Elegant, calming spacemusic awaits in your journey to Meg Bowles’ The Shimmering Land. This is Bowles’ sixth release, and her second in two years following a long hiatus, and it reinforces that she is an important voice in the genre. Across six tracks, Bowles barely raises her musical voice above a whisper, opting instead to make its impression via depth and dimension. With a practiced hand, she places airy layers one atop the next, mixing the pure simplicity of ambient structures with nicely understated melodic elements. “Nightwalk Across the Isle of Dreams” showcases that blend, the melody drifting in via woodwind and plucked-string sounds. When she opts to add rhythm to her flows, it’s with subtle pulses from the sequencer; they arrive not to intrude but to lightly amplify the sensation. You hear it in “Beneath the Radiant Stars,” a present but distant ripple in her spacey, panoramic drifts. On the lush and serene “Venus Rising,” the sequencer heads into a higher register, casting star-shine glimmer across long string pads. This has a classic spacemusic feel to it, a bit of nostalgia pinging at your long-time-listener pleasure centers.
The Shimmering Land quietly invites itself into your listening space. It makes no demands as it patiently fills your head and works its soothing, aural-imagery magic. The feel is always warm and utterly calm as Bowles spreads out her vistas before you and floats you through them. This is a wonderful disc to have playing at the end of the day and into the evening, helping you wind down and re-center. An absolute must-hear from this (quietly) powerful voice. Let it loop.
Available from Kumatone.