Listen on Spotify: open.spotify.com/album/3GHCXc6dfgl1A7nWSc05lX
Running time: 68:42
Blank Embrace released 15 albums during February & March of 2017. This album is a “best of” from those fifteen.
In compiling and arranging this selection, “Spiced Wine” became a personal favorite, and I felt it was the pivotal track in the album, drawing a line between light and dark. It has the most bass of any track, and balances it with a distant, hushed soprano chant—conjuring for me a vision the last red sliver of the sun on the horizon.
This is followed by the quietest and most mysterious-sounding track “Contemplation II” for a fleeting moment of twilight. The last 4 tracks feel to me like a tranquil evening, pure bliss. “Flambeau” has a hidden melody and tone which reminded me of Blank Embrace’s earlier works, so I felt it was the perfect closing track—nostalgic in a way.
Coming back to the first tracks, I felt that 1-3 were sort of the “hits” (if there are ambient hits). They don't flow in any special way, but they are the songs that most impressed me on first listen, and demonstrate the full range of sounds to be heard in the album. “Somnia Odin” contains about the closest thing to a melody that you’ll hear from Blank Embrace. “Condescension I” is the lightest and dreamiest. “55797” illustrates his more powerful style, and has the most distinct structure of any of the tracks here.
Tracks 4-7 all have what I'll call a “choral” quality—as if you’re hearing the reverb only from some flying buttresses in a great cathedral. In sequence, they make a sort of four-part choral work for the stages of sunset—back to where we started.
— Andrew J Klimek, compilation selection and mastering
Blank Embrace is a prolific ambient artist from Yessey, Russia making loop-based textures using analog instruments such as balalaika, guitar, and piano; digital synthesizers; field recordings; and of course, a lot of masterful post-processing.
“I'm inspired by the surrounding world around me, literally from a ray of light that falls on a wall, for example.”
released June 7, 2017
on Stereoscenic Records [SCENE16]
music & artwork by Blank Embrace
All tracks were previously self-released by Blank Embrace but have been slightly edited for this edition.
“Somnia Odin” and “Contemplation II” have been shortened.
“Penance in Cosmos” was translated from the original title “покаяние в космосе” and “Spiced Wine” was translated from the original “вино с пряностями”.