Hailing from mythical isle of New Zealand comes a husband and wife duo known as Winterwood. One of their releases, which came out earlier this year titled, Exploratory Guitar is very much what the title entails. A deep and personal ambient improvisation of Zac Winterwood’s long lasting relationship with the electric guitar. With sweeping soundscapes and twinkly guitars, its an easy way to feel creatively inspired while having this on in the background during activities.
The album is split into two tracks, one running a little over 26 and a half minutes with the other finishing out at just over 15 minutes, but they’re truly meant to be heard together as one piece. There’s a growth and progression with the sound that is just so satisfying. Hearing the somber and twinkly guitars echo away as it slowly builds up to a huge and fuzzy wall of sound that starts towards the end of the first that, which then proceeds to crush you with the following track, where the guitars are much more prominent, having a distortion to them that cuts through the ambiance and wraps you in a warm fuzzy embrace of sonic pleasure.
I find it hard to break down this album, as its more something one should experience first hand. According to the duo, this album is sort of a recurring method for Zac to help break writers block, by truly connecting with his instrument and letting it speak through him. Personally, I can sorta feel how personal it is, something about it helps draw nostalgic memories out and colorful ideas that float around much like the guitars do here. To another listener this album could easily be interpreted in another way, but there’s no doubt just how authentic a feeling this sound truly is.
I really found my self drawn to this unique ambient duo. There dreamlike approach to their production while still keeping a grounded approach by not relying too heavily on the electronic side of things really sets them apart from other ambient artists who I feel sometimes just make white noise for the sake of white noise. There’s something a bit more personal and authentic behind this release and the other’s they’ve done. Highly recommend checking this one out