We recently posted a mix on here that was called The Lending Library that was a mix of ambient sound and fx and influenced by those zoned out E’d up Orb / KLF-type mixes. Well here comes Veranda Culture with an album of music that sounds like one of those mixes. By way of introduction Veranda Culture is Melbourne-born Griff James aka Francis Inferno Orchestra.
Apparently this album was recorded over three years and was inspired by Griff discovering the debut album of Iasos (our Laurence wrote about him recently here) – ‘Inter-Dimensional Music’ – in Melbourne’s Liquorice Pie record store.
Back to the album. It’s a lovely journey. The opening ‘New Worlds’ starts with live xylophones and as a track really hits its stride as a “hello” when the lovely warm pads arrive. With an abrupt ending its quickly gone and replaced by ‘Potential of We’ which is another zoned out slow mo piece with chiming melodic bells and gently hissing hats. ‘Extreme Enflammable’ is a motoric mallet number with the rhythms really held down and ‘Cafune’ is proper string-led ambience with a ghostly voice running away in the background. The last track of the first half of the album ‘Mer More’ is very very gentle. Almost a pause before we begin again.
‘Allodynia’ and ‘Palmerston’ are a bit more moody in their delivery. Synth heavy in one and melancholic pads in the other. ‘The Sweetest Embrace’ is really, as the title suggests, a pretty one. A pad starts the track before a piano (or is it a guitar) – eq-d out and distant’ – plays a repetitive melody over and over as sounds enter around and behind. The album finishes with ‘How They Conquered The World’ and ‘Ritual Defilment’. The first a looped almost Oboe sound repeats around and around with the last track ‘Ritual Defilement’ a gentle melodic exit.
If you miss the old days of the Orb or Pete Namlook or are enjoying the new wave of ambient artists then this may well be for you.