Felbm / Elements Of Nature

At the start of the year Ban Ban Ton Ton`s friend, Felbm, went and hid in Doomburgh`s woods. He took with him his acoustic guitar, a magical bag of assorted percussion, and a 4-track recorder. Holing up for 2 weeks in a former monastery, he was intent on capturing, and conversing, with nature. Decidedly organically, tuning into her slowly stirring rhythms, her cyclical rise and fall. Blending birdsong with beatific musical bubbling, babbling brooks, constructed from richly reverb-ed picking, and vibes runs, exotica echoes, that course like fresh water. His short marimba and kalimba movements – mini-Musics For 18 Musicians – owing much to classical minimalism, Philip Glass, Terry Reilly and Steve Reich`s “systems”. Their ECM-esque grooves often recalling those of TNT-era Tortoise, or Isotope 217. Sometimes synthesizing sustained, treated, soundscapes, similar to an Eno “atmosphere”. Tibetan gongs and bowls ringing with the resonance of a wet finger tracing the top of a wine glass. Small sections, sequences, of distortion resembling the “cassette-choir” experiments of Ian William Craig. 

While Felbm laid down the basic tracks in isolation, solo, once back in Utrecht he enlisted the assistance of a few pals, who added aching bowed cello, and a tapestry of sax and woodwinds. The ancient bansuri and duclar, in particular, make modal, Middle Eastern flights. Calls to prayer that remind me of the band Between`s seminal spiritual kosmische. 

Recorded in winter, with the overdubbing done in spring, the combination is bright but overwhelmingly autumnal. Painting an air of summer’s greens giving way to browns, halloween orange, and chimney red*. The perfect BGM for a gentle, warm, evening indoors. Fire roaring, refreshments flowing, in the company of one, or more, that you hold dear. Uncommonly, for what passes for contemporary ambient, there`s no hint of nostalgia or melancholy. Casually working its way into your consciousness, the relaxed, reflective patterns, play like flame`s flickering light on the face of a lover. It resides here, in the moment.  

Felbm elements of nature

Felbm`s Elements Of Nature will be released tomorrow in a bespoke edition, that contains a cassette full of beautiful music, and book packed with photographs and Joost Stokhof`s ink-drawings, inspired by the sessions. You can order a copy directly through Bandcamp. 

*Thank you Tom Waits.

Felbm elements of nature package

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