Cory Allen – Pearls

Had I put together a list of my top EPs of 2010 then this one would, without doubt, top the lot.  I’d even rate it ahead of ‘Riser’ by Fieldhead, which, if you know this blog, pretty much sums up how I feel about this piece of music.  And I’ve only just recently received it as well.  Which, again, says a lot about the impact that this music has had on me.

On a slight tangent, but bare with me, Satellite for Entropy is a blog, which I have grown very fond of reading.  I think the writing on that blog is something truly special.  So much so, that on a number of occasions I have found myself not writing about a piece of music simply because nothing I could write would come close to describing the music in the way that Angie has already.  Take ‘A Young Persons Guide to Kyle Bobby Dunn’ for example.  It’s a piece of music I had planned to write about because it’s excellent.  That was until I stumbled upon Angie’s post about the record.  So, instead of me trying to express what is so important about that record, I suggest that you go here and enjoy her words instead.

However, I am using the words from that piece of writing to try and bring clarity to my own thoughts and allow me to express what it is about this particular piece of music that just leaves me a little breathless.  And that’s exactly what it does.  Leaves me breathless.

You know that way when you’re watching a really beautiful film, reading a wonderful book or even at a concert and you’re scared to blink or breathe in case you miss a single moment?  Well that’s how I feel when I listen to this record.  It’s about 40 minutes long, it sucks you in and it is over before you know it or want it to be.  All good music should be.  When all the component parts come together perfectly I think you should feel like you’ve been on a wonderful journey.  And more than that, you should feel that the breathlessness you’ve felt;  the fear to blink or breathe or move, has not been a success.  Like you’ve missed something important.  And the first thing you should want to do is go back to the start and listen all over again so that this time you take it all in and miss not one second of beauty.

I think it’s the subtlety in ambient music which brings it to life.  It’s a bit like writing a story in many ways (maybe).  You have to control the pace of a piece.  You have to find the right rhythm at the right time.  You have to draw the listener in and keep them in.  And when the word ‘minimalism’ is involved it really becomes all about the subtle moments throughout a piece.

I’ve talked about it before.  Ambient music tends to set a stage and build the characters as it goes along.  Cory Allen, in 4 songs has created a perfect piece of ambience that starts slowly, builds to a wonderful crescendo on, my, stand out track ‘Isozaki Clouds’ and finishes in a lovely warm haze.  ‘Pearls’ is a masterful piece of music by a young American who you really should check out if you get a moment.  And you should check out his record label Quiet Design also because they are releasing some wonderful things at the moment.  My next review will confirm that for you.  You can check out Cory here and his label here.  Enjoy.


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