Ambiences, really? Did Roel Meelkop, a composer whose work is marked by intense concentration and dramatic shifts in volume and density, make a new age album? No... not even close. Ambience in this case is not the same as Brian Eno's audio wallpaper. But Roel is loathe to give away his game too much, lest a listener's perception become too colored by any element aside from the sound itself, so I'll resist over-explaining. Just a few words here to draw you in, then you can turn the music up, sit back and enjoy as the more-or-less pure audio experience that the artist intended.
The music of "5 (Ambiences)" deals with ways of approaching and conceptualizing ambient sound, of abstracting sounds from the world until they become much more than mere documentary observations. It subtly plays with some referential material (are you hearing field recordings? digitally generated sounds? does it matter?), a very wide dynamic range (to encourage active listening... yes, turn it up loud!), evocative and even dramatic structures. This music is open to any interpretation, or no interpretation at all.
Praise for "5 (Ambiences)":
"A rich, mysterious, deeply fascinating album. The melding of sonic elements with evocative structure is likely, for me, what causes these pieces to, generally, work so well. There’s a kind of drama, to be sure, but one filled with unexpected (but retrospectively logical) meanderings, false endings, surprising recurrences, etc. I’ve no real idea as to what his sources are though, aside from some clear—and lovely—use of field recordings (children’s patter, fireworks?), I get the feeling many are utilized in more hidden circumstances. In fact, though essentially electronic, there’s usually a strong sense of air in the pieces, even if that atmosphere has a slight tinge of ozone. Meelkop creates an individual, honest and very real sound-world here and, really, what more can one ask for?" - Bagatellen
"Like taking a glacial sample, and then analysing this cross-section from way up. An axle sweep of the camera through the set scenery. One point of a stratuum being dissected as a line by introducing another dimension. " - Monochrom