Alpha Wave Movement takes inspiration from the ocean and crafts an hour-long drift comprising two half-hour suites on Harmonic Currents. Let it be noted that if you’re not a fan of elemental sounds in your ambient, there’s a lot of the gentle crash of waves here–as, for the theme, there should be. For my tastes, this sort of aspect is easy to over-do, but it never grates on me here. Within a few minutes, it gets swallowed into the greater flow, the long, spacey pads and the rich rises of rumbling bass. I understand that AWM has grounded this piece in the idea of the ocean, but it’s still got a spacemusic core, and as he works in the sequencer lines in the title track, we definitely achieve a bit of liftoff. The bright tones may be meant to represent sunlight on water here, but it resonates as the familiar twinkle of stars from whatever your favorite spacemusic piece may be. Vocal pads just up that particular feel. I find my mind goes quiet as m0re elements ease into this section, hitting that spot where my love of this kind of music lives. With half an hour at his disposal, AWM has ample room to explore, to shift his flows from drifting to vibrant and back again. “Nautilus Dreams” opens with the wave sounds over a rolling bass drone. The low end slowly fades back to let a graceful string-sound wash take the lead, and the flow develops and expands from there. It’s quieter than the first track in that it never finds its way into that sequencer-driven vibrancy, and is instead content to carry you off with bright flecks of electronic sparkle and these warm, enveloping pads.
Harmonic Currents is made for long looping at low volume. It moves easily along and rarely draws attention to itself, but when you (no pun intended) dive down into it or put focus on it, the work is rich and nuanced and beautifully composed. While similar at their core, the two tracks diverge enough from one another to make the hour-long ride pretty much perfect. You get a little bit of vivacity in the first track, that step-and-repeat energy of Berlin-style sequencing, but then the second just floats. The classic spacemusic vibe works nicely with the oceanic theme. It’s a soul-satisfying, mind-salving drift that you have to hear. Another excellent outing from the very talented Alpha Wave Movement.
Available from Harmonic Resonance Recordings.