“… an even keel of a floating buoy in the stormy weather of my mind…”

Release Notes

Label: A Strangely Isolated Place
Date: June 20th, 2024
Mastered By: Hollis Nolan
Artwork By: Noah M

Swedish Ludvig Cimbrelius returns to Ryan Griffin’s A Strangely Isolated Place for his third full-length album for the label. His 2021 release, Iridescence Of Clouds, immediately grabbed my limited attention, and I subsequently selected it as one of the best of that year in my appropriately titled Music For Crawling Through Abandoned Cities category. And that’s precisely how I feel when I listen to Illuvia‘s sounds. It’s as if I’m awakening into a still-sleeping collection of humanity all choosing to reside together in a single concrete jungle. And indeed, I do this every day. My day begins rather early, and I always seem to catch the sunrise, walking the empty streets, headphones on full blast, the sounds of distant drum’n’bass shattering the ethereal ambience that spreads throughout my body. Any moment now, I will turn the corner and discover an after-party still running with its glowing bass. Listening to Illuvia is like waking up in a tent still covered with frosty dew to the sounds of the rave ongoing through the night. It’s a nostalgic feeling of my youth, and perhaps that’s just one of the reasons why I keep returning to Earth Prism. The music is the other…

Blending atmospheric ambient music with liquid d’n’b is not exactly a new thing. Back in 1993, it was “Atlantis” by LTJ Bukem or “Renegade Snares” by Omni Trio that dipped their toes into the genre and immediately captured our hearts. Goldie‘s Timeless continues to be… well… timeless exploration of this sound. Illuvia’s production builds upon and elevates the sound. I would even go as far as calling it an apex of its transformation if it wasn’t for its lustrous spreading valleys and soaring airwaves versus climbing highs and dipping lows. It’s an even keel of a floating buoy in the stormy weather of my mind. And if that’s the apex, then I’m happy to be drifting there…

Ludvig Cimbrelius

My lush praise for Cimbrelius’ production shouldn’t be a total surprise. After all, this is the same musician that brought us more beauty as Purl, with releases dating back a decade now, my earliest recognition of his sound being Behind Clouds, appearing here on Best of 2014. It was his collaboration with Lav that combined elements of minimal dub techno with shimmering waves in 2017 (see A State of Becoming), and then, my personal all-time favourite, his collab with Daniel[i] titled Tesseract, which I can highly recommend, along with its Tesseract Reduction follow-up for Pyramid Blood Recordings in 2023. Besides the two well-known monikers, Cimbrelius also records as Eternell with releases on his own label by the same name, which you can check out here. Now, back to Earth Prism. Here are some words from Ludvig on the concept behind the album:

According to my lifelong research, Earth appears to be a modulation of light. It is said that what the eyes receive are rays emitted by a star, whose flow of photons is invisible to the human eye until they are reflected and modulated by matter. Matter — the patterned dance of charged particles appearing out of nothing. Simultaneously, it is observable that light converts into matter. And matter converts into light.

Logic tells me that they are one, appearing as two. And, as a consequence of their division and subsequent interaction, the spectrum of a world appears. Being a manifestation of something as ethereal and ephemeral as light modulated by the dance of charged particles, the world feels surprisingly solid. Less like a prism and more like a prison. That is what the surface tells us. Those who seek freedom look deeper.

— Ludvig Cimbrelius (Illuvia)

Griffin recognizes the quality of this production here, sparing no expense in giving Earth Prism its deserved royal treatment of being mastered by Hollis Nolan and then having the immaculate lacquer cut by the one and only Andreas [LUPO] Lubich. The resulting release is a gorgeous 2×12″ transparent vinyl in a gatefold sleeve, with printed liner notes insert and a sticker of Noah M‘s artwork. The album is already out, and you can grab the digital version directly from Bandcamp. But the vinyl edition is yet to ship, and there are only a couple of dozen copies remaining as of this writing. So maybe you should run there and get yours before they’re gone.