Yet, in recent years, they have been stepping out of their bedrooms and into the open. They started meeting each other in real life, at concerts and festivals. They had lovely conversations about music and eventually the cooperative nature of Belgians gained the high ground, resulting in even more breathtaking music. Now that our chieftain Dirk Serries is exploring the jazz scene, people like Stratosphere, Ashtoreth and this Distant Fires Burning are stepping into his footsteps. Today, the Antwerp Ambient scene, so to speak, is loaded with co-operations and new bands. Hell, even I have a place in there. My own project, Misantronics, has clearly gained some respect and adoration.
I have not named these artists by coincidence. This album by bass-ambient producer Distant Fires Burning (Gert De Meester) is backed by that mutual respect. Ashtoreth channeled 'Any', Misantronics freestyled the danceable 'I Would Move' and Stratosphere put his teeth in two other tracks. The four remixes provide a neat overview of what this cooperative nature is capable of and thus promises great things for the near future. More about that later, for now let's just dig into the droning beauty that 'For The Love Of...' has become.
The album opens with 'K&J', a slowly meandering drone-ambient tune in the vein of most of your favorite minimalists. Lasting over nine minutes, this track is a splendid opener, slowly luring the listener in. It's almost an i-dose tune, one that could cause some nice hallucinations. But then, Gert showcases his love for other sounds. It is not a coincidence that I chose 'I Would Move' for a remix. This is one of the funkiest ambient tunes ever composed and I had to use that slapping bass in a dance tune. 'Any' then nudges towards ritual ambient, complete with singing bowl.
'Mountain' is a cheerful piece of string-plucking music, Tortoise without rhythm section perhaps. 'And More' flirts with the entire dark jazz scene but in the end evolves something more funky again. Right before the remixes begin, 'Each Day' gently purls towards the end of the regular record. For me, this is a classic ambient tune, one for fans of everything between Eno and Helios and perhaps far beyond those two too. So, up until now, you already have an excellent, varied and immersive ambient album, already massively recommended.
'K&J (Stratosphere Cave Mix)' takes the mysterious sound of the album's opener and adds some layers of gloom. This is what I was talking about in the opening paragraph. This cooperation is brilliant, currently one of my all-time favorite tracks within this genre. Soon after, you'll hear Ashtoreth's typical shamanistic voice as he kicks off his enigmatic version of 'Any'. This is another fantastic cooperation by two artists who can complement one another. 'I Would Move (Misantronics Remix)' is definitely the most danceable tune here, beats and all. In the end, the Stratosphere plus remix of 'Mountain' is friendly enough to wave goodnight and welcome you back again soon.
Well, this has been an interesting adventure, one that apparently resulted in a quite long review. As I always say, great music works inspiring and that surely is the case on 'For The Love Of...'. I could end by saying that there will indeed by nice things coming forward from this, but that's because, just like on this album, I will be a part of those nice things. For now, all that matters is finding people to recommend this album to, which is a piece of cake. Ambient fans, bass guitars lovers, droners around the world: you want this thing, believe me...