Remanence: A Strange Constellation of Events

by Rik MacLean, Ping Things

Remanence have always been a project who has paid careful attention to all of the details and nuances of their music, a project who care about every little thing down to the finest point. It's evident from the first note to the last that Remanence are very focused on what they do. And with the release of their latest disc "A Strange Constellation of Events", Remanence have crafted another beautiful and wonderful collection of finely honed tracks that are sure to inspire the imaginations of new and old fans alike.

The disc begins with the short staccato morse code of "Signal Hill", a slowly building ambient drift where languid pads weave through each other to create beautiful patterns. "Reflecting Pool (prelude)" follows, a short work suggesting discovery and observation, a vision of things to come. Those of you familiar with Remanence's earlier work will be pleased to find a remixed version of the track "Lamkhyer", a darkly beguiling track filled with tiny details and hidden wonder. "Nocturne" is a lovely flight through slowly roiling waves of sound, small percussive landmarks passing by at irregular intervals. Dark and lonely, this one has so much space in it that it's almost oppressive, but in the best possible way. Trust me on this one. "The Reflecting Pool" delivers on earlier suggestions, ideas and forms culminating in a sweeping and beautiful track that works as a wonderful centrepiece and a fitting end to the first half of the album.

"Stress" opens the second half of the disc, setting the tone for a darker suite of tracks with an abstract ambient piece where found sounds and field recordings create a dark and enigmatic environment. "It Gazes Also Into You" follows, resplendent in drone-y goodness, sounds echoing and swelling through the abyss, chasms of molten magma flowing around its edge. Stunning work that I would love to hear built and expanded upon in a longer form piece. "Echo Canyon III" presents a sparse and minimal drone track where tones rise and fall in volume, sliding subtly through the sound spectrum. "A Reply Beyond Oblivion" uses metallic tones and other sounds to continue the minimalist darkness of the last piece. The disc closes with the track "First Light", a slowly building drone that returns to the brighter sounds of the first half of the disc, suggesting a cyclical nature to the work herein, the idea of a loop that spins forever.

Needless to say, "A Strange Constellation of Events" is a very impressive work, one that connects on many levels, both emotionally and mentally. Surely an excellent disc for one to discover Remanence's work if you aren't already familiar with it, or for those who are, a chance to revisit a tremendous talent. Highly recommended.