The Serpent Phase took five years for Offthesky to fully realise yet the results make the wait worthwhile. The album was born from rough piano pieces that were recorded throughout Europe and the USA whilst experimenting with mobile recording techniques. Vibes, Guitars, Drums, Vocals and Field recordings were added to the initial piano tracks. The intention of the artist is to allow the listener to explore the possibility of deeper meaning be it spiritual, moral or religious through the pieces of music.
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- The Serpent Phase by offthesky
8/10 Laurie Staff review, 16 September 2015
New week, new offthesky record. Jason Corder really does not stop, but when the sounds he continues to make barely deviate from super relaxing, then it’s no bad thing at all. And this one isn’t a rushed exercise either, taking a full five years to create. The Chinese Democracy of ambient albums.
Originally, he was just messing with recording pianos away from the studio (probably on an iPad - offthesky, now officially sponsored by Apple) (lies) before he started really enjoying the music and brought in some friends to help set the serene. The perfectly named Pillow Garden pays a tribute of ethereal vocal breaths, while Julie Slater bows and probably taps her violin along to Corder’s recordings, and suddenly we’re in the zone. The Serpent Phase fits the Hibernate sound well, pushing hovering tones that only imply chord and melody but insist on chilling you til you’re chipping off bits of yourself to drop into your long island ice tea. Or whatever cocktail ambient alcoholics drink. That’s not to say all offthesky fans are alcoholics, that’s just silly, I’m digging myself a hole aren’t I?
If you’re thinking ‘oh it’s gonna be more typical ambient things’ then listen to the 3rd track, where smudged piano, vocal and bowed violin beautifully churn together in a garden of pillows with hints of a pulse and a guitar underneath. This might have even been able to calm down medieval Britain if we could only learn how to make audio wormholes.
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