Huey Walker – Blearies (Rakkoon Recordings, 2015)


I’ve had a hard time listening to some Ambient lately, it’s hard with the weather being this nice, you understand? Normally I don’t get fatigued and disillusioned until the more entrenched Summer months but April has been an unusually sunny month for me here; gloriously sunny in fact. It just doesn’t feel right to listen to such painfully introspective music at times like this, so if anyone was seeking some pitiful excuse for my recent hiatus, there it is. But there are still albums that float in and demand little in the way of attention, summon exquisitely delicate and lush soundscapes that fall in line with the warm and carefree unseasonal weather being experienced, and Blearies happens to be one such record.

At only 22 minutes long it’s not a huge undertaking by any means; an ethereal, one shot, freeform Ambient and Drone production that drifts pleasantly between subtle movements of sound, carefully measured excitations designed to give the listener the lightest impression of the sonic landscape drifting, well, blearily through the mix across its span. It’s opening movements imbibe that mysterious and aloof feeling well, burbling into life and making the entire piece feel dimly lit and subaqueous, the synths blobbing in the backfield as the surficial ripples distort the incoming light while a soft guitar drone haze begins to well up and provide the foundation stone for much of the music to come, suspended in this early liquid darkness.

These insubstantial openings slowly make way for more empowered and well defined musics as the piece proceeds; rising from the water changes little though as wet synth splashes begin to crystallise alongside the developing drone, slowly making way for easygoing carousel evocations that begin to give the album a little bit of grounded liveliness, the jovial and oscillatory synth bobbings whirling endlessly in the darkness, a beacon of lightheartedness surrounded by otherwise more reserved stretches of diffuse sound. But this bastion of glowing clarity slips quickly away as we return to more undefined shores, but rather than re-plumbing the aquatic depths heard at the start we saunter along its sandy textural banks, leaving the synths behind and focusing down on the intimate complexities of the lush guitar drone that finds itself suddenly full of life and buzz. Everything sort of melts away into this visceral but indistinctly emotional mass of entrancingly dense but whisperingly presented sound, slowly slipping back under the radar from whence it came.

Nothing is concrete, everything is unfixed and evolving and whilst it’s not a really deeply compelling listen, it doesn’t suck you in and suspend you in its mysterious throes, it does maintain an interesting air of mystery and emotional flux that keeps it engaging and prevents it from becoming stale or otherwise repetitive. I appreciate its hesitant and tentatively warm minimalism, it’s all just a little bit unsure of itself and the wheeling lights, preferring to hover closer to the safe shores of solitude and let the revelry engage in its entertainments from a distance. You can listen to Blearies in full with the Bandcamp embed below: