After a debut album on Under The Spire, "Haze", Shaula goes on with an EP on another UK ambient label, Audio Gourmet. Progress is in the air.
Two long tracks, both around 7:30, "Gate of fulfil" and "Gate of ivory".
Like on "Haze" the whole thing is quite mysterious and the second track could have been included on it with the coldness, the sense of mystery and emptiness. It's like long dark drone unfolding through a winter night even if at times something pulses but never reaches the surface.
"Gate of fulfil", the first track, is something else, meditative and built around delay and guitar, with warm pulsing drones behind, something like a bucolic Labradford, or the Stars of the Lid down at human scale. It is deliciously melancholic and emotional, much more open and welcoming than her previous work, but clearly as a prolongation of what she opened previously with "A butterfly deposit", on "Haze". Maybe it could be less static but it already looks like a big step forward, because she seems to have much more to say than before on such a track, more wonder and appeasement, a melancholic flowering which is not so far from the most introvert side of Sawako.