With his fifth solo release Christopher Bissonnette delivers eight tracks worth of earnest, inward-looking reflections. The Wine Dark Sea (48'15") gives off a strong sense of interiority as it radiates the calm and color of quintessential Ambient Music. In this eerily beautiful world the mythic and contemporary coalesce into a higher realm of creative fulfillment - where we may feel the power of contemplative companionship, of listening and thinking together. Some tracks are chilly in their blankness, as if of some disembodied experience - yet others cling warmly to the ears on their way to seducing the heart. This work's looming ambiance is derived from an expressive array of sonic shades. The Wine Dark Sea gleams with the glow of stringed instruments - processed, looped and subdued. As a restless energy is pulled through the sound space whispering washes of electric guitar sounds drift into silence. The hint of a piano note beneath reverberation foretells dabs of echoing electronic tones. Emerging from sustaining calm chords unforced notes rise to exert their own freedom. With this album Bissonnette is working equally as a musician and a philosopher. His otherworldly amalgams of approachable miniatures manage to escape the limitations of the human sized scale. The Wine Dark Sea touches our instinctive, inborn universals. It aptly conjures a pleasant zone within which one may easily drift through the cloudy levels beneath consciousness, eventually sending listeners back to themselves anew. Even when it is no longer playing, this music continues in the mind.
Chuck van Zyl/STAR'S END - 16 April 2020