STAER : Equilibrium [Review]

Towards the end of last year Philadelphia based musician Ian Staer bestowed upon us his latest release, Equilibrium. Mixed by none other than Chris Vrenna [Nine Inch Nails/Tweaker] and mastered by Eric Oehler

This latest offering is made up of two 16 minute instrumental pieces that from the moment I hit play bathed me in warmth and nostalgia of an era I`ve never experienced, not because it sounds retro or carries traces of any immediately obvious time period but rather that was the initial emotional response to the first few seconds of `Coriolis`. It`s an inviting, intriguin and at times a little melancholic sound that makes its runtime feel much shorter than what one initially expects. 16 minutes felt like 16 seconds and begs for you to hit the replay.

Staer masterfully paints an aural landscape you want to get lost in and explore, the release being entirely instrumental allows for the listener to project their own fantasy unto the canvas of abstract sonic paintings, such is the beauty and endless possibility of instrumental music. Futhermore, what the listener does project unto it all is open to change as they return to the release in time, resulting in a sort of musical rorschac test.

The second piece Manifold trickles in seamlessly, in fact you may not even notice one track ending and another beginning, a small detail perhaps but wether its done purposefully or not it does add to the immersive aspect of the listening experience and its a detail I greatly appreciate. I cant resist returning to the idea of warmth, the sound of the songs themselves as well as the production quality conjures forth this specific phrase, speaking of the production it brings words such as sleek to mind. About half-way into the second track I take notices of some nice yet subtle panning of the melodies that I`m sure will add new depths and dimensions to listening via headphones particularly.

The release is graced with an ocean image, red evening sky and what appears to be the moon or at least a moon, which galaxy it might belong to will be up to the listener to decide as they explore the approximately half hour runtime of Equilibrum which they may do via the Bandcamp site which is linked below.

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