I first read about Subterranean Tides a few weeks ago on Netlabelism. So, I immediately went over and checked out the site. First impressions are always important, and this site really impressed me with its clean, minimal layout that borders on poetic. Also impressive are the release notes that accompany the music. Emily Ferrell definitely has an eye for the artistic and the soul of a poet. [Note: Subterranean Tide has moved to Bandcamp, which is something of a shame, but I’m sure Emily is happy with the results.]
But, none of that would make a difference if the selection of music didn’t live up to the high standards of her website. Well, I am hopefully not the first or last to say that the music exceeds the expectations set by the site. Emily has attracted some excellent artists and releases to the Subterranean Tide family.
Take this release from Bobby Jones as an example of the kind of works being released on this label. It is a deep wash of soundscape, formed and shaped from light and dark, a sonic sculpture that never ceases to yield new facets on each listening.
And to top off the pure sonic shapes, we have luscious guitar work that transforms these pieces from abstract color pallets into fully formed paintings. The linking element for all of the artistic expression within this work.
And, if you thought that you could take this work purely on its sonic qualities, you will realize there is another layer to the work. It’s framed through the lens of Shakespeare’s Sonnet 14, with allusions to astronomy, stars, luck, evil, nature and knowledge. All of which are inter-woven into the fabric of the sculpture.
While each of the tracks are named deceptively ‘One’ through ‘Five’ as if they were nothing that they represented, nothing could be further from the truth. Each of these tracks is an emotional journey, a place of solitude to reflect and find one’s self. They don’t confront the listener the way some ambient / experimental works do, instead they envelop you, the listener, and invite you along on the journey.
Hopefully there will be many more such journeys from Bobby Jones, and Subterranean Tide.