Yann Novak - Relocation.Reconstruction [Line - 2010]Yann Novak's "Relocation.Reconstruction" is a single 42 minute track of airy, reverberant ambience at a quiet volume. It sounds as if a microphone were positioned to perfectly capture the passing of a chunk of upper atmosphere, and all of the irregular circling of its currents.
A soft, white undulation first fades into being, swelling, gaining force and whistling harmonics. Novak has tastefully dulled the relentlessness and violence inherent to the sound of wind. No sound verges on abrasion; the piece is of muted pastel hue, and feels distant to the listener. It's the same feeling of remoteness as seeing land from the window of a plane; beautiful, yes, but not exactly comforting, actually ominous in a way.
Like the simple gradient album cover, the piece traverses gradually the distance between two shades of color: the mournful, wavering dissonances of the howling wind drift into relative humanity with the consonant chord that peeks and glimmers through the clouds and mists in the piece's second half. It is pleasantly understated in its simplicity of form, though also predictable, slow to change.
At times I feel there is a sublime, vaporous beauty to this album. Other times, it's simply too empty and monotonous a sound to engage my attention. It's too quiet to be anything but 'deep listening' music, yet 'deep listening' of this album often seems to lead to nothing more than a mind wandered off to other subjects. Still, I've got to give Yann Novak points for creating something perfectly cohesive and elegant. All the pieces of this work fit together, including the packaging. Recommended for reading or sleepingJosh Landry