Kelly David — Meditation in Green
(Spotted Peccary SPM-4101, 2019, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2019-08-29
With Meditation in Green, Kelly David opens a world of dreamy atmospherics, slow-evolving tapestries that combine passages of ambient electronics, acoustic and electronic percussion, loops and sequences thereof, field recordings, and samples of Vietnamese instruments all intended to guide the listener on a journey deep into Vietnam’s Mekong Delta. David is not a newcomer to synth-based floating ambient music; his two previous albums, Broken Voyage (2002) and Angkor (2006), are strong entries in this field, with the latter also elucidating a southeast Asian theme, as well as his 2014 collaboration with Steve Roach, The Long Night. Roach is here too, at least in spirit and guidance. This is, however, David’s first release for Spotted Peccary Music, and with that comes a production expectation that is completely fulfilled, expertly mastered by Howard Givens. The album consists of seven long tracks, many which approach the ten minute mark, with titles inferring connections to the album’s overall theme. David plays most of the instruments, including analog, digital, and large format eurorack modular synthesizers, with samplers, loopers, wind synths, gongs, bells, and percussion, as well as many of the field recordings that subtly and overtly permeate the fabric of these pieces. Several others contribute field recordings of wildlife (including frogs used in the opening title track), bells, electric guitar, as well as samples of Vietnamese instruments used on a couple of the tracks. The percussion for the most part is restricted to bells, gongs, cymbal swells, and percussive micro-events, although in a couple parts a steady beat of hand drums can be heard. Like the river that the music represents, these pieces grow, flow and evolve slowly, with very subtle changes and mysterious subtleties informing each piece as it moves forward, something in which the listener can completely immerse themselves; best to put in on endless repeat and float away with it.
Related artist(s): Kelly David
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