How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Maryland-based ambient producer Stephen Philips is back under his "Deep Chill Network" imprint, with another album of slow, somnolent sound. Unlike "Deep Chill's" earlier album, Heart of the Tundra, this one has more recognizable notes, sometimes even in conventional harmonic sequences like the notes of a major triad or fifths. But there isn't any melody here, nor did Philips intend there to be. Almost all of this album is done in series of single synthesizer notes, soft and mostly low-pitched, sustained and flowing, without any rhythm or percussion. This is ambient in the original sense that Brian Eno, its inventor, wanted it to be: background music purely for the purpose of setting a mood, which would not intrude into what the listener was doing. The Eno influence is noticeable here. This album is "audible wallpaper," and its mood is mild, though it has a couple of slightly ominous moments. If you are looking for "musical content" in this album, you won't find it. What you will find is a soothing hour and a quarter of quiet sound, suitable for non-strenuous activities which require sonic serenity.