|Effects of Clouds (64'07") fits into a category of Ambient Music that is difficult to label. Its eight musical structures caress the ear, and impress us each with their sonic variety and properly cosmic vibe. Demonstrating the many possibilities of their instruments and technology the collaboration between Futuregrapher (aka Árni Grétar Jóhannesson) & Eric 'the' Taylor also presents the many possibilities of their collective imagination. Throughout these whirling abstractions of electronic fragility it is unclear where to start listening - with so many fascinating textures and levels the more eager among us may want to hear this work all at once. Effects of Clouds is an easy album to become lost in. Its music is open enough in which to know our own thoughts, yet filled with a force strong enough to transfer the ideas of the musicians effectively to their audience. In a world where only the colossal will suffice, the scale of this work remains at a personal level. Some pieces sound muted, which somehow provides an unexpected intimacy. Some pieces possess an ecstatic richness, and an expressive interweaving of static harmony. And some pieces include spells of dissonance, yet retain an all-embracing spirit. But all of the pieces on this album - as they are so packed with wonder and a lofty emotional pull - will fill our space in a remarkable way. Swaths of electronics inhabit the upper reaches, to calm restless ghosts, as a mist on the verge of freezing into snow swirls in north wind currents. Sounds sit still in the gloom, while a heavy black night blots out stars - and we escape into a sonic mythology realm. Freed of the restraints of conventionally designed music, this duo pursues visions that are dreamy and surreal. Their luminous intricacy recalls New Age/Spacemusic classics of the 1980s, even while gazing toward a time yet to come. Jóhannesson and Taylor make a music that believes there is no shortage of tomorrows. As the Earth spins further forward into the future, and we all rest easily beneath a solitary sky, like rooftop antennae we wait for a strong signal - and for the Effects of Clouds.
Chuck van Zyl/STAR'S END 25 July 2019