CD, Raubbau, 2009
“Solitaire” is the latest treat from the [Law-Rah] Collective after releasing a slew of albums since 2001 and, with it, the duo of Martijn Pieck and Bauke Van der wal deliver another soaring collection for fans of dark ambient and drone.
The opener track, “From Inside an Empty Room”, sets the mood with lush distant pads surfing along reverbed hits and sways as a voice carries through the vast space. “Lavender Scent” plays with creating an atmosphere via resonant percussions and thin ambience lingering until the point of strain – creeping tonals differentiate the layers within the mix, as strings emerge and sweep through the composition. “When Blue Turns Grey” is a beautiful symphony piece that is breathtaking and sullen – it hangs in the air like an unspoken desire and slowly fades to gravel like tones that modulate and crackle to the song’s departure. “Silent Voices” waltzes in with a haunting piano and a pulsing premonition surging out of the background, the structure disintegrating into a wall of ambient pads and echoing tones like an orchestra tuning up in the afterlife while lingering tonals hail the re-entry of sparse piano as a bleak crescendo. “Away From Home” tends to feel cold but at the same time can lull the listener into a comfortable state; the thin layers of pads drift like sand as waves of mechanical tones struggle to hold the structure together and a piano signals a thinning of deep oscillations of sound to a thick atmospheric tension you could cut with a knife.
“Solitaire” seethes with a tension that will be sure to have fans of the genre coming back for more.
— James Church