• Steve Hadfield

Halftribe - Lucent Forms Travelling



I've listened to this album quite a lot since it was released, but I've struggled to actually write this review - partly for life reasons, but also because I find it very difficult to articulate why ambient like this resonates so much for me. The compositions are... wispy. As I listen through a melody catches my ear and then evaporates back into the ether. I find myself mildly envious of that compositional confidence - if I write a good little melody, I'm milking it for the next three or four minutes in various forms!


So I find myself grasping at these sonic tendrils, trying to find some anchor points for a useful review, and it's not really working and I've written more about myself than Halftribe, a modern ambient maestro. Some description, then. This is textural music - meticulous layers of field recordings create a subtly shifting background for those wisps of melody. And when more solid harmonies surface, like in the title track, they feel grandiose by comparison while still maintaining the subtlety of all that surrounds them. The instrumental elements reflect the organic feel of the field recordings with pianos, guitars, and strings warped and stretched into languid new forms. Gentle distant percussive elements add further textures in with echoing clicks and crackles. It is ambient for journeys to nowhere, quiet contemplation, and for struggling to write reviews...



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