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Still

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Album Review

Attention to small details is what makes an ambient music album succeed or fail. On Still, Jason Sloan has managed to keep his eye and ear on every aspect of his soundscapes. The music doesn't really unfold; it exists in its own plane. Entering Still is akin to entering a room in which the music emanates from the walls and ceiling. It is there, heavenly, out of time. Sloan resists the urge to saturate the room; the music remains spacious, allowing you to float and move within it. Keyboards and guitars are undifferentiated, forming one lush soundscape. The first two pieces are a bit blurry, a lo-fi quality that makes them sound from slightly afar. Slowly, the listener is led in and welcomed. By "The Color of Wind II," the sounds have gained clarity. The music remains peaceful throughout, which doesn't exclude an occasional atonal note here or there to let listeners measure by contrast the general calmness of it all. Each track begins and ends with fades, capturing only a chunk of these timeless scapes. There are slight differences between pieces, like between rooms in a building. Occasionally, field recordings heighten the feeling of floating above the real world (as in the beginning of "Losing Winter," where children are faintly heard in the distance). Some listeners may find Still a bit too comfortable a ride, but Sloan's clear artistic vision and perfect execution deserve a strong recommendation. ~ François Couture, Rovi

Still, Jason Sloan
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