North Sea & Rameses III Night of the Ankou

With hands across the ocean, free folk CD-R label guru Brad Rose (the North Sea) reaches out from Tulsa, OK to London-based trio Rameses III for the formation of this transatlantic ambient quartet. The album is essentially two longish pieces each with a particular flow. "Death of the Ankou” has a spiral stillness that hovers at slowly shifting altitudes, carried on bowed strings and bamboo woodwinds. The motion is more a product of iridescence and timbral nuance than progress along a measure. Like watching a ship in a bay through a late afternoon heat haze, distances difficult to judge. "Night Blossoms Written in Sanskrit” is more directed in its drift, with a shimmer of acoustic guitar carrying the first half of the piece, then the massed tones gain their own momentum, eventually evolving into a large chorus of voices, human and musical together. A slight oriental tint colours both pieces but never dominates the sound. The album is rounded out with a remix done by Type label boss Xela. This is approached in a Cole’s Notes manner, with the individual elements given plainer exposure then reintegrated and bound with minimal third party evidence. A well-mixed nightcap. (Productions Virage)