Review: Various Artists – Vacant Passages – Volume One

‘Vacant Passages’ is a new four-part series created by Texan Jon Thompson for his Drifting Falling label. When all the parts are complete, the CD covers will form a picture of, what appears to be, a large vacant passage. Yet is the music a void, bereft of importance or feeling? Quite the opposite in fact. Across a quartet of tracks, the artists involved sit comfortably alongside each other; each crafting their own individual sounds.

Thompson’s own Oppressed By The Line outlet begins proceedings with ‘Oceanic’ and offers suitably grand gestures on this almost hymnal track. I particularly appreciate the way Thompson layers his own voice at various pitches to add soothing textures to his always melodic music. Continuing the dreampop theme but taking it to a narcotic level is The Air Alone whose ‘I Wish I Could Dream Of Spacemen’ emits a languid glow. Mole Harness is a relatively old hand now in layering acoustic and electronic instuments. Once again, he impresses with the twinkling atmospheres of ‘Meet By The River’. Then the EP ends with a slice of Scottish folk courtesy of My Kappa Roots, who effortlessly evoke warmth and nostalgia.

Despite the different styles contained within Volume One of the series, there is a common theme of unrushed, melancholic sounds at its core. The quality contained within certainly augurs well for the next three episodes.

Web Sites:
Drifting Falling Label and Shop Site
Drifting Falling MySpace

Further Listening:
Oppressed By The Line, The Air Alone, Mole Harness, My Kappa Roots

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