I guess with ambient music there is more than a slight nod to the principles of techno or house music in that, more often than not, the music created is repetitive in nature. There is a common element in each tune which sustains the momentum and drives the tune forward, propelling it towards its climax. I think that ‘doof doof doof’ sound in a techno tune – you know the one I mean? The one that sounds like a cat being sick? Well, that constant beat is there in ambient music too, it’s just created in a different way and is perhaps just much more subtle. As it should be. Now please, call me out if you are a fan of techno/house and think I’m talking crap – but it seems to be that there is a link between those genres and ambient music.
In this case Brock Van Wey, aka Bvdub, has produced a stunning piece of ambient techno. Is that a new genre? I don’t know. However, there really is something in each of these tracks that propels them forward and sustains momentum. Bit by bit layers are added in to tunes adding texture and voice. And indeed, the introduction of floaty inaudible vocals later on the record is a master stroke in creating beautiful sound scapes that soar above the minimalist tracks below. The closing tune and title track ‘The Art of Dying Alone’ climaxes in a wonderful cacophony of voices and loops and noise. It’s just simply a wonderful end to a wonderful record. This is indeed a brilliant record. It’s hypnotic. It really is. There is something dream like about the tone of this record. It’s funny, because a friend once told me that he got into ambient music through relaxation tapes that helped him sleep and upon listening to this piece of music I can completely understand what he was talking about and why he became hooked.
There is a melancholic under tone to this album, without a shadow of a doubt. But droplets of beauty are scattered throughout each track and give a real touch of warmth and beauty to the music. You cannot help but drift off into another world. Seriously, try listening to ‘Nothing form No One’ or ‘To Finally Forget it All’ without losing yourself and forgetting that anything exists outside the music in your ears and the world in your head. A world where everything is calm and beautiful.
With this record, Bvdub has not only created something stunningly serene and perfectly formed but he’s also set himself apart from other ambient musicians by using elements that are both unusual and interesting. The use of vocals in particular, as nothing more than another instrument, is a master stroke. This really is a brilliant piece of ambient music and one that I highly recommend that you investigate for yourself.
You can check out the work of Bvdub here and I’d highly recommend that you do. Enjoy