[sic] Magazine

Deepriver – Volume One

Deepriver – Volume One

Deepriver is a globe-spanning ambient venture featuring Cape Towns Jason van Wyk and Stockholm-based collaborator Joni Ljungqvist. The two have worked together previously on a trance project but as Deepriver they are really pushing the minimalist angle, exploring amorphous landscapes, soft textures and the gentlest of reveries.
Volume One is almost devoid of beats. Instead, swirling soundscapes take centre stage. Ideas float in, flicker around and drift away. It’s pretty lovely. Check out early pieces ‘Home’ and ‘Coastal’ for a good indication as to this long player. Yet just when I think proceedings are innocent and unobtrusive a subtle edginess creeps in. This can be a subtle chord change or an unusual sound effect but it stops us getting too comfy. The music of Deepriver puts me in mind of alien planets – seemingly non-hostile, beautiful worlds but still carrying a sense of tension that danger could be lurking beneath the wondrous facade.

The biography over at the bands label suggests that van Wyks recent work is “viscerally experimental” whereas Ljungqvist might be the more contemplative and “reflective” composer of the two. We might therefore conclude that Ljungqvist is the likely author of those billowing clouds of prettiness with van Wky adding the non-silver lining. That’s quite possibly a huge oversimplification but whoever’s idea it was to salt this particular caramel, it was a good one.

At 37 minutes Volume One never outstays its welcome although its best material is loaded toward the front. A word about the cover art (which is excellent btw) I see what looks like the French Alps onto which is imposed a Brutalist staircase or escalator such as you might see from a 1950s airport. It is an arresting juxtaposition as is the music itself. Sign me up for Volume Two.

Volume One is released on June 16th and is available for preorder via the link below. There is a gorgeous clear vinyl version.

Preorder via n5MD