“It’s a long way down…”
And at the bottom lies the creature known as Ambient. Unidentifiable sounds come floating out of an echoing abyss to both frighten and entice the perceiver. Then the call of the deep, dark, booming bass beast called the synthesizer, and the tone is set. In this world, melody rides in the backseat, while atmosphere sits comfortably behind the wheel, and it doesn’t feel like giving you the peace of mind that comes with knowing your ultimate destination. Liminality is a trip through madness, where you must wade through confusion and ambiguity, and Cabaal is ready to reward your endurance every step of the way.
Liminality is about mood. It’s about allowing the mind to create entire environments rich in texture and ready to be explored. Cut directly from the Brian Eno and Boards of Canada cloth, Cabaal aptly demonstrates the raw imaginative power of minimalism. This new EP is Cabaal’s third release, and the experience is showing. He is more familiar with his own recording techniques and equipment, and the result is the most mature creation in Cabaal’s repertoire. The layering is much more subtle, with an appreciation for balance that delivers soundscapes with power and precision.
Ambient music can be so dynamic in its surface simplicity. The beats and hooks have no intention of going anywhere anytime soon, allowing you to reflect on the central elements of a song while it is occurring, but the most minute tones and qualities that lie within the genre are fleeting, and each one must be accepted for its brief lifetime before it is returned to the musical void. This stretching of perceptual space and time is the essence of Cabaal, and the essence of Liminality.
Made entirely within Cabaal’s small makeshift studio in an Ottawa student’s apartment, Liminality gives no impression of amateurism. There is no doubt about the high fidelity in Cabaal’s music, and the close attention to detail that is absolutely critical in ambient music has resulted in a self-produced wonder with very limited resources. He who decides to closely listen to the delightfully strange moments (there is no shortage, take your pick) will find torment through tension and dissonance, but will find resolution in every track.
While you are biting your fingernails waiting for Tomorrow’s Harvest you should really give Liminality a try. The great news is, all of Cabaal’s music is available for free download here! Also make sure to catch his set this Friday night at Mugshots in Ottawa!