Following Seahawks sublime entry into the KPM catalogue, Jon Tye now steps up to the plate, swinging solo as Ocean Moon. Solo isn’t strictly correct, since he’s enlisted the assistance of a range of talented friends – Advisory Circle`s Jon Brooks, Steve Moore, The Grid`s Richard Norris, and Seaming To – to help to create Crystal Harmonics` sonics. Music inspired by the legendary Library Music label`s considerable canon – in particular the work of Adrian Wagner, Keith Mansfield, and the imprint`s mid-80s new age output.
To be honest I’m not familiar with any of the records the press release mentions – but as usual can offer a few points of reference of my own. From the bucolic kosmische pastorals of Cluster and Harmonia to the icy eulogies of Brian Eno and Daniel Lanios` Apollo Soundtracks. There are passing nods to Vangelis – his genius at its most understated – and Global Communications` ground-breaking beatless excursions. All of them perhaps camped out in Virgina Astely`s back-yard. Synthesizing sequences of gentle, slow counterpoint that increase in complexity like time-lapse movies of flowers in bloom – unfurling in fluttering petal-like patterns as electronic arpeggios and bass pulses do polite battle with field-recorded birds, rivers, streams, temple bells, and monastic chant. Harps harmonizing with acoustic strum and big chiming guitar chords to the beat of butterfly wings – in pieces positioned halfway between lullaby and hymn.
The voices present are subliminal, ascending, celestial choirs – spirit guides whose rhythmic inhale and exhalation forge a path to the void between breaths. Operatic divas are lost to the ether as loops of archival applause disintegrate like the tape of a replayed and replayed and replayed last hurrah. Dominican drones that threaten to engulf everything, riding ceremonial rattle and jangle, rise in powerful waves, before disappearing like tides tamed by gravity’s pull. Throughout recurring melodic repeats peak and fall in hypnotic cycle, opening gateways, inner portals, initiating the listener`s drift into a musical space part Californian healing art and part Tokyo kankyo ongaku. Fashioning man-made aural utopias, artfully lit by the shining emissions of Jon`s collection of vintage silver boxes. Wordless songs that seem to whisper, “God is love, love is within.” Holy are you.
Ocean Moon`s Crystal Harmonics is released this Friday, November 6th. You can check out clips, and order a copy directly, over at Be With Records.