With more than half of its 100 map points now filled in, the imaginary island of Eilean has evolved into a remarkably eclectic, globally diverse, and often magical place. Point 80 on the map has been selected by a pair of collaborating musicians from Latvia – sound designer and field recordist Sound Meccano (aka Rostislav Rekuta) and ambient guitarist Jura Laiva. Together they have contrived a vivid collection of soundscapes entitled Salty Wind and Inner Fire.
The sound design here is exceptionally picturesque, eschewing the muted and opaque overtones that characterize so many ambient records in favor of crisp textures thrust boldly into the foreground. You can feel the warmth from the crackle of the fire, the exfoliating sting of the salty breeze, or the pelt of cold rain on the back of your neck. A plethora of sounds put the listener in the midst of the scene – the churning wash of the surf, the lapping of water against a rocking boat, seagulls cawing over head or a howling gust of wind. The musical elements likewise take a less often traveled path. Preferring folk motifs that are neither somber nor sentimental, we are treated to a variety of narrative voices in the form of e-bow guitar, violin, cello, accordion and voice while a gossamer thin layer of drones provides the fabric that holds it all together. This album and a pair of headphones are all that is needed to completely transport you to another place.
Salty Wind and Inner Fire was released April 4 on limited edition CD (150 copies) featuring cover art by Federica Jeanne de Luca. The label sold out its stock, but there are links on the Bandcamp page to other sources such as Stashed Goods and Experimedia where a few more might still be found and digital downloads are always available.