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Northcape – Exploration And Ascent

Northcape appear to take their inspiration from nature. Epic nature. I imagine mountain tops, white waters and widescreen blue skies punctuated by the occasional (little fluffy) cloud. The music suggests this as do the songtitles. It is clear from the onset that Northcape deal in the kind of cinematic downtempo that appeals to big dreamers. Snowboarders, skiers, skydivers if you’re this way inclined then check out Exploration And Ascent , a perfect come down after a day of extreme sport (or a night of extreme partying).

Did I say songtitles? I should have said track titles. Exploration And Ascent is wordless, a backing canvas to the listener’s own narrative interpretation. There’s an echo of the mighty Boards Of Canada in some of the chords and keys on display here. That ‘retro modern’ sound so evocative of nostalgia but on Exploration And Ascent it is less about childhood memories and far more outward looking. The environment, the geology, the horizon – all these things come to mind when I play Northcape.

‘The First Crossing Of The Watershed’ is somehow central to this collection. A key-driven melody twinkles almost innocuously, whilst bass anchors everything with a satisfying thrum. It is far from the only highlight though. ‘Another Endless Morning’ (sounds like an Eno title, doesn’t it) provides a more meditative immersion. ‘Last View’ belies its pessimistic sounding name with warmth and happiness.

There is a North Cape somewhere in Norway. Herring seas and ‘Mackerel Sky’ no doubt. It is a place to view the midnight sun. I imagine Exploration And Ascent would make the perfect accompaniment. Outdoor sporty types, if you like IDM, and downtempo music get Northcape.
Wear Northcape.

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