The ReWind series exists as merely an aid in the discovery (or rather, rediscovery) of the unintentionally forgotten, or the often overlooked tracks of yesteryear.
You know how some people have hobbies like gardening, or paragliding, or poking wild bears? My hobbies aren’t quite as extreme, since I like to write, all the while listening to music. How good my writing is, or how good the music I listen to happens to be, is entirely debatable. What’s certain is that in these 3 years since I’ve been pushing out articles for the site, I’ve stumbled upon some pretty great artists and tracks. One moment in particular, back in May this year, will undoubtedly remain as a milestone in my personal musical development.
I considered putting down word after word, explaining in detail how I got to one of John Stanford‘s tracks, but this is the Internet, and no one has the time to read that. What I will tell you is that thanks to Stumble Upon and a little boredom on my part, I was introduced to Far Centaurus, the 5th production from John’s debut album, Deep Space. Long story short, it was so good that it inspired what would later become Chill Week.
Having since then listened to Deep Space many more times than I’d like to admit, I thought featuring another track from this long player wouldn’t do any harm to anyone, so here we are today, with Sea Of Tranquility.
The intro sets the scene nicely, with its minor chords, rather subdued percussion and really present flute sounds. Not long after, what sounds like a vocal sample from one of the lunar missions gets added into the mix, along with the base line and the track’s lead, gated, synth. If you’re wondering why the particular choice of vocal, you’ll be happy to find out that the Sea of Tranquility is the name of a plain on the Moon, which was at first mistook for an actual body of water, hence the sample. It’s sometimes referred to by its latin name, Mare Tranquillitatis.
These dark, far-reaching soundscapes might seem a little simple at first, but all the intricate modulations and layers that actually go into them can be summarized in one sentence: They’re easy to do, but difficult to do well. Sea of Tranquility falls in the latter category.
I believe it’s best to leave it to John from this point on. Below, you’ll find what is quite possibly the best thing since sliced bread, the original mix of Sea Of Tranquility.
Country: New Zealand / Style: Ambient / Year: 1999* / Label: White Cloud
*The album has been remastered, and is set for a mid-November 2014 re-release. It will be split into two parts, and will include three brand new tracks.
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ReWind returns next Friday.😀