Ashley|Story – Standing / Falling

This collaboration starts out warm and calm, like a soundtrack to weightlessness in a pleasant area out of time. And it remains to evoke this kind of mood. The atmosphere can be described as dark, but it would be dark in a sense of mysterious, not in a sense of eerie or frightening. The drones that are the foundations of the tracks are way to thick and sheltering, like sonic blankets, to evoke a mood of fright.

The concept of the album however, seems to create a feeling of distress. Soldier-like figures on cards are standing nearby an anti-aircraft sound locator, they are wearing rubber clothing and wear on other painted cards heavy anti-gas suits. Like a training for the citizen so he knows how to react (or what to buy) when an air raid of an enemy army comes along.
This concept isn’t expressed in the music at all. To illustrate what I mean; a certain Christian broadcasting channel can use this music in a documentary about dolphins or whales without any concern it will distress the pious souls of their viewers. It would fit the images perfectly.

Oophoi is a project that comes to mind when I hear the warm sonic diversities, also of course the ambient that isn’t specifically dark such as Vidna Obmana, Steve Roach and Robert rich, but without the ethnic instruments that these projects tend to use overly on their records.

Personally I miss the threat that certain (dark) ambient can evoke. The album doesn’t affect me emotionally because it’s a kind of ‘safe’ ambient: it is enjoyable, moody, but in no way experimental or adventurous. These ingredients aren’t necessary for good atmospheric music, so my overall judgement of this album is positive. It’s varied, sometimes rhythmic, the melodies are sympathetic and the production is great.

artist: Ashley, Dwight
label: Nepenthe Music
details: 10 tracks, 70 mins. (2005)