An Empty Bliss Beyond This World

The Caretaker - An Empty Bliss Beyond This World
Critic Score
Based on 8 reviews
2011 Ratings: #110 / 909
User Score
Based on 102 ratings
2011 Ratings: #26
June 21, 2011 / Release Date
LP / Format
History Always Favours the Winners / Label
Ambient / Genres
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This is one of those albums that has been sitting in my list of music to listen to for a very, very long time. Within the past couple days, I finally got around to checking it out, and I haven't been as surprised with any album as I am with this in a long time.
In a surreal and paranormal exploration of how music can really affect someone, James Kirby put together so many sounds and genres that I can't even fathom how he got the idea to put this together. It's like a schizophrenic version of ... read more
It's hard to find descriptive context for this album without referencing Kirby's artist intention, but i've found by playing the album in front of friends and family that it doesn't need the context to be enjoyable judging by people continually asking "Who is this?" and writing the name down.

At it's most literal, the album is a meticulous collection of sampled 78's of pre-war music repeated until the record wears itself down, vocals speaking gibberish, piano pitched down.

But to ... read more
A glimpse into what the sound of the past would have been if trying to listen from another plane of existence. Utilizing old and decaying jazz loops to create a contemplative album that is amongst the best in the ambient genre.
This album has made a thought provoking question of loss in life and how it can or cannot be dealt with and struggles that follow along within it and surround it with scratches (from a vinyl) though out the album that distort the memories that one embarks and makes them one sided with it playing through one perspective (ear) at times.
There is a kind of deep existential sorrow that comes with growing old, even more so for individuals with failing minds and memories, and no artist has ever captured that feeling as well as The Caretaker. 2011's An Empty Bliss... provides listeners with a window into an decadent past, tinted with the subjectivity of memory and the faint notion that perhaps it was all imagined. The record crackles with the sound of old vinyl. Sections of ballroom music repeat and restart at disorienting ... read more
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#4/Tiny Mix Tapes
#14/Gorilla vs. Bear

Track List

  1. All You're Going to Want to Do is Get Back There 
  2. Moments of Sufficient Lucidity 
  3. The Great Hidden Sea of the Unconscious 
  4. Libet's Delay 
  5. I Feel as if I Might Be Vanishing 
  6. An Empty Bliss Beyond This World 
  7. Bedded Deep in Long Term Memory 
  8. A Relationship With the Sublime 
  9. Mental Caverns Without Sunshine 
  10. Pared Back to the Minimal 
  11. Mental Caverns Without Sunshine 
  12. An Empty Bliss Beyond This World 
  13. Tony Gradiatrions of Loss 
  14. Camaraderie at Arms Length 
  15. The Sublime is Disappointingly Elusive
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Added on: June 24, 2011