[Reviewed by stark]
The newest (I guess) Rapoon album comes not through the effort of Zoharum, but this time thanks to Winter Light from the Netherlands. This label doesn’t release new stuff very often, they choose a rather slow path to build their position and respect in the (dark) ambient world – two albums a year so far – but it has to be said that they prepare their offerings very carefully, taking care of both music and graphic design.
I’ve mentioned it many times and I’ll say it again, I’m truly impressed by Robin Storey’s activity. In 2016 he released four albums, two singles and one re-release of the classic stuff, “The Kirghiz Light”, reviewed by me not so long ago. When it comes to full-lengths we could say that we get one album for each season. 2016 started with the glacial (literally as it was out via Glacial Movements) “Song From The End Of The World”, then the spring and summer of “Waiting By The River” and “The Vindolanda Tablets”. Is “Wanderlust” autumn music indeed?
It depends on how you approach it. I know, I know, it doesn’t explain a lot, but it isn’t an album which you could summarize with one word or sentence, even though you can still hear that it’s Rapoon and you have a more or less vague impression of what to expect. What I like most in “Wanderlust” is the balance in the album’s dynamics, thanks to looped rhythms of more or less Far Eastern provenance. A vivid turmoil of a morning market in Tehran. A sunset over the Persian Gulf, a night on the desert of Damascus when it hadn’t been destroyed by the bombs… “Wanderlust” is good for long autumn evenings as it recalls more colorful times, in a meteorological sense as well as in the sense of a moment when your life was most… lively so to speak. When you thought that the world was laid over you feet and you actually had the ability to change it. There’s a whole lot of loops, drums and samples here, voices, radio transmissions, singing, classic instruments, electronic passages and so on, sometimes ethereal, sometimes more down to earth. The memories are still very distinct, yet with time they begin to blur and the music takes a little bit more of an abstract dimension. “Wanderlust” is like a movie from one’s past.
And it’s still Rapoon; it’s difficult to confuse Robin’s music with anyone else’s work. Even though there isn’t so much simoom as on the previous albums, and this time we’re closer to the population centres rather than in the heart of the desert, and I feel like the production is more clear and transparent than usual. But this is an album to remember, so far from monotony, the images flowing in your mind like in a photo album. A recommendable release.