Saturday, 30 July 2016

Yagya "Rigning" (2009)

When I started this music blog back in 2014, Yagya's "Sleepygirl" had recently been released just after a big phase I went through with this record. It solidified itself as a "go to" record for a particular mood, the need for calmness or distance, something similar to meditation. Yagya is an Icelandic electronic composer who dabbles in the ambience with this project which has taken several different approaches to Dub Techno, also known as Ambient Dub, and this is the best of them. It really captivated me with its simplicity and ease on the listener, however with that comes a depth of sound and richness that lets every listen feel like you will hear something new. Inspired by rain, every song is accompanied by the sound of raindrops and sometimes traffic or urban noises. It fits so perfectly.

The record plays like one giant song with ten different movements, however these movements do little to move apart from one another, no change of pace or dramatic progressions they all explore the different shades of an idea. Each song has a backbone of deep murmuring base like a heart beat, with a quiet snare, kick and hi-hats nestled in to create the rhythm which always remains consistent in pace with no fills, rolls or breaks. Around them light airy synths faintly set a calmness as deeper, brooding synths sweep in and out of focus with reverbs engineered for what I can only describe as the sounds of clouds drifting through the sky. Other soft leads will pop in to the songs with a slight sense of melody that seems inconsequential, simply existing in union without the need for attention.

Everything is calm, serene and the tone so beautiful it compliments its inspiration, the rain, which pours down in every song. Downtempo beats quietly shuffle along with plodding baselines and around it an enormous sense of atmosphere enriched by the layers of synths that feel endless yet come together so gently. There are all sorts of little details worked into these soundscapes, brief melodies, an inkling of vocals and sometimes the sounds of people in the distance, just buried under the deep sound. Its an impressive record for its inspiration, construct and execution and one you can go to time and time again. The only flaw I could give it is my attention span, at one hour it stretches, however its mood is rather intoxicating. In the beginning tracks I am completely sucked in and with a lack of progression or change from song to song that charm isn't as strong by the middle tracks. All ten songs are very similar but its a complete treat for those who get a kick from this engrossing form of ambience.

Favorite Track: Rigning Þrjú
Rating: 8/10