Updated: Jan 19, 2021
Released in June of 2020, Islands Pt.1 is the first release of ambient drone artist Jupi/ter’s to be released through the Netherlands-based Ambientologist label. Jupi/ter, the pseudonym of musician Alex Glynn, uses sound in an intriguing way throughout the EP to paint a sonic picture that he describes as one of “interconnectedness.” This interconnectedness is on full display through his masterful use of disparate sonic elements that combine masterfully into a unique and cohesive whole.
The EP opens with a repetitive melody that slowly fades into the background and eventually morphs to adapt to the pads that have overtaken it in an odd way. This seems to set the motif for this album as we seem to gently hop from one island to the next in a gentle but very noticeable manner. As we continue through the sonic journey, we are introduced to all manner of natural and unnatural textures including the soothing sounds of rain and birds chirping. These soothing and calming sounds are juxtaposed with more out of place textures such as deep, rumbling bass, and a sound that I can only describe as the sound of an old camera shutter opening and closing.
What is even more stunning about the textures present here is the ways in which they are processed. Subtle delays and slightly less-than-natural reverbs permeate much of the textures employed throughout. All of which are put against a background of swelling pads and dreamlike synths that evoke a sense of wonder and curiosity. The entire EP is masterfully crafted and most perfectly encapsulates the theme it sets out to. Filled with all manner of textures that range from gentle and soothing to lingering discomfort that washes in and out, this EP leaves the listener both soothed and stimulated.