A Blank White Attachment – Jason van Wyk’s Ambient Space
Every so often and artist or album stumbles across my desk that utterly surprises me in ways I can barely describe. A few years ago, when writing at another website, Jason van Wyk stumbled wholeheartedly into my field of awareness. Days You Remember, released in 2013, was the first time I really heard the beauty of Jason’s ambient touch. Fast-forward to today, and Jason is here with a brand-new album, titled Attachment, upping not just the productive sounds but the atmosphere I wasn’t ready for in 2013.
Attachment is fairly short with a run-time of just over 36 minutes, but packs a punch by spacing that 36 minutes over 12 tracks. All of them exude their existence through single word titles, which express the conciseness of their production and of their ability to grab the mind and take it on a journey.
The piano of “Kept” at the opening of the album easily grabs the attention of the ear while the warmth of the piece unfolds a beauty unexpected. Single notes rise up through the water and float calmly on in “Before.” “Coherence” presses on, a somber note here, a darker mood set by soft strings.
“Unsaid” flutters in the breeze, perhaps ushering in spring, and encapsulates those moments where the heart missed the opportunity. “Return” has a soft loneliness in its production, perhaps showcasing coming home to some place empty, returning after a long journey, and finding nothing to relate to. “Stay” starts dark but warm, then simply a piano comes in, ushers a tempo, and compared to the tracks before it feels a bit more frantic. “Red” marches past the halfway point on the album, and loses a bit of the mood. Although it is short, the pendulum seems to swing back a bit towards emptiness.
“Found” offers a warm string intro reminiscent of Interstellar, before breaking into a plucked melody. “Found” happens to be the longest song on the album, so it’s important to note the journey is focused but systemically slower. Halfway through the song breaks into lush atmospherics, and offers a backdrop that suitable for a rainy day the soft pitter patter of drops on the windowpane.
“Evanesce” gets grittier than any track on the album prior, but lacks anything overly memorable. “Outset” changes again the mood of the album, bringing haste that would feel at home in space exploration, as one would travel between the stars. Here you might have the best track of the album, for its emotion truly shows through its production. “Away,” with its touches of classical musical inspirations, shines in its seductive loneliness. “Depart,” the culmination of this album, truly wraps the album into its subtlest grace.
Attachment isn’t earth shattering, it doesn’t necessarily even break any molds out of the ambient genre. What it does do, and do fairly well, is broadcast the beauty of the ambient genre. It weaves a journey without ever having a backbeat; striving for beauty instead of resetting a boundary. The simple warmth of many of the songs on the album, and the ease of the piano melodies throughout, showcase and artist doing their best to craft an experience memorable and worthy of your listening time. Jason’s latest offering is worth a listen for anyone interested in closing their eyes for 30 minutes and find a space to find one’s self. Released March 3, 2016, grab a copy of this attachment and paint upon the white canvas that’s offered.
For an Ambient album – it’s a solid 4 out of 5 stars. — MyStro
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Grab the album at major digital music outlets March 24, 2016.