Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Loving... "The Ocean Inside" by Max Corbacho

Music has a special place in my life. It has the power to inspire ... the power to encourage and build up in ways the other arts cannot. It is accessible. I can experience poignant moments of joy and beauty in the most unlikely of places ... all I need is a pair of headphones, a music-player and the right music.

It has to be right. If the wrong song were to be played, my inspiration will be taken to places I do not want it to go or am ill prepared for at that moment in time.

This is why I love ambient electronic music so much. It consistently takes me to a place of inspiration ... a place of rest and relaxation ... a place of peace and of beauty.

I'm not decrying other styles of music. Cacophonous sounds have there place ... Bolt Thrower have their place in my life and on my music-player. But their style takes me to a different place - a place of energy and movement - rather than a place of peace.

I say all this because I am currently in a place of peace. I am writing this in a very busy Starbucks in Glasgow with the music of "the ocean inside" by Max Corbacho playing on my headphones.

The coffeehouse is teeming with life. Italian Juventus fans are passionately debating their victor over Glasgow Celtic the night before. The bustle is intoxicating and yet I am at peace - inspired by the utterly delightful and deeply immersive soundscapes from Corbacho.

This demonstrates the power of the music presented by Corbacho - layers of synths that lap around the listener like waves of the sea ... waves of sound that enthral me ... waves that remind me of the simple pleasure of standing barefoot at the edge of the sea ... the water lapping at my toes. There is nothing quite like that feeling ... and Corbacho has expertly crafted his music to remind us of it.

This is music for the head ... music that creates a mental sanctuary from all the busyness that life represents. It affords a time-out that only the best soundscapes can ... one that fully immerses and engages the listener ... allowing them to let go.

The tracks are expertly blended so that "the ocean inside" feels more like a longform drone rather than a set of disparate tracks. For many this is the best of both worlds ... cohesion without the commitment of a single sitting.

Even so, some of the tracks are meatier than others - "towards the bottom of the ocean" (track 8 of the 1st CD) weighs in at 29:31 and "deeper into the ocean" (track 6 of the 2nd CD) comes close at 24:08. The whole recording clocks in at 148 minutes. I find this is remarkable.

In fact, I find the whole release remarkable. It stands out from the ambient set in terms of duration, quality and melody. As such, I would heartily recommend it.


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