Review of Can You Prove I Was Born [12k2033]

Merchants Of Air (.COM)

With today’s so called vinyl revival, it’s no surprise that some artists decide to release a vinyl only album and that they record the album with a vinyl sound in mind. I’m not going to start a discussion about which format sounds better (I’m too much of a music lover for that) but in this case, I would definitely get myself the LP. For drone and ambient albums, vinyl is a dream format, that’s for sure.

It has been ten years since Dan Abrams recorded his first album under the moniker Shuttle358. Back in 2004 he was known for his minimal approach on synthetic music and for making electronic music sound warm and almost human. Today he returns with something that can only be described as an excellent drone/ambient album with a similar warm, analog sound. Can You Prove I Was Born is an intimate journey and a very beautiful one.

Minimalism still is one of the keywords in this work. Soft soundscapes are layered and looped while other sounds (guitar, piano,…) float in an out, almost as if they are allowed in when they want to. The atmosphere this creates is rich and comfortable to listen to or to use as background music for various calm activities. The drones give the music a lot of extra depth and at times a certain, jazzy, feel. This hint of jazz is very present in ‘Meteor Heart’.

‘Paper Wings’ has a weird, almost ethereal sound. In fact, the whole album breathes something mysterious and fascinating. In ‘A Ground Without A Figure’, Shuttle358 uses a few angelic voices to enhance the mystic atmosphere. Like most songs, this one slowly grows towards a soothing climax, only to fade out again a while later. This way the album gently floats through the room, like waves on an ocean. Not the waves for surfers, but the waves for dreamers on airbeds, like me.

I didn’t mention a lot of titles in this review but that doesn’t mean the other songs are less good. The whole album is an ambient gem, nothing less. It reminds me of the works of Biosphere, combined with the analog genius of Aidan Baker. So yes, another brilliant album on this beautiful and sunny day. As a reviewer, I’m a happy man now…
p.s. The last song is kinda creepy (but nonetheless amazing).

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