Artist: Simon Slator
Title / Release Page: Halo
Release Date: 2015 Mar 07
License: CC BY-NC-ND
[Ed. Note: This release is no longer available…]
Simon Slator hails from Staffordshire, UK. He is the creative force behind twenty three releases dating as far back as 2006 (although the majority have been within the last few years according to Discogs: Simon Slator) on Aural Films, Free Floating Music, We Are All Ghosts, Webbed Hand Records, Headform Records in addition to numerous self-released titles. Halo is one of four releases for Simon in 2015.
Simon Slator: Halo
When I picked up this work, I was hoping that it wouldn’t be another dark ambient or abstract minimal ambient style work. And, thankfully, it is not that at all. Simon’s style leans more towards the new age type of music for this release: rich textures and minimal melodic lines in a perfectly balanced suspension.
While this release appears to be four works, it was really realized as a continuous piece. Progressing from the origin of humanity (according to Christianity) in ‘Eden’, and building to a conclusion with ‘One Man’s Hope’ this is a work that presents us with a personal journey. It’s an internal landscape that is reflected or refracted through our place in the universe.
It would be an understatement to say that this is one of the easiest, and most relaxing listens I have had this year. There is a bit of tension in the opening of ‘One Man’s Hope’, but it builds in a more stately expression of the nobility of man. There is something in this last piece that reminds me of a Jon & Vangelis piece, without Jon Anderson’s vocals.
I have said that this year I am trying to diversify my listening to include more pop, world-beat, jazz and other musical forms. So I’ve had a bit trepidation when approaching ambient works. However, this work alleviated my fears about that label. It’s a lush, melodic, beautifully composed and arranged. While this might appear to be a work that is designed to be background listening, it’s easy to be drawn into it completely with a few seconds of focused listening, which will only get better as a headphone listening experience.