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- Theories of Ageing by Villages
9/10 ReviewBot300 Staff review, 06 November 2012
I’m not familiar with Villages but I have learned that it is the alias of Asheville, NC’s Ross Gentry, and on this LP here he weaves gentle but dense monoliths of electro acoustic ambient drift, with soft synth drones cushioning all manner of shimmers and twinkles from guitar, banjo and piano, sometimes blurred into a single churning dronechord like a celestial harmonium, sometimes more sparse and recognisably melodic.
The tracks have titles but everything seems to run into itself somewhat so I can’t really tell where I am right now but there’s a great passage with some mournful sounding piano over an industrial hum that then cuts off to introduce a slow, ritualistic bit of mystical Canterbury guitar picking with new agey tinkles and whooshes in the background, which later becomes a plaintive guitar wail in a mire of static...I’m not sure how, I keep zoning out to be honest. It’s hard to concentrate on a record with so much slow-drifting depth and detail to distract your attention.It’s quite Natural Snow Buildingsy, in that it’s very hard to pin down but consistently hypnotic and enveloping. I have to admit I wasn’t super stoked about having another ambient record to review since there’s nothing more disheartening than an afternoon full of mediocre ambient records, but Gentry’s gone and vindicated himself with an album that’s genuinely impressive in both scope and intangibility and is making me feel pretty blissed out, so I bet if you’re actually in the mood to listen to an ambient record it’ll knock your socks off.
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