I Return! And I Bring Ambient!

Sorry for the recent lack of updates. I had been in the process of moving, and then shortly after that I got sick. So that fails. Anyways, I’m here today to discuss a damn fine album by a group of Californians known as Thuja.

Thuja operates in the worlds of experimental and ambient. A world where peculiar sound textures can feel as warm and familiar as an old friend. A world where complexity can be broken down into the most simplistic terms. Their latest self-titled effort is a collection of live recordings that conjure up imagery of rustic abandoned cabins hidden deep within the thickest of forests, fog covered horizons on the dawn of a new day, and forgotten spirits shambling about– their destination unknown to even themselves.

Opening track “Oaklandish” drifts on a stream of gentle guitar drones before reaching its conclusion with sparsely picked notes. “Pehr Space” sounds like a group of undead prison escapees shuffling about a campfire in the dark wilderness, their ankle chains rattling ever so slightly. Thuja incorporates a lot of different sounds into their unique brand of ambient music. On any given track, string instruments, woodwinds, synths, and a myriad of found sounds can be heard. Thuja’s music takes on a very organic feel, almost as if it was something that grew from the soil as opposed to growing from the minds of men.

This is the first ambient record to really catch my attention in 2008. These gentle sound collages paint portraits awash with rich imagery that allow the album to serve perfectly not only as background music for ones’ activities, but also as an engrossing, focused listening experience. Beautiful earth toned ambient music. Give it a listen.

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~ by theoberlander on March 9, 2008.

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