Attention all Owlish Ambient types! Fellow travelers Alex Mitchell and Ryan Todd should be arriving in your listening space with Private Sea (50'26") - their excellent self-titled debut. While Private Sea expresses and experiments in ways built on previous entries in this field, they are far more focussed on the wonders of the psyche than the machinery used to make this release. Their optimism and artistry are fully present throughout every well-crafted musical moment. Driven by openness and compassion, vision and vibe, the assured pacing of its six tracks leads us into this duo's remarkable euphonic, electronic, stereophonic state. In their interrogation of atmosphere, Private Sea commands the sound, the weight, taste and texture of synthesized tones. From fuming, vigorous and urging, down to the softest susurration of truthful timbral rumination, they navigate between Spacemusic's tidal drone zones and ethereal washes, on up to a lively braindance of melody, rhythm and pulse. Although geared toward tranquility and quietude, nothing about this album seems confined. Testing the waters on this their first outing, Mitchell & Todd believe in the promise of new coastlines - and that the mind is its own place, its oceans vast and to be explored. In daily life feelings ebb and flow like waves upon the shore, but it is in the Private Sea of individuality that the sheer sensation of accomplished works like this one will endure.
Chuck van Zyl/STAR'S END - 16 June 2022