Rhucle - Summer Candle

It's been a wild ride here at Words on Sounds HQ for quite some time, and it keeps getting busier. Most days, I get a sense of exhilaration trying to keep up with various responsibilities, but every so often, an overwhelming week sneaks into the picture. You know the routine: time is tight, money is tight, and things start breaking and failing, demanding immediate attention, and your frustration levels climb into the red, and...

Enter the new Rhucle tape on Oxtail Recordings. In the midst of a particularly crazy week, "Summer Candle" arrived in my mailbox, and within a few minutes, gentle synths with a hearty proportion of wind/water field recording sounds had me feeling more relaxed than I had in a long time. Most of the album continues along this path, alternating between synth pads with coastal field recordings and short, very sentimental piano pieces. They create a tranquil rhythm in juxtaposition, nudging your ears back and forth from interior and exterior aural spaces, each with a unique sense of intimacy and unforced immediacy. There are a few other field recordings of unknown origin mixed in as well, like the animal sounds in "Yonder Heaven" that seem to blend zoo and farm sources whose four-legged bleats sometimes sound like they're singing along with their synth pad counterparts.

As centered and refreshed as this tape makes me feel, "Summer Candle" isn't just a new-age mood enhancer. Special attention must be directed to "Glisten," one of the piano-based pieces, for particularly thoughtful composition and arranging. Over its nine minutes, "Glisten" takes a small set of motivic ideas through continuous permutations, uniting mellow/ambient vibes with a more rigorous kind of minimalism--think of those moments where the music of Reich or Glass seems to be suspended in time--and doing it all so smoothly that the compositional technique is transparent.

Check out Summer Candle for yourself here. Or if you need to take two of these and call me in the morning, you can find more at the Rhucle Bandcamp page.

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