"I Could Not Love You More" cover

Album released 2009 on Type (vinyl, CD, digital: 2009) / Blink in the Endless (Bandcamp only: 2016)


All Music

The continual playing out of larger aesthetic concerns in what can loosely be described as "ambient" music gets a perfect illustration in Rameses III's 2009 album for Type, given that the trio, especially given all its previous work, could just as easily be called psych, drone, instrumental, electronic...pick a style, pick a sound. Like any number of acts, Rameses III rely less on codification than open-ended bleed-over and reconstruction, resulting in songs like the opening "We Shall Never Sing of Sorrow," where the serene, melancholy tones of keyboards, guitars, and other instruments intertwine to suggest equally open-ended vistas: rising suns, pastoral summers, drifting contemplation. The album as a whole follows this general vein of recombination, as songs explore or use formal elements resulting in work that feels perfectly familiar while still not easily suggesting exact role models. Thus the immediate, quite heartbreakingly lovely acoustic guitar start of "No Water, No Moon" leads into less structured but equally calm electronics, shifting from melody to mood just so, then returning to the guitar and a lighter, uplifting conclusion that remains utterly serene. Meanwhile, the rhythmic background loop on "Across the Lake Is Where My Heart Shines" -- possibly feedback, possibly something else -- is so subtle as to almost not seem like a rhythm until well into the song, outlining a structure rather than hitting a listener over the head with it. Further, throughout the disc is a sense that Rameses III are who they are, each trio member gently testing and leading the others forward as in any good improvisational act worth its salt, with the songs suggesting larger possibilities for performance or elsewhere.

Ned Raggett
Monday 14 September 2009

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