Shōen — Plant æ (2020)
Its not very often that an album like this really captivates me. I’ve always found pure ambient albums rather boring at times, just droning noises and overdubbed productions. But this albums is a little different. According to the artist, Shōen, was heavily inspired by the music he heard in his dreams. Which is something beautifully reflected onto this album, creating a deep soundscape with lots of textures in the production that has a ethereal quality to it. Taking you in and out of a dream like meditative state.
Whats interesting is how the album was made as well. According to the artist, it was a spontaneous one week excursion with just him, his modular system and the organelle. Not only did he draw inspiration from within him self and his own dreams, but the nature he surrounds him self with. He found him self moving by the sea a couple of years back, to be inspired by the beautiful soundscapes living by the ocean can have. And its all over this album as well, with plenty of sampled wave noises that are twisted and turned around to create a dream like effect, like when you’re relaxing on the beach, in between that realm of waking and sleeping, where the ocean noises blend in with your thought patters and it all becomes one.
Don’t get me wrong though, the album isn’t all just soundscapes and ocean noises, there are some deep-house like beats thrown in there to create a very diverse sounding album. For example on the sixth track is where we find ourselves, with beautiful ethereal synths creating an entrance for the beat to come in, like we’re being taken back to the waking world. With a simple boom bap beat, overdubbed with heavy reverb to create a watery like texture to the bass. Another beautiful track is the eighth one, with these melodies floating around in the background, mixed in with seagulls and wonderful little production samples and tidbits that just breath life to the album.
All in all this album is a beautifully organic ambient album, with a heavy ethereal feeling that washes over you. Highly recommend for those looking for a great album to meditate to or to simply go about your day and have on in the background.