Celer: How Could You Believe Me When I Said I Loved You When You Know I’ve Been a Liar All My Life (Two Acorns/Bandcamp)
Prolific ambient sound maker Will Long continues his streak with this four-part drone cycle. In light of its languid and patient pacing, it’s curious to me as to why Long applied such downtrodden titles to the project — it certainly influences ones assumptions or opinions of the sound compared to a more purely objective listening. “Bleeds and Swell Blends” starts things off in a familiar lull, with a gradual crescendo of a repeating pattern of melancholy pads in time. It recalls pinkcourtesyphone’s rhythmic, looping nature but with a gloomier finish, especially considering the dour title of this particular release.
“These Dreams, How Portentously Gloomy,” despite its title, shimmers with a bit more mystique than the rather morose opener. Its contrasting loops of midrange pads and higher ones lends it the quality of dark clouds with occasional light breaking through, with a shared ominousness and faint suggestion of optimism. I find it to have a feeling of resignation rather than anger or rage, however, the sort of passive sigh of defeat that brings with it a certain tinge of serenity. Even still, the naming casts a dark shadow, with “These Dreams” tipping toward a vague tension rather than just an inert cloud.
“Natural Deflections” feels even more hazy by comparison, repeating Long’s approach to minimal, prolonged cycles of looping phrases, continuing into the final movement, “Acrimonious, Like Fiddles,” another decidedly dour title for an otherwise languid and patient slice of looped ambience. When so much of Long’s material has felt hushed and small, it’s curious to hear these more overtly looping, lulling selections juxtaposed with their surly titles, lending a barely-there catharsis to his dreamy production. Fans of subtly looping and repetitive minimalism from the likes of William Basinski, pinkcourtesyphone, or The Caretaker will likely enjoy the quiet temper of Celer’s sounds herein.