I’ve only recently discovered this gorgeous outing from Sa Pa, released October of last year. I noticed its title and was intrigued; the John Cage solo piano piece of the same name is a true favorite of mine. At first I wondered what the connection was, because “Ripsketch” begins with more of a DSP haze than anything so elegant, but then Cage’s gliding melodies begin to slowly surface. Things get more interesting and varied from there: “Gokotto” is a sea of stereo reverberation, suggesting a different sort of landscape, birds and leaves whipping into a cross-panning frenzy. These hazy, beatless excursions provide a nice counterpoint to the heady dub techno of tracks like “Melody Hop” or “Rose Bay,” all feeling unified by dense atmosphere, layering, and processing. “Fireworks” and “Recovery” serve up a more immediate techno throb, no less imbued with crinkly effects and skittering sounds. As for the more abstract tracks, “Futurist Meets Cubist” may be the most sublime of the bunch. Its sub bass hums with a low rattle while unidentified objects sound in the wings, swirling with delay. I also especially like “Hallucingentic,” with its low rumble of a far off kick and a rolling, thick fog of effects. In a Landscape manages to traverse a broad terrain, all sounding worthy of its title, and its well-placed take on Cage sets the tone perfectly. Recommended listening.
Sa Pa: In a Landscape (Mana)
10 June 2021