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Lunar Orbit Rendezvous - Faith/Reason

Review

Faith/Reason by Lunar Orbit Rendezvous

Celestial, Eno-inspired Ambient

Reverse engineering one of Brian Eno's studio tricks (involving "an echo and a reverb being wired up in a certain way") clearly opened a new hatch for Belfast producer Gregory Ferguson, as his second album Faith/Reason spacewalks blissfully into tasteful Ambient territory. Ferguson's 2018 self-titled album, under the acronym LOR, was unsurprisingly space-focused ("Lunar Orbit Rendezvous" is the technical term used to describe the process for safely landing on the moon) with its 80s/Carpenter-inspired vibe and liberal use of NASA vocal samples. So while this new one could arguably soundtrack a Netflix space documentary, the obvious space references are only there for listeners who crave it... apart from the second track, which is called Music For Spaceports.

Eno-inspiration aside, technical wizardry clearly informs Ferguson's work, using software like Auras and generative techniques (i.e. programming the computer to write the melody) to develop his ideas — sampling, manipulation and processing sound is how most Ambient electronic music is made after all. Where Ferguson excels with Faith/Reason is in his choice of sounds and how he has assembled them into an exquisite 35 minute despatch, balancing tension and release with subtle skill, be that with a treated Gregorian-style chant, sampled strings or a weird noise cleverly transformed into a subtle rhythmic pattern. It's the understated touches like the piano flourish coupled with the throbbing synth on Last Program Run or the light-dappled vision that emerges from the sounds on the title track that mark the difference between a small step and a giant leap. In this case, Lunar Orbit Rendezvous has safely landed.

If you only listen to one track

Music For Spaceports

RIYL

Biosphere, Hannu Karjalainen, Overcast Sound

Label

Ransom Note Records

Artist website

Lunar Orbit Rendezvous

Release date

16 Jul 2021

Tracklist

  1. A Dawn
  2. Music For Spaceports
  3. Wave Ruins
  4. Faith/Reason
  5. Trouble In The Neighbourhood
  6. Aspen Trees
  7. Dead Experiment
  8. Last Program Run
  9. This Willow
  10. Karesuando
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