Bristol-based Stumbleine has always had a knack for crafting lucid atmospheric anthems. Whether it be solo, or through post-dubstep trio Swarms, this producer has delivered a consistent stream of ambient music for over nine years. To kick off April, Stumbleine returns with new album, Sink into the Ether. Featuring eleven tracks, this album is a continuation of his well established style. Doused in reverb and shimmering with an immersive meditative aura, the tracks are all built upon a very similar soundscape.
Setting the tone for the album, we begin with ‘Sonder’; a piano led instrumental laced with echoing vocal samples. The minimal percussion leaves a lot of open space, in which the steady and sombre strings really thrive. It becomes clear after this track that this is the format that we should get acquainted to for the duration of the album. At times, the tracks are hard to differentiate. In a lot of contexts, this would be flagged as a potential fault, but it’s clear that the kind of experience that this album is intended to generate is a fluid one; one that encourages a more laidback absorption of the tracks. It is this sense of subtlety that really characterises this album, making ideal listening for accompanying tasks or taking a breather from the turbulence of your day.
Although similar throughout, the atmosphere of the album is perfectly constructed, with the lo-fi guitar of ‘Supermodels’ and optimistic keys of ‘Lost to the World’ blurring into one continuous sonic voyage. The mixes are beautifully spacious, leading you on an airy introspective daydream all the way through the album. For listeners who expect ups, downs and stark stand out moments, this perhaps isn’t the album for you. However, if you want to ‘sink’ into a relaxed state and let the subtle immersive sound wash over you, then this is just the ticket.
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Image courtesy of Sam Westley.