AMN Reviews: Cape Willoughby Road & Blear Moon – Split (2019; Secret Press)

This split album pairs up individual artists Cape Willoughby Road (Evgen Vrublewski) and Blear Moon (Vlas Presnetsov), each contributing approximately 20 minutes of gritty but non-threatening analog drones, loops, and manipulations. As the recording was released on cassette, each artist’s efforts are captured on one side thereof.

Cape Willoughby Road’s three tracks were formed from early 20th century Russian classical music and samples from movies. The pieces were processed into overlapping, distorted waves of sounds with bright characteristics, occasional piano, and whispering voices. While not exactly something that you can bliss out to, these windswept soundscapes offer a subtle organic warmth.

Blear Moon used tape processing and electroacoustic elements to create a more systematic set of tracks, with bassy drones and oscillating foreground patterns. Unlike his compatriot, Blear Moon looks to the sky, rather than the Earth, for inspiration. Consequently, his ambiance evokes notions of near and outer space. Lines build and gently pulse, while staccato bursts of shaped distortion adds texture.

To reiterate a point that I’ve made before, there is so much drone-related music being released that artists have a difficult time standing out. Cape Willoughby Road & Blear Moon accomplish this goal of novelty through procedural composition. In other words, if you are looking for an ambient / drone recording that is unique, fresh, and not run of the mill, give this album a try. The closest comparison that comes to mind is Basinki’s Disintegration Loops, but these guys go in a different direction.

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