Composed by Ariel Kalma in the early 80’s, Open Like A Flute utilises Indian raga stylings and breathy drones to create a beautiful work of not-quite ambience. Flute and saxophone take the lead exploring luminous, cosmic tones. Far out. Out on vinyl 2LP from Black Sweat. Limited to 300 copies.
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- Open Like A Flute by Ariel Kalma
8/10 Robin Staff review, 18 March 2015
I’ve got a good feeling about this. Ariel Kalma and his legion of ambient press officers like to go on about analog warmth and flutes and texture, as if easing you into a warm bath next to a series of differently scented candles. What sweethearts. My heart goes out to them, and also the people who make bubble bath.
Baths aside, ‘Open Like a Flute’ offers a glimpse at Kalma’s infatuation with Indian music and electronic layering. Kalma had a compelling musical approach, one that was constantly in conflict; his interest in flutes and other sharply intoned instruments met a tucked in bedrock of ambient texture and sustained tone -- drawn out sounds that were opposed, in their subliminality, to the immediate gratification of acoustic instrumentation. This record unfolds delicately, trying to balance foreground and background into one seamless paradigm. As the long-form suite of “Pagnifico” opens up, Kalma’s synth starts to tinker with potential melodies, while his flute-playing delves into the opposite, drawing out notes and offering beguiling motifs.
Kalma occasionally wants to point to the juxtaposition in his process, with the short vignette “Bush Breath” bringing together harsh strums with underlying flute. It leads into the ten minute drone chapter that is “Open Like A Flute”, which stresses the stasis in Kalma’s electronic works. For Kalma, New Age was found in sounds bubbling on an ever sleeping surface. It sounds lovely, of course, and I’m ready to get out now.
Album: 8/10. Hypothetical bath: full marks.
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