Scores mean nothing sometimes. Apparently so do song structures and sound combinations. In this nice little grey area that isn’t often explored by anything mainstream, we find curiosity; but in the musical realm of possibilities, this is a good thing! Just ask any hipster, and then follow up with a question about how much they paid for their Nord keyboard.
Any aspiring studio musician, like Alex Vincent (no, not the guy from the Chucky movies,) can attest to ambient albums as relatively unfit for scoring by the numeral value. I mean, there is bad music and good music, but it’s what is in between that makes for good conversation. On one hand, we have the “It’s boring” group, and on the other, we have the “It’s quiet genius” crowd. Well, I’m here to disappoint you, as I belong to neither of these clans of loud opinion. Kamakura fits quite comfortably somewhere in the middle of beautiful experimental music, and something a little too confusing to make sense of, which is most often the result of an overactive musical brain.
The point of ambient music is that you forget it’s there. It makes you fall into the antithesis of what overthinking is, and the way you get there is not by scrutinizing the sounds you are hearing, but by just letting go of everything you knew about listening to music. Kamakura succeeds with this in several areas, as with “Shiro 2,” which is the most immersive of all six tracks on this EP; smooth and slow, it feels like a warm bath slowly pulling you into its embrace on a blisteringly cold night. Some less soothing and more smorgasbord-like tracks such as “Kamakura” and “To Anyone” lean to the weirder side of experimental tonnage, where it becomes harder to find an instigating element to peak our emotional investment. These make me yearn for something that doesn’t sound like a collection of the artist’s favourite sounds put together with lack of continuity. However, it’s kind of hard to imagine “BluBetta” as anything but a background track for something like a Minecraft game, and you can’t say it’s shitty music if you could listen to it for hours on end while on your computer, without noticing anything aside from the cubical universe on your screen.
As I tie this strange review to a close, remember to always shut the hell up after your first impression of something, and try not to be a dick about things you don’t know squat about. Some things in life are like scotch whiskey; if you don’t drink them right, you won’t get the right idea and you might miss a bouquet of the most intriguing flavours.
Written by Talia Plante
*edited by Danielle Kenedy