Ambient. /ˈambɪənt/ Function: Noun. Meaning: an encompassing atmosphere.
Sydney has a flair for producing top-notch electronic artists that are able to see beyond the general spectrum. Producing artists like Seekae, Golden Blonde, Cosmo’s Midnight and with Flume finding commercial success in this sound, the city seems to emit wavelengths at a different frequency to everyone else in this generation of laptop cowboys.
Now we’ve discovered NOWON, the collaboration of Sydney based producers Owen Redmond (aka Oedura) and Charlie Gradon – a duo of men who in a mere six tracks have successfully encompassed much of what ambient music stands for.
Two producers outta Sydney calling themselves NOWON are making some seriously awesome stuff.
That Was Then//A Preparation is the debut EP from the dynamic duo, and it is nothing short of beautiful. After spending a year consumed by a studio, NOWON has come out the other side of the seemingly endless tunnel, and the light they have found holds pounds of promise within this tiny compilation of noise.
According to Wikipedia, Ambient Music places emphasis on time and atmosphere over traditional music structure or rhythm, aiding to evoke an atmospheric, visual, or unobtrusive quality. Ambient pioneer Brian Eno was once quoted saying that ambient music exists on the “cusp between melody and texture”, and that is must be “as ignorable as it is interesting”. While That Was Then is certainly interesting, it is definitely not ignorable.
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From the opening track the influence of the album that was described by its creators as ‘a reflection of what was, through the eyes of what is, I’m not far away from here and now and I’m feeling it all’. This statement is completely evident as the EP seeps through your soul. It flows and takes you to such a natural and serene place, while still displaying some of the finest digital music this generation has to offer.
Through its entirety, That Was Then feels like a reflection. It feels as though the album has been plucked from the depths of the most tranquil environment and placed right where it needs to be – at our fingertips. It is subtlety with substance, and provides the perfect balance of electronic rhythm with a beautiful overlay of haunting and distinct vocals.
I highly recommend sitting down with this album on a bleak Sunday night – headphones and a device that allows for plenty of bass is necessary. Turn down the lights, pour a glass of cheap wine, and lose yourself in the wonder that That Was Then has to hold.
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