I have listened closely to Trout Ribs, the debut ambient release from Carey Moore and, as the artist suggests, I have listened to it as background. I have to agree with Mr. Moore: Trout Ribs is probably best enjoyed quietly in the background. Under close scrutiny some of the tracks come away feeling a bit thin. At lower volume, that consideration fades and brings about a better appreciation of the meditative calm Moore infuses throughout the work. It is pleasantly unobtrusive yet manages to convey feeling in a very understated way. The flows are consistently soft, textured here and there with piano notes, chimes, and more. Those elements make for nice breaks in the flow. Electric piano chords pulse and reverb lightly against whispered drones on “Warm for October,” and Moore leaves ample space between each to let them work some sad minor-chord magic on you. “Leaning Into the Hollow” laces an interesting sound, like a processed voice, perhaps, over and through a set of more prominent drones to create a wavering, hypnotic haze. The bright chimes of “2 TwentyFive 15” are both charming and intriguingly over-amplified in spots, giving them a rough resonance. They blend well with the warbling chords behind them in this lullaby-quality piece. It’s comparatively active, and “active” is very much a relative term on this casually laconic release.
Trout Ribs is not an overly strong release, but there is enough going on here to suggest that Carey Moore has more up his musical sleeve. The emotional content is solid; it just sometimes lack complexity or depth. That being said, I do look forward to hearing what comes next. This low-volume introduction is definitely worth a listen.
Available at Carey Moore’s Bandcamp page.