Ghostloop & Atmøsphäre - Exosphere

Released: June 1

Deep and immersive, this first time collaboration between Ghostloop and Atmøsphäre is something rather impressive. Some ambient album will try to impress upon the listener with a number of light melodic pieces and sparkly twinkles. And while I do enjoy this approach, Exosphere chooses a bit of a different path and instead pushes the deep drones all the way to the forefront with a very light and airy top-end that creates a sonic environment that feels comfortably full. Of course it's not just pads here, though. There are also all manner of little atmospheric sounds and a vast array of field recording to provide that extra bit of ear candy. But Ghostloop and Atmøsphäre use these in such a careful manner so as to not have them either disappear into the background or override the lush tones that make up the bulk of each track. Instead they seem perfectly placed in such a way that seems almost unnatural. 

My favorite example of this comes on "Below the Water Surface." There are multiple elements going on as far as field recordings go - the gurgling and bubbling of the water, very slight breeze to be heard, and a lonely bell ringing from the dock - along with the lush pads. The way this is oriented is perfect in my opinion and I instantly visualized it like this - the water down at the bottom, the bell off in the distance and getting farther away as we drift, the wind and pads filling the air around, and the listener in the water itself treading water as they slowly drift. A slightly spooky atmosphere, but a rather serene one as well. 

As calm and rounded as much of the album sounds, there are also some moments with a bit of edge as well. "Fidelity" starts out as many of the other tracks do with a soft and full approach complete with a few clatters, the gentle sound of rain, and even something that sounds a bit like garbled voices. But then there's this one synth that comes in like a saw, tearing a hole in the otherwise placid environment. Even as it disappears, the feeling remains until it returns again. It makes for an unexpected little juxtaposition, ultimately creating a sense of tension that never completely resolves, even at the track's end. It also goes to show that this is not just a one note ambient album, but one of understated complexity and depth. 


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