Nobody goes there anymore, it's just too crowded... According to Marconi Union, the principality of Ambient Music has ceased to be. After ten albums from a few miles west of this location the Manchester-based trio has declared the genre of ignorable music to be done in by over population. A well-known/popular band, yet always in possession of a real humanity, Marconi Union wonders about their own mystery. Their release Dead Air (55'40"), an album of seven wordless atmospheric tracks, creates its own wondrous soundscape as it goes. Behind these arrangements are Jamie Crossley, Richard Talbot and Duncan Meadows. With subdued rolling sonic waves and ethereal textures they conjure a beautiful and tender inward space. Softer sounds prevail, as the output of guitars, voices and keyboards are pushed into ever more thoughtful realms. Multi-layered and lulling the works found on Dead Air are deceptively simple. Accessible, and at the same time elegant and smart, they provide luxury even in the most spare moments - and co-exist peacefully with the life around them. Gently navigating through these thought zones with care breathing washes of warm chords are contrasted against well-placed electronics and subtle loops. The embracing sound of steel strings, electric piano and the human voice - delicately filtered, distorted and re-imagined - blur between their indistinct boundaries. Although each piece briefly forms its own distinctive condition, the overall effect is unifying. This music has always been considered by the mainstream as being "out there", yet its true home is "in here"... inside us... deep within the listening mind. The rounded drones, reverberating notes and humming ambiance generates moods beyond the abilities of common Instrumental Music. In such a crowded field, listening to Dead Air feels like entering a secluded garden within a forest - where the dream we dream together may become reality.
Chuck van Zyl/STAR'S END - 30 January 2020