Album: Floating World Pictures – The Twenty-Three Views

Photo By Barry Macdonald

Floating World Pictures is the brainchild of Chestnutt and Raimund Wong. The former is the founding member of Snapped Ankles, while the latter is an audio artist best known for his graphic work for International Anthem, TRC, and Church of Sound. Their spontaneous explorations highlight and welcome the connections of TRC and a wider independent group, with collaborations from multiple well-known and talented artists such as Akihide Monna (Bo Ningen), Cathy Eastburn (Southbank Gamelan Players), Charles Prest & Kamal Rasool (Flamingods), Clémentine March, plus site faves Danalogue and Alabaster DePlume.

Their debut album, “The Twenty-Three Views,” benefits from extended listening. New layers are regularly added to the ritualistic drones from ancient times, generating a sensual, dense soundscape. There’s a wealth of mystical field recordings, celestial gongs, magical mbira, and blissful balafon, as well as choral layers that create a deeply moving experience.

In the shared space arranged by Floating World’s ideology, the record is a culmination of seasoned cooperative creativity. Taking inspiration from the Japanese environmental and ambient music of the 1980s and UK leftfield electronic music of the mid-90s, this is a soothing yet mysterious piece of New Age goodness with a dash of jazz.

Opening with ‘The Village Headman Pleading with the Old Ferryman’, an exotic ecology of pulsating bass and mallet percussion, with Alabaster dePlume’s wandering saxophone. In a tapestry of sustained chords and wavering, tidal tenor saxophones, the Village Headman’s outward voyage is shaped by deep chimes, subterranean concertina, distant clangs, and the lash of a drum crash. An enchanting bassline drives the song forward rhythmically.

The album’s concluding songs have moments of tension: environmental disharmony and a cinematic dread with serpentine saxophone and powerful, tolling bass. As the tale proceeds in a gloomy setting, tropical rain and waves crash over the coast; synth overtones are sirens of departing ships, rather than rain on the natural world, chiming gongs shower on the manufactured environment.

The Twenty-Three Views is available now via Friendly Recordings.

Twistedsoul Team

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