8/10 Li'l Biz Staff review, 27 June 2012
Ekca Liena and Spheruleus team up for an ultra atmospheric collaboration that is literally about atmospheric conditions. Yes, that’s right - the duo have taken the theme of weather, more specifically, ‘the turbulence and serenity of the air around us’ as the basis for this record. Perfect fodder for field recording-based ambient or experimental recordings I’m sure you’ll agree and it appears to have been a very successful collaboration if the press release notes are anything to go by.
‘Mapping The Boundary Layer’ doesn’t exactly come out guns blazing and takes a while to settle into, much like many of Home Normal’s releases, but, if you have the time to digest the content in the right environment (which I don’t at the moment) you’ll no doubt find it to be thoroughly enjoyable listening. Constructed and reconstructed using Spheruleus’s array of acoustic instruments (zither, violin, harmonica, ukulele, voice, glockenspiel) and augmented with field recordings, ambient synths, radio static, vinyl crackles and the usual laptop trickery (courtesy of Ekca Liena), ‘Mapping The Boundary Layer’ sounds like a record that blurs the line musically between the real and the unreal for the enjoyment of the listener. The resulting sound is ultra peaceful, relying predominantly on sweeping ambient gestures rather than melodic or rhythmic complexity. It is also very successful in portraying in emotional terms the brooding tension that exists within the weather system. That calm before the storm feeling...you know the one.
Obviously ‘Mapping The Boundary Layer’ is a record that’s fundamental themes and ideas (ambience and nature) have been discussed and explored pretty extensively in the field but this is still a beautiful take on said themes and one that will certainly holds appeal for a lot of listeners.
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- Mapping The Boundary Layer by Ekca Liena & Spheruleus
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