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Joachim Nordwall: Ignition (Ash International)

The ignition denoted by the album’s title is certainly a smolder rather than a fiery explosion. Its slow, patient evolution is reinforced by Ash International’s decision to release the digital version as a single track rather than separating the five discrete movements listed on the packaging. The first act of Ignition is mostly light ambience, airy pads and delays hovering in stasis until a John Carpenter-esque synth bass fades into earshot. My favorite is probably what I believe is the 3rd segment, “My Skull Is Breathing Fire,” a tenuous drone with just enough musicality to make it feel special, but the album as a whole is a satisfying experience. The latter pieces just as droney as the 3rd segment, with some cool dynamic shifts and different layers of sound. Rather than showering sparks, it’s a slow burn, one that rewards patient listening.

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