Earlier this month, Armageddon Speaking released his second entry of 2021 entitled Music for Virtual Worlds Vol. 4. The entire album is filled with a combination of soft pads, odd melodies, and strange atmospheric sounds that combine to create a world that feels akin to playing No Man’s Sky while tripping on mushrooms. The production of this is spot on with every bizarre element placed near perfectly for maximum impact.
What is quite notable is the motif that swirls throughout the album. The primary motif appears immediately at the beginning with “Everyday Risking Your Life and Limbs for Moneys to Stay Secure and Safe.” It manifests as a slightly awkward arpeggiated melody that morphs subtly in modulation throughout the track, slowly fading away and reappearing as a harsher or smoother manifestation. This motif reappears two more times prominently in the tracks “A Rambling Epic Dream That Goes No Where for Eight Hours” and “That Part of the Dream Where You Forget Yourself for Ten Blessed Infinites,” both of which twist it slightly and act as a rolling refrain throughout the album.
Outside of this motif, Armageddon Speaking uses the rest of the album to create a variety of often sparse yet engaging soundscapes. Just past the mid-point of the album, we are given the stunningly serene “Beautiful Dreams with You” which starts with thick ambient pads that swell and carry us on until accompanied by an oscillating percussive texture that fades in and out several times before the end of the track. In my opinion, this is one of the most interesting parts of the entire album as it purposely breaks the motif in order to give the listener a sense of calm easiness that lasts just long enough to slightly disorient once we are thrown back into the remainder of the album.
Music for Virtual Worlds Vol. 4 is, for lack of a better word, a trip. It is both serene and harmonic while deftly alternating into uneasiness and slightly disharmonic. This alternation keeps a sense of traveling going throughout the album and the recurring motif seems to serve as some kind of portal. It is almost as if this is the spot from which all other travel is performed.