Csillagköd, All the Time

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When you are firmly in the flow of Csillagköd’s All the Time, things are going to slow down for you. Time, breathing, reality. It all just sort of goes away. Olivér Dombi lays down a lot of massive, warm pads and galactic-vista constructs on these tracks, and also slips in some downtempo beats to inject a little extra cool into the ride. The steady, underplayed pulse that runs through “Everything is Happening” is a good example of how Dombi infuses his softer constructs with rhythm. It’s less a beat than a thrum, a straightforward bass line with a slight electronic tap beneath it. While it runs, sparkly arpeggios pulled straight from the spacemusic playbook spin up and down over long pads. “Cosmic Ocean” is more overt with its percussion, offering a straight-up loungey shuffle, heavy on the bass thump, supporting appropriately liquid washes. “Outside This World” is one of the most song-like pieces on the album. Its slow-moving melody spins out amid more of Dombi’s rich galactic vistas. It has a gentle energy that accents its easy beauty. On the other side of the starscape, the very deep, spacey pieces on All the Time are simply fantastic. A wandering path like “Only Matter” becomes an immersive ride in a fully surrounding sonic environment. Lulling and soft, it’s the kind of track I would choose to loop on its own. “Long Far Distant” is pure floating spacemusic, with harmonious pads slowly shifting one over the next. High tones glimmer like stars, and the feel overall is like an untethered drift through quiet space. Even that piece feels complex compared to the minimal wash of “Merging of Substances.” This one will reach over and switch off all conscious thought for its duration. It’s useless to try to codify in words the way it uses a breathy drone and one repeating texture to achieve such a state of quiet. But that can be the mark of a very good ambient artist—being able to do that much with that little.

All the Time is a very deep ride, varied enough to keep it interesting, and quiet enough to send you on your way as you listen. With an up-front spacemusic vibe matched with complex constructs that give your brain plenty to check out before it pulls you fully in and under, it loops beautifully and stands up to repeat plays. A superb release from Csillagköd.

Available from Spotted Peccary.

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