05 July 2021 (released)
21 August 2021
Ambient music is a salve for the cacophony of the modern world. Rounded tones and meandering melodies (if any at all). A blissful absence of words that cage in the experience to the narrator's emotions and politics. And yet exceptional ambient music can make you experience so much. The great practitioners create evocative soundscapes that are above all else transportive to a realm beyond the pale. Often inspired by otherworldly environments, these sonic shamen create meditations to take you out of your 9-5 corporeal grind.
Dylan Tauber has made a career of examining extraneous environments whether through the lens of his camera or through sound via his 13 albums released to date. The travelling documenter has based himself in New York City, Jerusalem, Miami, a remote island in the southwestern Pacific, and now a small settlement in northern Israel. Much of his obsession has been with aquatic environments detailing the lives of dolphins through photographs. In his latest series, Tauber is examining that other mind-boggling vast expanse where few have travelled, the cosmos. His new record is Songs from Space 2, the sequel to his 2019 release, both of which use nebulous aural textures to place the listener off-world, to look back at earth from above, and beyond to the furthest reaches.
Warm welcoming pads and harp-like textures fill the opener 'Angels 2.0'. Daily cares dissolve, the struggles melt away into the ether. 'Ambience of India' feels like a flyover of the spiritual-minded subcontinent. Ricocheting percussion cuts up the angelic aura of an Indian vocal. The track 'Earth' is perhaps the album's most ominous. Rattling metal echoes in unsettling patterns while tension-building bass bubbles below. The voice has a mournful Mother Earth inflection.
'Lone Satellite' ups the groove with Tauber infusing a mix of trip-hop and trap influenced rhythms to the slowly effervescing textures. 'Deep' seems to embody the endless interconnections of our new digital world. The arpeggiators never stop like the unending flow of information across our pale blue dot. The album generally flows uninterrupted from piece to piece with any vocals merely acting as another instrument in the orchestra. 'Carmen Love' breaks this up with a loving tribute to his muse Carmen. She professes her love and excitement for the future on their anniversary over a cooing choir and wistful piano. The track ties the album back to earth while also connecting the concept of love with the swirling conscious field around the globe.
A rocket boost blasts us away again for 'Planet X', a journey into the unknown. '2021' follows with a disjointed glitchy groove, just barely reclaiming the beat at every measure. The penultimate 'Away From Home' and finale 'Call Me the Sun' bring back English lyrics. The former cutting lofty female vocals with dolphin moans and the latter bringing up the energy for a rapped conclusory statement.
Songs from Space 2 is a very welcome atmosphere to step into. Alluring ambience flows seamlessly from song to song with varying feminine voices guiding you along the way. Dylan Tauber does a fantastic job of taking you into a celestial headspace. A place where you can meditate and deconstruct the chatter of your day-to-day.