Ambience is a beautiful thing. It is often said that nature's noise is the Earth's music, and that's very true. Ambient music is something thought-provoking, often times in emotional ways. It's simplistic, yet in all of its sonic soundscapes it invokes something within its listener.
Eluvium's newest record False Readings On is a masterful collection of drone and ambience. It's not complex but it says all that it needs to be creating beautiful imagery in its minimalism. The album shows his mastery of noise and his ability to create brilliance out of almost nothing.
People who don't like ambience music either don't understand its capabilities, or simply are finding the wrong examples of it. False Readings On shows the brilliance that ambient and drone music can do. It gets off to a peaceful beginning with 'Strangeworks' before diving into 'Fugue State', a slow-moving, churning track that reminds me of the innerworkings of a machine. It has that somber, black and white factory vibe within it that puts you in a cold, foggy winter's day.
Some tracks aren't so much setting as they are putting you into a certain state. 'Movie Night Revisited' is a calming and nostalgic track - it seems to try and put you into the place where you can relive a close memory. It's followed by 'Beyond The Moon For Someone In Reverse', which then sets you into the scene of a foggy day at sea - a perfect place to reflect quietly to yourself. Nothing's around you, no one near you. It's just you and your thoughts in the middle of an endless beyond.
The album's ending is where it feels closest to heart. 'Rorschach Pavan' feels slightly more positive than much of the rest of the record, with rich synths and layered punches of sweet noises build into a beautiful, warm texture. 'Individuation' follows up as one of the most sweet tracks on the record. It's simply just piano playing in the rain. It's a simple song, no tricks or strings attached to it. Its brilliance comes in that bittersweet feeling that comes with the rain and the innocence of the piano. Midway through the track, quiet footsteps can be heard as faraway brass accentuates the track. The album ends on 'Posturing Through Metaphysical Collapse', a song that ends the album with a sort of peaceful chaos. It begins in an operatic way, and eventually starts breaking down into a scathing white noise, as if it was collapsing in on itself. Then finally, when the song has finishing imploding within itself, it ends as calmly as it began, and the album is over.
Eluvium's on his eighth album now, and yet his quality hasn't faltered a bit. False Readings On isn't a masterpiece, but it's a powerful record and will hit you. Each song isn't a wallowing wall of noise, but rather simplistic concoctions of emotion and scenery. It's proof that drone music isn't just noise - it's art.
Favorite Tracks: Individuation, Rorschach Pavan, Movie Night Revisited
Least Favorite Tracks: Drowning Tone, Washer Logistics
Rating: 70 / 100