From its first warm, lush pads to its final touching notes, Altus’ Komorebi is an album bound to find its place alongside all of your top quiet-time and meditation albums. Once again, Mike Carss holds the tonal keys to unlock your innermost thoughts and feelings, and he gives you a full, immersive hour to get in touch with them. A review isn’t really going to do it justice. I can tell you that I distinctly feel something stirring when I’m deep in the middle of “Wander” and”Touch,” and that on any number of listens there have been places where I quite literally stop everything that I’m doing because some sound, some moment within each of these pieces has found its connection and pulled me out of what suddenly seem like far lesser concerns when all that matters right then is to listen. Aptly titled tracks like “Hypnotize” and “Slow Breath” do exactly what is required of them, and all of them together spin a quiet space around you in skeins of quite indescribable beauty. In theory, anyone could take a set of chords, hold them and release them, and let them cross and fade; but it takes a hand like Carss’ to add the almost intangible weight of real emotion to them—because there’s your difference. There’s the thing that we take hold of, and there’s the thing that lets us make an album like Komorebi more ours. We feel it, we find our own meaning in the rise and fall, we decide if those chords are sad or thoughtful or hopeful. This is the effect Komorebi has as it glides past. Warm, deep, with touches of space, and emotion to spare, it’s a release that showcases why Altus is one of the absolute best artists producing ambient right now. Get this, and get deep into it immediately.
Available from Bandcamp.