Tunnels to Float Through from Lincoln (UK)-based electro-acoustic artist Russ Young, who’s drawn to detailed textures, drones and simple melodies. His music, as heard on the previous Common Pond album and Pala EP, is a dynamic collage of assembled audio. Each track here seeks to create tunnel-like sound structures via undulating drones interspersed with intricate tones that loop and unfold to induce a floating sensation. Heady stuff.
As announced during our review of his EP Pala, published in March 2019, we follow the journey of Russ Young, faithful to Audiobulb for his second album, in a somewhat intermediate format (four tracks for thirty-three minutes), but at quality always maintained. Constant in his work around an atmosphere that is both very sensory and particularly worked, the Briton confirms, with this Tunnels To Float Through, his qualities and abilities.
In this respect, its ability to combine slightly sizzling elements (breaths, mini-cracklings, various rustling) and more chromatic touches (small pearly notes, luminous synth areas) is not the least of its virtues (Thermal). Changing his scheme, the Englishman can also put more emphasis on the tracks held, adding (Phalo) or not (Spiral) a few electronic whispers.
Skillfully playing on the stereo and the oscillating character of his layers, Russ Young thus sets up a form of musical tremor, close to the thrill one might feel with the autumnal frosts, also close to the shimmers of light filtered through glass panes. which sends us back the cover photograph of Hugh Cowling. Sound merits and visual merits are therefore mixed on this album, perhaps a little too short, but certainly convincing.
Carten Martin Steffen
This is outstanding - deep, very unique. I've been listening to ambient music for 40 years by now - this album ranks in my personal top 5!