Sound Impression: Cloak by Russ Young

Few areas of the world are as recognizable or as ensconced in artistic culture as England’s Lake District. Like many poets, authors, and musicians before him, West Cumbria based producer & composer Russ Young takes creative inspiration from this picturesque region for his work, but his approach is rather distinctive in its focus on the textures of its well-watered landscapes. Young’s new album Cloak comprises seven ambient soundscapes exploring what he describes as a “preoccupation with aquatic textures, underwater pianos, a nocturnal atmosphere and fragments from [his] everyday life”.

Following an evolutionary process guided by intuition, Young developed the album by blending new improvisations with material culled from an assortment of archived recordings shelved long enough for their origins to have been forgotten and any sense of familiarity lost. It is a method he says gave him a sense of both freedom and mystery as he fit the pieces together in new and unexpected combinations.

Most of this work has a softly saturated, almost molten character that I associate with the late evening or fading light.

Russ Young

What he ends up creating is a lush and welcoming sonic mise-en-scène inhabited by melodies languidly drifting through gauzy layers of aqueous textures. The effect of the ‘molten character’ to which Young refers is such that Cloak does not so much paint a portrait of the landscapes as melt into them and create a beautiful sensation of isolation and immersion.

Links: Bandcamp (digital) | Russ Young

Cloak is available as a digital release from Audiobulb Records. The album was mastered by Taylor Deupree.