, a great release, especially for use in meditation.
Available from Frozen Forest.