Title: Waiting For Quarters (2005 – Remastered)
Release Date: 11 January 2014
Genre: Ambient / EDM
License: CC BY-NC
Label: 45 Echoes Sounds
Ambelion – Waiting for Quarters was originally released in 2005, and was recently remastered and re-released this year on 45 Echoes Sounds. I was really happy to find this re-release of this work that I missed when it first came out. it is quite appropriate to have found this release at the same time as the releases from Jihel and Tales, as Ambelion’s work forms a bridge between ambient, EDM and the Berlin School of electronic music.
Waiting For Quarters bridges multiple gaps in the electronic music sphere. While the primary concept was to find a bridge between ambient and EDM styles of electronica there are what appear to be major influences from the pre-sequencer space music at play in this release.
The opening piece ‘Hardtimes’ starts with some crunchy static sounds over electronic string swirls that you could swear came from an early Klaus Schulze recording. It isn’t until nearly halfway through the piece before there is an semblance of rhythm introduced into the piece. And even at this point, it is a mechanical, grinding type percussion that gives the impression of a large machine in operation. This machinery is carried throughout the rest of the piece, while swirling string motif makes a reappearance.
‘Vague Value’ starts off with a crescendo of keyboards, punctuated by percussive cut-offs. This evolves in to a more rhythmic, somewhat dance-able piece that still has a mechanical edge to it. ‘Meditation of Ambient Maniac’ is the first really ambient / drone based construct on this release. Additional synthesizer swirls, and eventually a small rhythmic track are layered to the piece, giving the piece a form that relates to the more EDM style elements of the previous pieces while still remaining firmly planted in the drone / ambient world. The final piece ‘Rain Of Bells’ sets electronically generated chimes against a sound field of falling rain. The effect of this piece is to complete the transition from EDM influenced work to completely ambient style.
Few artists have successfully searched for the ground between different electronic music genres. Ambelion has succeeded where many have failed by producing a set of cohesive, long form pieces that managed to move from one genre to another, and frequently display the influence of early Berlin School masters. Highly worth listening to and dissecting, this is a work that I expect will maintain its relevance for many years to come.