Reviewed by Jack Derricourt
Did you know that any sense can be affected with ambience? I don’t know why, but for the longest time, I assumed that ambience was limited to sonic waves and vibrations. You can have ambient smells, sights, touch, and tastes. Pretty weird huh?
Surely I Come Quickly makes ambient music. I’m not going to make some grand claim that he appeals to all the ambient senses listed above — the man makes cassette music and there’s really only so much you can do with one of those things, you know? Though if anything came close to creating such an effect, it would have to be his newest release. Out on Toronto label Adhesive Sounds, Lost Reverie is a delightful play date held between vinyl and a loop pedal. Atmospheres swirl out like sweet ambrosia, taking place in developing spaces, twisted into shape by the sinews of disparate musics.
The tracks on the album are vast like the plains of Surely I Come Quickly’s home province of Saskatchewan. The eight minute long “Kurelek” leads the pack in length, administering blending horns and laser light show of oscillating tones as a coda. When loops repeat like they do on Lost Reverie, they slowly become something different — the context in which you are listening to them shifts as your search for meaning shifts as well. “Kurelek” begins as one story and ends as at least three others. It stands in stark contrast to the imaginary love song of “Genevieve” or the Indian hoe down of “Nahanni,” but each of those has tides of meaning as well. Like the cover for the cassette, these pieces of music are overlapping images, melding together to create an entirely new picture, in which the forms of each lose their original significance in the light of deeper interactions within the piece as a whole. These studies in music do not seek to captivate, but to charm with novelty, and it seems to me that they do it quite well.
Throughout the album, the soothing sound of vinyl cracks on as more records are fed into the digital mix and looped. If you’re like me and you spent a long period of your listening life engaged with old 78 rpm records that had been given new life in the age of cds, the sound will not be new or harsh. It sounds like dirt underfoot, or rain drops falling into the music, and it is the perfect spice to Surely I Come Quickly’s ambient work.
If you’re seeking writing music for the fall, walking music for the fall, fall music for the fall, I would highly recommend Lost Reverie.
Top Tracks: “Kurelek” , “Genevieve”
Rating: Strong Hoot (Good)