"Tagzig Olmo Lung Ring is a two hour meditation on the ultimate realisation of the the end of flesh - liminal & transcendental states, rebirth & power.", states Mandragorae's Bandcamp page. In basic language that means I'm up for 2 tracks, both of them close to an hour, of deep droning ambient. Which is absolutely fine by me, because even though my appearance might suggest otherwise (for those of you that actually know what I look like), black metal is not my only interest. Ambient, Kosmische, Drone, Minimal electronica, as long as it stays on the right side of the 'New Age border' I love most of it. For a long time now I have an intimate relationship with 'the drone'. I live for Drone and the search for 'the ultimate drone'. Will Æther from Sweden give me my fix?
You can go lots of ways, sonically speaking, with drone. From the first couple of minutes it is clear Æther stays on the pretty side of things. It does a fine job of invoking the images of the cover; a mountain view with ancient buddhist temple architecture on the foreground. Dreamy, majestic, airy. As is so often the case with drone, it does require a lot of patience from the listener to let the sounds fully develop. People with short attention spans will find this mindnumbingly boring. Throughout both of the tracks, there are only subtle changes in melody but herein lies the strenght of Æther. Repeated listening sessions reveal underlying layers and subtle shifts in tonality. Once it grabs you, it is hard to shake it off. To fully appreciate it, listening to this on a mountain with a good set headphones, watching clouds pass and light diminish as this ball of dirt continues on another elliptical path around our sun would be preferable but for now a comfy couch with a couple of cats beside me and a cup of coffee will have to do.
Normally I would tell a bit about how the album sounds and the 'production values' but there is no point doing this with 'Tagzig Olmo Lung Ring'. It's all about atmosphere and it sounds exactly how you would like your dream-drone-ambient to sound. It is a bit rough around the edges, ever so often the tones shift into a bit of feedback but that just makes it sound more natural and organic, and less sterile. I wouldn't go as far as saying Æther is revolutionary in the field of ambient drone. Because it isn't. The sounds and the vistas those sounds recall aren't new in any way and 'Tagzig Olmo Lung Ring' takes its influences from decades of ambient music but that is no problem for me. Sometimes you just want a decent slab of droning ambient, done the right way to satisfy your needs and help you drift away. Be it on a couch, mountain, field or wherever...
(The limited cassette version is sold out already but the digital version is available for a few euros.)