Although seemingly operating somewhat below the radar in terms of release frequency, Glacial Movements has earned its status when it comes to quality standards. In the past, the Italian ambient label founded by Alessandro Tedeschi (aka Netherworld), released albums by Rapoon, Lull, bvdub, Francisco López, and many others. The future will see new releases by bvdub, Pjusk and Thomas Köner. Like the name suggests, Glacial Movements selects albums that thematically deal with vast, deserted (and mostly cold) landscapes: “Places that man has forgotten… icy landscapes… fields of flowers covered eternally with ice… Icebergs colliding amongst themselves… […] Glacial Movements is a label born to describe and spread these thoughts/images through sound.” Knowing this, it is no surprise that Glacial Movements is the label to release Loscil‘s latest album, Coast/ Range/ Arc. It is a perfect match.
In previous releases (most of them on Kranky), Canadian composer Scott Morgan has proven to be able to transfer desolate territories into haunting soundscapes. His ability “to write environmental weavings which revolve around a well-defined subject” has made him one of the most important performers in what could be called ‘environmental isolationist ambient’. “Coast/ Range/ Arc ” refers to the coastal mountains of the Pacific Northwest, studded with glaciers, lakes, waterfalls, canyons and epic views.
“Mountains are hardly static – in fact they are dynamic on a time scale beyond the human experience. They grow, buckle, twist, erupt and erode at an epic pace. The ‘Coast/ Range/ Arc‘ is filled with such mountains and valleys, their dynamics nearly imperceptible. They evoke awe and a connection to an imperceptible past. They are constantly changing, yet represent such a seemingly stoic fixture in our relatively short lives.”
A beautiful description indeed, and one that fits the mountains as well as the seemingly stoic music on this album, which progresses with nature’s inevitability. That inevitability may be threatening at times, but it is also comforting, since it’s the way nature’s supposed to be – and way beyond human control. In that way I always find it remarkable that this kind of music is mostly described in terms like ‘desolate’ and ‘cold’ – while for me it also transcends calm and timeless peacefulness.
Review by Peter van Cooten of Ambient Blog. Republished with permission.
Be sure to read Conversations with Loscil.
Check out a mix by HC, titled Sound Mind featuring a track by Loscil.