After kicking things off with the reissue of Celestial Realms, a 1986 new age cassette tape release from Laraaji & Lyghte (aka Jonathan Goldman), Hamilton, Ontario’s Morning Trip Records wind the clock back one year earlier with the ambient guitar loops of Cumulus, by Toronto’s Brent Snyder.
A member of the Canadian avant-garde theatre scene of the era, Brent recorded Cumulus in his dining room using a Fender Stratocaster, a harmonizer pedal, and a four-track recorder, before releasing it as a limited edition hand-assembled cassette. Inspired by English guitarist Robert Fripp’s Frippertronics tape looping technique and Brian Eno’s thinking about ambient music as “an atmosphere, a tint…designed to induce calm and space to think,” Brent summoned up ‘Excursion’ and ‘Cumulus’. Clocking in a close to half an hour each, they’re two long-form soundworlds that, in a similar vein to the works of avant-garde composers William Basinski and Steve Roach, evoke the passage of time, and the topography of Ontario’s natural landscape.
Brent subtitled Cumulus as “Music For Relaxation,” which is exactly what you should use it for. Throw it on when you’re winding down at the end of the day, or after a night out, don’t pay too much attention, and let it wash over you. You’ll feel the results.
Although Cumulus was his only release, Brent continued to write and perform music, working closely with Toronto-based independent theatre company VideoCabaret, until his passing in 1993.
‘Cumulus’ will be available on LP / Digital on June 14th, 2019 through Morning Trip Records.