Ambient music attempts to do the opposite of what music is perceived to be. We expect as a society for music to fit into our day, be it a special event or simply the mundane day-to-day. Ambient music on the other hand almost demands your entire attention. If you simply allow the tones to be background noise, you miss the complexity and experience that ambient composers create.
Tapes and Topographies, an ambient project from Dallas (formed by Tear Ceremony’s Todd Gautreau), is proof of my prior descriptions of the ambient genre. Their newest record Soft Decibels is a beautiful, melodic journey through an ambient world that requires your full attention. The record relies on various motifs to drive the tracks along with atmospheric effects. The result is an LP that from start to finish brings you into its world with a warmth that immediately attracts you. This is a musical landscape that is inviting and hypnotizing.
Soft Decibels follows the approach of making music from as few materials as possible. Notes are expensive, so to speak, on this record and are used with extreme care. Never is a note wasted in a flurry of melodic patterns; instead we are given an emotional experience from minimalist composition.
Give this record a chance.
Soft Decibels by Tapes and Topographies can be found at: