Ever wanted to relax but have your energy reserves vitalized at the same time? Of course you have, you live in the same world I do. We need things that will relax and energize us, it’s a byproduct of the world that we live in. Yet despite that need, so often it so hard to find something that can give us both. ProtoU’s second effort, Khmaoch (don’t ask me how that’s supposed to be pronounced) gives the listener exactly what they need. It’s a thrilling album but at the same time it’s subtle.
Here we are given another fog laden world, empty of all but the listener, we are alone. It’s a scary prospect, but there is no sense of fear in this album, no sense of impending dread or unease. Here it is simply serenity and relaxation. Megaliths and monuments of days gone by litter the landscape, reminders of all heights of glory we reached that now seem so meaningless and trivial. We journey on, through the album, peeling each sound apart, layer by layer, to discover the truth. This album, as I listened to it, felt as if it was a hunt of truth and knowledge. I had no idea what it was that I was searching for here but I knew, within my heart, that I had to find it. Knowledge is power, they say but I disagree (in part). I say knowledge is freedom. This album, through its relaxing pulsations and drones with soft keyboards underneath a blanket of fog, offers the listener glimpse of that knowledge that we seek so desperately, of the truth we spend our entire lives running after. What if we didn’t have to run after it the way we do? We act as though it’s something to be caught and tamed, what if it simply something we find and befriend? Knowledge, wisdom, truth, all beasts that we seek to control but cannot be controlled.
ProtoU has given us the existential bliss of space ambient without leaving the confines of the earth and the easy feeling of jazz and drone without that sense of dread or watchfulness, it’s the best of both worlds. Without a doubt, this is an album that will be playing over and over again on my list. It’s a difficult album to pin down exactly what it is that I enjoy so much about the album, it’s a combination of the soundscape, the music (such as it is), the overall feeling I get as I feel the music permeate my head. I love music that can relax me but make me eager for go out and do something. I can appreciate the effort it takes to create such an album, despite my near complete lack of musical talent. It is made painstakingly with each part, the music, the drone, the field recordings, having a distinct and memorable part within the experience. This is one hell of a recharge album!
Listen and support!