Attention to detail and attention to the interplay between the smallest sounds and the larger ideas around them, are hallmarks of Dan Pound’s signature sound. On Change of Weather, Pound uses that to make musical commentary on the weather—how it affects us and how we affect it. The journey takes us through places of fog and rain, and into zones that are both sunny and cool. It begins in darker tones with the two-part “Through the Fog.” The first, shorter part sets the mood with low-end chords creeping in like lowering clouds and skittering electronics arcing over our heads. Pound’s constructs wander slowly past, the sounds appropriately misty. Settle in for the second part, the longest ride here at just over 18 minutes. It soon brightens considerably more than its first part, and develops a richer complexity. Vocal samples with a tribal flair and light percussion fill the space alongside those pads and even more woven analog electronics. It’s quiet and deep but layers in a gentle vibe. Toward the end it smooths and thins beautifully, putting all the focus on flowing ambient lines. I feel that there is an organic movement happening from piece to piece on this album. It’s often subtle and may even be a matter of me as a reviewer looking for connections. There are light twinkling sounds in “Through the Fog, Part II” that seem to get picked up as droplets in “After the Rain.” let’s go back for a moment to my comment about the integral role of small sounds in Pound’s work—there may be no better example than this. He fills your ears with fluid, burbling sounds, some barely a squib, and sets them in bouncing motion. That feel, and the rain motif, carries over further into “Rainforest,” where Pound folds in some flute to up the acoustic/organic ante. This one will most certainly soothe your soul. Now, this may be too much of a stretch, but I think the flute sound may find something of a logical extension in the harmonica that comes in during “A Differnt Wind.” It fits into the the way Pound is melting together electronic and breath-based sounds. At the very least, the texture it adds is excellent, sharply cutting its way through the misty pads. “Moon Tide Rising” closes out the release in twinkly, bright style, but it might be too bright. There is something less than pleasant in the sort of dissonant play between the chimes and the underlying pads, something feeling almost like a disconnect, that takes me briefly out the album. It feels in places like there are two competing ideas pulling me in opposing directions, and I’m not enjoying that sensation. Coming at the end of an incredibly deep flow, it gets a bit of wince from me. Overall, however, Change of Weather is well worth a very deep listen. Take in the complexity of Dan Pound’s work, and enjoy.
Available from Dan Pound’s web site.