Monday, January 25, 2021
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Time Being: An Ocean Of Time

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Artist: Time Being (@)
Title: An Ocean Of Time
Format: CD + Download
Label: Spotted Peccary Music (@)
Rated: * * * * *
With their acclaimed ambient/electronic music project Time Being, veteran space-music maestros Phillip Wilkerson and Jourdan Laik have been exploring the expansive sonic realms of atmospheric soundscapes for the better part of a decade. On their third album, ‘An Ocean Of Time,’ the duo venture into over 70 minutes of deep-drifting, time-melting, soul-stirring bliss that hovers delicately at the fringes of darkness and light.Those lines come from Spotted Peccary of course, and it would be easy to just paraphrase a few more lines about the album being "vast and immersive," "fathomless spaces evok[ing] a sense of ageless infinity," etc., etc., but what does any of that even mean, really? Okay, when you use lots of programmed big reverb, things are going to sound...vast, along with complex synth pads and long drones, it can't be helped. And that's exactly what a lot of this is. Couple that with most of the (8) tracks being somewhat lengthy (total of 70 minutes worth of music) and it all seems a bit unending. Throw in a good dollop of treated noise sweeps as well (perhaps to make up for the momentum that isn't there) and you've got...voilà...Space Music! Well, no, not really. You've got drones in a large space.I really don’t believe this to be "space music." I suppose it could be considered spacey, or space-ish, but it sounds pretty terrestrial to me, even though there are no birds or other nature sounds. I'm just not getting any cosmic vibrations at all from anything on 'An Ocean Of Time,' and I've listened to it plenty. What I can say is that the album has what I'd call a New Age sheen- tranquil gentility, and a sprinkling of stardust as the only concession to the heavens. (Okay, "Unfolding Way" has some dissonant chords in it, but that's only four minutes out of the whole.) Not that there's anything wrong with that but this isn’t my idea of space-music. Space is an interesting place, extremely cold, full of wonder but fraught with danger, the unknown and often times, violence. There's little of that here. Most tracks open sounding like the dawn of a new day, full of hope, possibilities, and maybe even some languorous lolling around. There is minimal momentum- no rhythm, pulse, or sequencing, just drifty, floaty drones, with occasional sequences of plucked notes, and a hint of melody. For me, I was looking for something more along the lines of what the label touted this as, and truth be told, I didn't get it. If you're cool with New Age drift, I guess this album is for you.

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