Josco and Spheruleus – Folded Distance

Having recently mastered a two track, house-orientated EP by Magnofon (Harry Towell’s more beat-driven alias), I’m brought back to the early days of exploring independent ambient music, where Spheruleus was one of the artists I was immediately drawn too. There was something about the grainy textures, expansive soundscapes, and attention to exploiting nuance that was completely new and exciting. ‘Folded Distance’ is a collaboration between Josco & Spheruleus, containing six longer playing ambient pieces that are as deep as they are detailed. The album’s opening track, ‘Samila’, boasts fullness and complimentary textural qualities as long and drawn out progression blend into warm drones before disintegrating into the distance. Humbling elements of folk enter, with loosely played acoustic guitar that brings soft clarity from within the surrounding musical depth. Josco & Spheruleus create interesting contrasts, as certain instrumental parts appear relatively untouched and raw, effortlessly rising above dusty found sounds. The album’s second track, ‘Kilis’ offers a lighter listening experience, as field recordings of passing conversations give somewhat of an indistinct narrative and feeling of auditory voyeurism, and a sense of the organic is achieved through slowly evolving string progressions. The album also has thinner moments, which is not to suggest lacking; rather a moment of rest among lighter tones and distant recording of movement and relocation. ‘Kru Ze’, the penultimate track, is the longest in duration, slightly shy of sixteen minutes. Whistling electronic sounds move from left to right, and I begin to question if I’m listening to Morse code or randomness. The track has a wide, open beginning that takes full advantage of the stereo field. There is innocent dissonance, travelling distortion, and an image of purposeful misdirection that allows the instrumental elements to explore on their own, whilst remaining rooted firmly by an underlying, low drone.

 

This review could continue, as repeated listens reveal a number of new qualities each time. I picture myself listening to this album while doing nothing else, as it is deserving of dedicated attention. ‘Folded Distance’ was released on Eilean Rec., July 7th, where a handful of physical copies remain.

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