Last Friday, Danish composer Anders Filipsen released an album called Waiting Music. It’s been a while since I’ve enjoyed an electronic project quite so much. Composed of unedited live takes of four synthesizers, the tracks - twelve in all, each a Roman numeral - flow with the gentleness and grace of a spring breeze. Although it has all the hallmarks of great ambient music, there are enough wildcard sounds sprinkled across the album to keep it from feeling at all samey.
The closest things we’ve formally reviewed on Audioxide are probably Ambient 1: Music for Airports and side two of David Bowie’s Low, both of which are the mastery of one Brian Eno. No surprise, then, that Filipsen cites Eno as an inspiration for this record. The similarities go far beyond the minimalistic track names. There’s that sense of clarity with both artists, of rising through the clouds and breaking the surface to see endless clear skies. Exhibit A: “Part VI”. Just wonderful.
Filipsen says the goal with Waiting Music was ‘stepping back and letting things take shape without intervention,’ and I think he’s delivered on that. The album is meditative, but it also has a playful streak. On tracks like “Part III” and “Part VIII” I find myself thinking of C418’s arrangements for Minecraft of all things. The ebb and flow of synth tones has that same far-off innocence to it, I suppose.
Waiting Music is an altogether weightier project, though. The soundscapes are expansive and bold, but also deeply serene. Far from sterile or robotic, the album’s pensive, melodic flow feels natural. It’s uninhibited rather than uneventful, like instinct in slow motion. Ambient fans will be well served by Waiting Music’s offerings. For my part I suspect I’ll be listening to it a fair bit in the coming months.