Review: RON – Invisible Though Not Impalpable (USA, 2016)

Ambient music is always a cruel genre to enjoy. If you are deep into it already, then you’ll have no clue on what I’m saying. Otherwise, if you’re an occasional “consumer” you might as well have had hard times listening to such music once in a while.
The reason, well, my reason is you must be in the perfect mind-set. If you are not, then you’re just staring into the void while having some strange, white noise buzzing into your ears.

(note: That isn’t supposed to excuse crappy records. When something is bad it stays bad. No matter what. Unless you’re on LSD … but in that case I would have called this “Lisergic Reviews”) 

RON is a duo (Carl Laukkanen and Sam Wenc) from Portland, USA, that plays a simple, linear and mesmerizing kind of ambient. It features long songs and 8-bit type of synths. The (overly) long introduction I made before was meant to help you and let you know where I’d place this disc inside the wide spectrum of synthetic music. In fact, the second tune out of this 2-track album falls totally into the “right-mindset-in-order-to-enjoy” category. The pedal steel guitar (performed by Wenc, also on synths while Laukkanen plays regular guitar plus synth) that cries out in the far distance is just as sweaty as a “Butterfinger” candy bar. The Initial Mystery makes for a good spiral of positivity and serene feelings. And despite all the growing and changing it never goes too distant from its main theme. Though, there are those small variations that will keep you alert and involved.

Unluckily for us, the opener, Of The Happening, isn’t as good as the second track out of Invisible Though Not Impalpable -the one we discussed a few lines above. It possibly suffers from the lack of a firm “anchor point”. You know that piece you can easily grab and let it guide you all over the song? Well, it’s gone amiss this time around.

RON‘s debut reminds me of Suzanne Ciani / Kaitlin Aurelia Smith‘s most recent collaborative effort. In this occasion -RON-, our beloveds have crafted an album that results constructed in a relatively poor way than their famous counterparts’ one. But in its simplicity it may also be easier to digest. Bon appetit!

Label: Lobby Art
Websites: Bandcamp
Release Date: 11th November 2016
Reviewed by Matteo ‘Teo’ Gruppi

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About Matteo "Teo" Gruppi 120 Articles
TSL co-founder, co-owner, editor, CEO, reviewer, interviewer and writer. Basically I do a lot of stuff and I can’t get anything done well. I was born in 1991 and started loving music since 1981. Got my very first band in high school and now I play as a lonely dumbass in 3 projects: Chiral, Il Vuoto and |||. I listen to every kind of music as long as it is good and intense. Favourite genres include: everything as long as it’s good! (but also folk, black metal, 70-80’s rock and post-rock).

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