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Volume Flow

by Pausal

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Odonata 02:43


"As if any additional reason was needed to acquire the latest Pausal release beyond the music, Hibernate, the Halifax, UK-based label on which it appears, donates 100% of any profits generated from its releases to the World Animal Protection Charity. Such generosity is a rare and wonderful thing that by itself should be enough for all 150 of Pausal's CDs to be bought up.

Yet with Pausal members Alex Smalley (aka Olan Mill) and Simon Bainton the creative forces involved, it hardly surprises that Volume Flow impresses musically, too. Having earlier issued material on Barge Recordings, Students of Decay, Own Records, Dronarivm, and Infraction, the two are old hands, so to speak, at the art of ambient soundsculpting, and their advanced skill level in crafting nuanced material is evident throughout the thirty-six-minute presentation. In this instance, the duo created several extended improvised pieces that were later reshaped into the six settings on the album.

Ambient material can, of course, come in many different forms, from the harrowing to the heavenly. Volume Flow most definitely situates itself at the latter end of the spectrum; in fact, it would be hard to image an ambient recording more celestial in tone than this one, Smalley and Bainton having truly outdone themselves in that regard. It takes mere seconds for “Translocation” to establish the material's otherwordly character when gauzy synthetic washes and shimmering tones come together to form a slow-motion mass of incredible density and volume. The album never loses its celestial quality as it segues from one part to the next, though subtle modulations in intensity and timbre can be discerned between the six tracks. For the most part, however, Volume Flow rises to a level of magnificent splendour, its blissful sounds sparkling and shimmering so majestically one might feel as if one's somehow been transported to some magical realm. Par for the ambient course, the material emphasizes texture and mood over melody, and as such it encourages the listener to wholly immerse him/herself in its enveloping design.

Track titles weren't randomly determined, one presumes, which means that the duo purposefully titled the fourth piece “Aerial Mycelia,” a term that, according to the dictionary, refers to “the portion of mycelium that grows upward or outward from the surface of the substrate.” Though that might not at first sound like it would have any direct connection to the material in question, the willowy sounds in the track do, in fact, rise from an initiating base and gradually blossom into a radiant, expansive design. The subsequent part, “Odonata,” also has a real-world connection, the term in this case referring to “an order of carnivorous insects, encompassing the dragonflies and the damselflies.” One needn't have a degree in biology to appreciate Volume Flow, however; in fact, were track titles set aside, the material would lose little of its potency." - textura


released August 14, 2018


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