A lengthy, exploratory take on IDM ambience...
'Horizon'

Where San Franciscan native and Mills college graduate Christopher Willits once sought out immersion with 2014’s audio-visual effort ‘OPENING’ – pairing sophisticated, mirror ambience with the IDM veteran’s fractal visual pallet, he has since been experimenting with technology that allows him to broaden his horizons.

Creating music in the same way that we naturally experience the world, in three dimensions, Willits has found a way to not only demystify his aerial microcosm, but guide us through it with sonic, phantom-limbs that orbit and cocoon – allowing us to feel the pulse at the heart of Willits’ vision. Where previous efforts have explored the space between light and sound, the Ghostly International-released ‘Horizon’ crosses the divide between the physical world and the ethereal.

The 3D spatial-audio project opens with the spherical pan of ‘Comet’ – painting broad, swelling strokes that conjure images of a far-flung unknown falling to earth from observatory distance. The colours of ‘Return’ allow you to sample the experience of said unknown as it cautiously tours the surface for the first time following impact event – experiencing the sound of the ocean and birdsong for the very first time.

The near-closer ‘Waipio’ disturbs ‘Horizon’s near-sleep state with a confidence that reduces the light of everything around it to negative space, as rain showers behind strikes of atmosphere that reach for the beyond. Like disturbed dust, clouding and effervescent, 'Horizon' surrounds you over the course of its explorative 90-minute runtime – patiently waiting for you to discover cracks in the ice of its vast tundra.

8/10

Words: James Musker

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