Despite having been in close contact for over half a decade, Selva Oscura marks the first time William Basinski + Lawrence English have collaborated. Recorded in Brisbane and Los Angeles simultaneously and created through a process of iteration and rearrangement, Selva Oscura (hopefully the first of many collaborations) sets out a towering session of absorbing ambient that sees each artist really push the other towards new areas of twilight dynamics...
Drawing the album title from Dante’s Inferno, Selva Oscura offers us a flotation tank of subaquatic sound where the calm intensity interlinks with the darker corners of each of their minds to capture a maze of endlessly acoustic topography. During the recording sessions for the album, the pair focused in on the concept of drifting into strangely familiar territories, and while the hallmarks of Room 40 and of course, Basinski's Disintegration Loops do swim to the surface, there are zoned out tones that threaten to block out memory as much as any feeling of association.
Each movement evolves into the next within the parameter of one great mass of ever-shifting drones, the album's coherence maintains the feeling of the music in a constant state of flux and unfolding. Meaning as each moment fades away, another is conceded in its place to create a sense of eternal reveal.
As you would expect from these titans of cold water ambient, Selva Oscura is as much a process as a listening experience, endlessly chiselling away the micro and macro characteristics of raw sonic materials, while never stopping to try and find the light.