Rafael Anton Irisarri: The North Bend (Room40)
Seattle-based ambient tinkerer Irisarri has released his second full-length solo album under his proper name, this time for the Australian leftfield label Room40. The five long tracks of The North Bend take their time, often cycling through slow patterns of synth sounds. At first listen they seem a bit simple, but they are compelling nonetheless, and repeated listens reveal substantially more detail under the surface. Still, after countless listens, it’s hard to put into words just why the album appeals so much to me. It comes and goes gently, existing in a half-dreaming state. It’s not quite as dense or lush sounding as Irisarri’s work as The Sight Below, but its warm, crinkly repetition is comforting and inviting. Fans of the most sublime moments of Wolfgang Voigt’s Gas project or the patient glide of Stars of the Lid are likely to enjoy this immensely.