Engaged Touches originally came out on CD in 2009 on Home Normal. This was a fascinating time of my life in relation to music. I was still trying to find my footing with Headphone Commute, often asking out loud, “What exactly am I doing with this thing?” and “Does anybody care?”. In March of that year, I flew from New York to Los Angeles for the Resonant Forms festival, where I got a chance to meet William BasinskiRichard Chartier, Christopher Willits, Yann Novak and Celer, among many others. I distinctly remember one of the other “journalists” at the venue saying to me in surprise, “Oh, you’re that blogger! You flew here all by yourself?” But that one single instance of meeting all of these artists has left a deep and permanent impression on my life, as our paths have crossed so many times again. Many of them became my long-time friends, and I can tell you that I still keep up with every release and that time was well spent. One of those incredible moments was spent conversing with a husband and wife duo, Danielle Baquet-Long and Will Long, known to the minimalist and ambient community as Celer. I left Los Angeles with a bag full of custom-packaged music from Celer, a newly made connection to a few lonely souls… Only a few months later, on July 8th, 2009, Dani passed away from a heart failure.

The following words are excerpted from my original review.

On Engaged Touches, Celer digitally stretches the loops of field recordings and analogue samples of ambient strings and minimal distant pads. The creative use of delays blending into almost metallic reverb resonates with the sound beyond its cycling waves. As the beatless, drony chords morph into deep vibrations of bass, swelling in dynamics along with my emotions, the sound rolls over my head towards my chest and then slips through the cracks in between the walls. At times, there is silence, which is followed by an onslaught of frequencies reminiscent of chemicals flooding your brain. Recordings of passing trains bridge the creatively named passages by Danielle that touch the tear glands and jerk the nerves with titles such as “A Once And Meaningful Life”. Or the lengthy leaps of imagination with a title like “Hanging Herself On The Lonely Fifth Column (Gramophones That Remind Us Of What Sounds Once Were)”. Yes, the latter in the double quotes is a single titling of a section within the two tracks of the album. The album cover features photography by Danielle during her journey through India and Pakistan.

The overall album is a true masterpiece. Among the many albums I heard, Celer’s Engaged Touches is one of the most emotional for me. It is a sonic postcard from a time and place unlike any other. I can only imagine the special place that it holds in the hearts of others, and especially Will’s. This expanded edition, remastered by Stephan Mathieu, is packaged in a foldout reverse board sleeve in a 3xCD as well as a limited edition 3xLP black vinyl.

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