28 January 2015 (Horologion)
Ambient music’s routes lay nestled in history from all expanses of the world. Many forms of traditional music focus around repetition of rhythms and patterns and can be associated with inducing trancelike states that are embedded in meditation and religion. At the crosses roads of music, religion, and meditation, the simplest yet most powerful instrument builds its foundation. Constantly being reinvented, the human voice has always been present, regardless of time period or region and the return to its origins is a motif found in contemporary music.
The Brooklyn duo, Ariadne, of Christine Lanx and Benjamin Forest take vocals that draw on inspiration from Gregorian chant and press their own unique stamp with electronic sketching and manipulation on their latest EP Ex Tempore. A combination of wordless loops and powerfully sung lines develop the voice in juxtaposition of its two main components, a sonic instrument and the conventional use of language. The lyrics float in and out of recognition, while they allude to spirituality – particularly in the repetition of “he walks with me.”
The ambience in vocals is deeply explored by Lustmord in his mesmerizing 2013 release The Word As Power and Lanx and Forest’s Ex Tempore is one of the few contemporaries to similarly focus on the voice above all else. Both releases draw on a ritualistic expansion into the voice, which lead back to the comparison to Gregorian chant. Lanx and Forest’s forte is in the amplification effects that their production adds as apposed to the layered combination of Lustmord. The seemingly conscious choice of abstraction takes the spiritualized allusions and gives them an inhuman quality.
Ariadne represents one of the most important creative pathways in music right now. The duo takes elements out of history and reinvents them, breathing their own warped form of life in. While a common theme is to physically reuse existing audio files, they seem to capture the effect by composing with a specific historical angle in mind and adding sonic textures to distinguish the new conception.
Rating: Liked It