Strange-Eyed Constellations 2: Ambient Comp

10th December 2018

Title: Strange-Eyed Constellations 2

Label: Disco Gecko

We’ve had to wait a while since the original passed our senses, 2015 was the launch date of the original. Then again, the contents of this laid back series of works is so introspective, ruminative and reflective that, like the relationship between humans and ‘dog years’, Strange-Eyed Constellations 2 has probably come out after a period of one Ambient Year. Pretty fast, then.

There’s 12 tracks on this CD and one of them is from my old fave, Toby Marks or as history knows him, Banco de Gaia. 

And yet, I didn’t think that Pavlov’s Children was one of his strongest outings. The stars are to be found elsewhere on this compilation. Actually, immediately after he takes his leave. Cornish bloke, Neil Butler had me roaming the silky synth roads on his ambience. His Experiments in Silence production, Cerulean, track four, is where this compilation began to hot up for me. In many ways, it’s a classic synth track with many classic elements and structures but the sounds were well produced and flowed easily.

Strange-Eyed Constellations 2

Toby Marks

But this is not only a synth-generated collection, there’s other variations such as the harp (or, at least harp samples) of Halcyon Daze’s Orbiting A Distant Star and the found Sound noises from Project Transmission and its track, At Dusk. Peter Toll and Beast from the East (where have we heard that one before?) Also utilises found sounds including owl hoots, lots of rain and, of course, electronica. 

Interestingly, Banco de Gaia is back as plain ol’Toby Marks with the track Sleep, Boy and Dream combining the same found sound/samples/electronica mix to create tension and portent along with a rich layering of sonic textures. Toby emerges for a third time later, in conjunction with Andrew Heath. 

This is a CD full of tonal variations. Nothing to stark. Nothing too dramatic but the devil is in the detail, if you see what I mean.

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