The Gateless Gate is a music project of Allister Thompson, a singer-songwriter currently based in North Bay, Canada, who started it to explore his interests in ambient, psychedelic, post-rock, progressive and experimental music. It embraces a wide-range of influences from not only the masters of those genres, but also “kosmische musik” and the music of Central and East Asia. The albums with which I was previously most familiar were from a period several years ago when a boreal mood prevailed with such evocative, landscape-themed recordings as Near North, Sibir, and Landslag Norður Íslands. This summer, however, the project comes in from the cold and will see the release of the radiant new album Nothing Is Missing which dwells in decidedly warmer climes where the sun shines brightly and life is in full bloom.
“The aim of this music is to illustrate through sound that no matter how turbulent the times become and how hopeless life seems, underneath all the turmoil and tragedy — everything is actually all right. All is as it should be. ” – Allister Thompson
An inviting preview of what is in store comes in the form of the video for “Unimaginable light shines out”, a distinct color shift from the ambient side of the project’s spectrum toward sweeping post-rock (think Hammock) and melodic dream pop (think The Church).
Another influence is apparent which I know Allister and I both share a fondness for is The Moody Blues and that can be heard in the form of multi-octave layered vocals and the incandescent fuzz tones of the lead guitars on the album’s most transcendent tracks (“Sitting in Silence, Dancing in Gratitude”, “Trees and Grass Speak, the Land Sings”). As the album closes with Allister singing “You Are Free” that is exactly how the listener should feel.
Nothing Is Missing will be available on CD (via Custom Made Music) and digital/streaming June 27 (pre-orders are now available). In the meantime, you can explore earlier releases on the Bandcamp site as well as Allister’s other projects, Khan Tengri and Twilight Fields.