Radio Quarantine -Stefan Węgłowski – What Is Hidden (2020)

This ambient masterpiece is impressive enough on laptop speakers, but it’s another where if played back on the right system, opens up the cosmos. And it’s funny, I just got a push notification as I typed that last line and the news headline was LONG DORMANT VOLCANO ERUPTS. Yes! This isn’t the cataclysmic blast of a volcano, but it’s as powerful. Stefan Węgłowski had originally composed this for an art exhibit, of which the image above is a part. This image, incidentally, opens up in a similar way to the music. The larger the image, the more it reveals.

I’ve expressed in the past that a lot of ambient music marketed here in America comes off like New Age elevator music. Much of it seemed to me to be sonic wallpaper, something to put up in the background as a neutral field behind whatever else is happening or is being displayed. It really took exploration to find pieces that move beyond that. but once you’ve opened the wormhole, there are sites like YouTube, or BandCamp in particular, that serve up like examples of whatever you’ve found that moves you. This one came on the heels of Ocular Bats. They don’t sound alike but the artists both lean hard into the dark and the somewhat more threatening. It’s not music meant to soothe. It’s not an aural balm. It’s about powers and mysteries beyond us. I guess that’s all colorful language that really only says that A) I’m well impressed, and B) I should never write something off on the basis of how it’s labeled before it’s presented to me.

I’m still prone to prejudgments based on labels. It’s not a good thing in any context.

I don’t feel especially like writing today. It’s not something I necessarily have to do but… It’s not necessarily a good thing to feel compelled to say something when there is nothing to say. The music here is good. The message itself is more like a dog pissing on a tree. It says merely, I’ve been in this spot.

Moving on…

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