Kenneth James Gibson - The Evening Falls

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  • The length and diversity of Kenneth James Gibson's musical résumé is staggering. He's been involved in over 200 releases under at least nine aliases, as well as many collaborations, traversing techno, dub, noise, pop and more. His penchant for shape-shifting through genres makes him a perfect pick for a series like Kompakt's Pop Ambient, whose stylistic parameters are clearly defined. The Evening Falls does in fact fit snugly into the series. It's filled with lush, patient atmospheres and slow, minimal melodies. At times, it's almost too snug; not much here will surprise anyone familiar with Pop Ambient or any other ambient, new age-leaning music. Most tracks are comfortable, well-crafted soundscapes that evade anything dark or disruptive. (One song title, "A Conversation Between Friends," nails the record's congenial vibe.) But Gibson knows his way around this genre, and his dense textures avoid the fleeting drift that ambient music can fall into. Most of that sonic depth comes in the second half of The Evening Falls. The first few tracks are a bit soft and airy, with pretty keyboards that soothe but lack gravity. Eventually, Gibson adds more layers, making each song subtler and more mysterious. "Lateral Decomposition" wraps simple notes inside spacey waves, like a message from the cosmos waiting to be decoded. A somber piano figure in "Weighty Repetitions" gains poignancy from string-like tones that recall Stars Of The Lid (whose Brian McBride currently collaborates with Gibson as Bell Gardens). The Evening Falls peaks during eight-minute closer "The Art Of Forgetting Yourself." Here, Gibson forgoes melodic keyboards, instead concentrating on drones that overlap and intensify while maintaining a hopeful brightness, like beams of sunlight shining through clouds. As the album's most unique track, it suggests a way forward for Gibson, should he decide that this foray into yet another style is worth continuing.
  • Tracklist
      01. To See You Drift 02. Long Gone Canadian Summer 03. Failed To Interrupt 04. Poured Semi Silently Upon You 05. A Conversation Between Friends 06. Lateral Decomposition 07. Broken Thought 08. Weighty Repetitions 09. The Art Of Forgetting Yourself