Monday, October 26, 2015

Phillip Wilkerson and Chris Russell - “Vague Traces” CD

Subtle ambient dreamscapes

Two ambient artists combine forces here for “Vague Traces”, a subtle and dreamlike album of lucid waking-dream textures and deliberately amorphous sound washes. The opener, “Far Past”, is a gauzy drone that summons hypnagogic states quite nicely, as does “The Diamond Sky”, which layers gentle wafts of gentle tones into a swirl of fragile sound-clouds. “Across The Sun” sounds almost more urban, with distant dreams of automation in the background, like a narcotic awakening in an urban soundscape pre-dawn.

The rest of these tracks fall nicely in line with this feeling — drifty, narcotic, and softly-enveloping clouds of sound. But fairy dust or window dressing this ain’t — Wilkerson and Russell’s music is edgy and realistic, with hints of darkness alongside the contemplative fragility. 

“Vague Traces” is a sublime and beautiful work of art, and one that can be enjoyed best at late night or during early morning hours. I am impressed.

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