Dave Pearce,the only remaining original member of FSA, has reanimated the ethereal space beast most die-hard fans had assumed had gone the way of so many off-the-wall acts before them.
And it’s not exactly what you’d expect, which is exactly what fans of FSA have come to expect with each release the group has released in the past.
The album is one of emptiness, reverence and general chilliness. None of its 15 songs have titles, and a majority of them are relatively brief, helping make this already listenable piece even more ready-made for the ears of this era’s point-and-click, two-second attention span. Because goodness knows the typical ambient work is hardly one of broad commercial magnetism. Fans of more abstract and ethereal soundscapes should be right at home amongst the vast drone that permeates this album from open to whispery close.
During my four listens-through, I had a hard time (and little interest) in noticing when one of these songs would lapse, like a dying emperor into his successor. The 15 tracks came and went like a summer downpour, but instead of soaking the streets in balmy remnants, it streaks down to the listener with arctic intent. It’s a whole swarm of chilly sounds for a summer day. Many cuts would seem fitting as the soundtrack to an otherwise silent, Russian, winter fairy tale. It is hypnotic in its stark simplicity of mostly ringing guitar tones, with not a single lyric to muss up the environment that each ringing pluck is trying to paint before us, one echoed note at a time. If zoning out is a hobby of yours, and you’re tired of the typical “chill out” playlists on YouTube, give this thing a spin, play, or whatever it is that will allow you to hear it.
This in my mind is one of a few perfect go-to-sleep albums. There are a few rowdy bits, but they work themselves out before the midway point of the album, so they won’t end up jarring you out of whatever sweet dreams you may be playing in your mind at the time. Worship in the church of sound before you crash this evening, and let me know how your dreams develop.