I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, I fucking hate ambient and drone music. So much of it, to my ears, sounds unstimulating and insanely repetitive. Many of the genre’s greats sound so… subpar if I’m to be brutally honest. For an ambient album to grab my attention and truly stick out to me it has to do 3 things: Develop enough to be interesting for the whole song’s runtime so that there isn’t 5-6 minutes of dead space that’s the same repeated mediocre loop over and over again, sound interesting enough so that I don’t get everything there is to offer out of a 15-minute track in 2 minutes, and, most importantly, provide a sense of atmosphere that stimulates what the artist wants me to feel while listening to the record.
‘I’ve called off the search i know exactly where you are’ does all three of these. It sounds like fragmented opulence. Behind the dark and ruinous surface, there are hidden layers of beauty. I tend to separate the cover art from the album because my enjoyment of the cover art and the music on the album aren’t usually linked, but with much ambient music, the cover can make or break the album for me. Depending on how vivid the cover is, my envisioning of the album’s world can become more vivid, which is especially important for an ambient album to do to remain interesting. ‘I’ve called off the search’ sounds exactly like its cover: A beautiful beach that has been ruined by garbage and was forced to be abandoned for years, resulting in its subsequent decay and erosion.
Songs such as ‘I See Your Picture’ and ‘You Are Dead’ sound so desolate, like the stench of death in ambient form. ‘Work Sincerely’ and ‘Everything I’ve Seen’ have so many layers of chunky electronics toppling over each other to form one sound that is defeating and blissful both at once. The embrace of folk music with its quaint use of acoustic guitars is usually bombarded by much louder electronics that are set on drowning out any fleeting feelings of ecstasy. It manages to cover a wide array of sounds and yet comes together as a cohesive project that seldom loses my attention. While many things that plague most of the type of ambient music I don’t routinely fawn over are present, songs such as the title track can be dragged out and lose my attention at points, ‘i’ve called off the search i know exactly where you are’ is one of the most enticing, hypnotic, and lucid ambient albums released in recent years, an album that made me fall in love with it despite my heavy dislike for said genre.
Favorite Tracks: It’s Apparent That a Dream, See Your Picture, When the Cold Hit, After the Cold Hit, The Answers Aren’t the Same, Work Sincerly!, You Are Dead
Worst Track: I’ve Called Off The Search, I Know Exactly Where You Are