wzrdryAV: West Coast Systems (Line, 2020)

January 14, 2021 at 7:23 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

wzrdryAV: West Coast Systems

Vancouver’s Kelly Claude Nairn makes ambient dub that feels like a gentle rainbath, yet whisks you away somewhere else when you aren’t paying attention. A longtime close collaborator with the warped dub crew Seekers International, he released two tapes on Digitalis Limited before they fell off the face of the earth (Foxy Digitalis hath returned though!), and his latest album is on Richard Chartier’s drone/microsound label Line. More than anything else, this is just incredibly soothing music, but it’s far from paint-by-numbers ambient. The textures are constantly shifting far off the grid, and there’s always unexpected tweaks, rifts, and drops. It’s super refreshing if you just lay back and immerse yourself in it, but deep listening will reveal just how strange it is, almost restlessly so. And it really does benefit if you turn it up loud rather than let it dribble away at low volume in the background. It just comes at you like waves in multiple directions. In the right performance space this would be astonishing live, but for now we’ll just have to settle with blasting this out towards the sun.

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