Etelin | Hui Terra
Soda Gong (LP/DL)
A debut from Alex Cobb, aka Etelin, this new elusive ambient sensation is out on Soda Gong, and Hui Terra runs just under a half hour. Vixen and Kits opens up these half dozen tracks, with an active coursing of chilly vibrance. Blurry tones drop into shallow divots in the latter half and like looking deeply into one of Dali’s melting clock paintings, the whole thing starts to go into a roasting flame, melting slowly into the landscape. On Hour Here Hour There the left/right speakers volley and open your ears to a bit of portable surround sound. The pale drones compliment the cosmic synths nicely here, it’s classic ambient with well rounded corners. By introducing slight bird calls he introduces the skies to Earth. Then Water The Ferns drifts and pops with slight manipulations, ever so glassy, rubbery, subliminal. This sounds as though its been culled from a vivid, contemporary, cinematic thriller.
Tiny animated sounds like listening through latex, twist vivaciously in transmissions that tune and test like marine navigation on Little Rig. I’m having flashbacks of watching Captain Jacques Cousteau as a child. And a sudden launch takes off into the fine horizonline on We Don’t Have To Eat Our Hands where extended an extended voyage plays on thin metallic shutters and horn flutters. There’s an unearthed discovery in this breathy set of abstractions. In the end we are treated to a series of gong-like chimes that re-center this otherwise luminous expedition. On Been Really Good Today the open tone finds a certain harmony with thin air, paired with the most minimal percussion. Out-of-frame voices, barely audible, help you to imagine a sense of contentment, further emphasized by peaceful rainfall, likely a sun shower.
This record is un-fussy, reliant on the relationship between maker and listener. It however, shares more than it asks of its deep listening participants. In the end Etelin has offered a bit of a mind massage with just the right balance of Asian influences and atmospheric impulses.