Posted by: Jimmy For Reals on February 23, 2014
You might not have heard of Brock Van Wey, but chances are you’ve heard music from of one of his aliases; whether it be ambient dub-techno as BvDub, ambient house as Earth House a Hold or ambient rave and drum & bass variants as East of Oceans. If it’s no to all of the above, then all you really need to know is that Van Wey makes glorious ambient music, and lots of it. This project under his own name (if that is his own name) is no different from all the rest in terms of aesthetic, but as you might expect it effectively focuses all of the aspects of his craft into one concentrated beam of power, sort of like when the power rangers turned into that big robot thing any time they were getting pasted by aliens. With this in mind, and given that the album is called Home, it figures that this represents something special to Van Wey, and in turn to his listeners too.
Now I’m no expert on ambient music, nor on Van Wey’s methods of making it, but it is apparent that he never stops working. Either that or making music comes so naturally to him that he does it without having to think, like walking or breathing. Anyway by my count Home is his 27th album since 2009, which is a staggering feat in itself, but the problem with being that prolific is that you start having to repeat yourself a bit after a while. When he’s on form this isn’t really a problem, but form is hard to maintain, and whilst I fell in love with his music initially, recently some of his albums have left me a little nonplussed. Thankfully Home sees Van Wey back on towering form, in fact it may even be fair to say that this is his best work ever. Clocking in at almost 3 hours it’s a mammoth undertaking, but don’t let that put you off – if you take it a couple of tracks at a time you’ll easily while away half an hour and still find yourself yearning for more. It may be due to the overwhelming richness of the music, or the glacial slowness with which it evolves, but anytime you immerse yourself into a one of his tunes it’s as though time ceases to matter or even exist at all.
Think of all the epic build ups to all the dance floor anthems you ever heard, now imagine if they broke free of their structural moorings and melded together into a composite super-build-up that goes on forever, endlessly looping and feeding back on itself until it becomes a wall of heavenly noise that somehow elevates and drowns you at the same time. With such nebulous and intangible music it’s really difficult to pick highlights let alone describe them, so let’s just settle with a couple that showcase what makes Van Wey’s music so special. Can’t Go home without you runs to around 22 minutes and is utterly breathtaking – I was trying to write description whilst listening to it but my brain gave up and I ended up smiling distantly at the keyboard instead. Elsewhere wish I could say more than this sounds the soundtrack to an angel rave after party and we built steps to the sky is like taking a nap in a pool of late afternoon sunshine.
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