01 October 2010

v/a - advent (2010, Parvoart)

Conceived as a meditation and celebration of all things wintry, "Advent" is an ambient compilation released on the German label Parvo Art.

Honestly the only name I was familiar with was M. Ostermeier who released an EP, "Percolate" on the same label. His track on this compilation "Sagewood", is delicate, introspective, minimal and moving, one of the three highlights.

If I didn't know at first this record was a compilation, I could have doubted and easily being lulled into considering this as the production of a single artist. "Advent" features nine artists for a full length of just 24 minutes, and a strong coherency. I guess what offers homogeneity is the selection of artist, the precision of the theme and the order of the tracks.

Some of these tracks are almost just interludes and don't really catch the attention or have a generic typicalness which makes then unidentifiable. The contributions of Stephen Spera, Neve, Porzellan fall in such categories. 

Other tracks are giving a strong impression, like the already mentioned M. Ostermeier, or "Nr. 4, melting underfoot" by Will Long,  one half of the duo Celer tragically ended with the tragic death of his wife and musical partner Dani Baquet-Long. This last track is the second highlight of the compilation. You feel like walking on frosted ground, one Sunday morning, under a low grey sky, full of depressive feelings and profound thoughts, but kept awake, close to reality and lucid by the icy needles of the wintry coldness. 

"No time, no place" by John R. Carlson is like the soundtrack of a desperate black and white Christmas tale which won't see the return of spring. "Siskiyou" by R. Kitch is the third highlight, a melancholic guitar instrumental somewhere between an instrumental Montgolfier Brothers and the compositions of Scott Tuma. "Sa Geimhreadh", by Duncan Ó Ceallaigh, floats like a question without answer, a fog veil crossing a sleeping garden. 

The last track, "Tête Nord Des Fours" by Alpe is a synth drone ambient exploration which close the record on an optimistic note, the eerie glow of winter sunlight on trees covered with frost.


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