Switched On – Various Artists: Spaciousness 2 (Lo Recordings)

spaciousness-2

reviewed by Ben Hogwood

What’s the story?

In which Lo Recordings founder Jon Tye presents a sequel to their successful Spaciousness compilation of 2019. There they expressed the wish for ‘a series of releases that seeks to explore the connections, the overlaps, the roots and the future of a music variously referred to as ambient, deep listening, new age and even post classical.’

What’s the music like?

The second volume of Spaciousness follows on seamlessly from the first. As he did then, Jon Tye has linked together an especially calming selection exploring the corners of the catalogue. The music is effective as a meditation aid, and works equally well in foreground or background listening.

Highlights include the horizontal vibes of Integer by Lauren Doss, with a soothing vocal amid the flickering textures, and the lightly scattered percussion on David Casper‘s Dawn Poems Part 2: Awakening, which has its origins in the east.

Outdoor sounds and soft bells are the order of the day as first track Cruising in the Dimension of a Shenandoah Backyard, from JD Emmanuel, drifts into view, and this segues into Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith‘s remix of Cool Maritime‘s Climbing Up, which starts out like written out wind chimes but then gains positive energy from busy but soothing loops. The Gigi Masin remix of Brain Machine‘s Crystal Clouds bleeps and chugs in a strangely restful way, while the activity of Ariel Kalma‘s Space Forest is underpinned by an appealing drone.

Later on we get to enjoy the gentle open spaces of Vague ImaginairesLe Sillage du Vaguarti, and a serene closing track from Mary Lattimore, the Ocean Moon Redux of A Unicorn Catches A Falling Star

Does it all work?

Yes – with more bleeps than the first, so not as explicitly relaxing, but still finding a very calm headspace. There is more than a touch of new age about the musical language and titles, but to be honest Spaciousness 2 covers a number of stylistic bases with effortless ease.

Is it recommended?

It is – a worthy sequel to the first volume, and good to see Lo Recordings pushing the boat out and incorporating a number of ambient styles. Proof that you can have many different forms of musical relaxation!

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