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Gray Acres – Gray Acres

Gray Acres is the new musical project of twin brothers Andrew and Michael Tasselmyer, based in Philadelphia, USA. The Tasselmyer brothers are also known as core members of Hotel Neon and The Sound Of Rescue, having released many albums with both projects, either self-released or on labels such as Home Normal and Fluid Audio. The self-titled debut album of Gray Acres consists of seven ambient pieces that will feel familiar to fans of Hotel Neon. If anything, Gray Acres is even more minimal, employing the gentlest of drones, guitar swells and field recordings.

Gray Acres is one of those releases for which the term immersive was created. This is peaceful, contemplative ambience at its most nebulous. One hates to ever use the expression ‘background music’ when it comes to minimalist releases as this somehow undervalues those records and the work put into them. Gray Acres strikes my mind, however, as perfect backing or accompaniment to various reflective or meditative states or occupations. An art gallery or museum would be enhanced by this soundtrack. A planetarium likewise.

At times Gray Acres recall the more ambient exponents from the n5MD label or even Hammock. ‘The Maps They Held’ is something of a standout piece here. The little shimmers of guitar are like distant ships on the horizon, flickering in and out of view.

As per the Sound In Silence norm, this is a limited release of 200 numbered, handmade copies and also a deluxe limited edition of just 100 handmade, hand-stamped and hand-numbered collectable copies. The disc of this edition includes three exclusive bonus tracks, mastered by George Mastrokostas (aka Absent Without Leave). You can of course snag the album digitally. All versions are available via the link provided.

No shattering, life changing moments on Gray Acres. Instead a very cool, expertly realised 54 minutes of understated beauty. Stands alongside anything in the ambient canon.

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