Arrowounds is a really unique sound world. It feels like it fits somewhere between ambient music and field recordings. It doesn’t really feel composed, which probably sounds disrespectful, yet it’s probably the opposite, the music here feels like a force of nature, the place where field recordings and sound design merge into a whole other being.
With deep rumblings, heavily reverebed washes of sound, crackles and drones, its music that sounds like nothing else. Nothing is clear, it’s a mammoth gorgeous smudge of sound where everything has been smeared together to the point it has lost its own identity. At times it feels dark and claustrophobic, at other times brimming with space – it truly is a unique sound world. There are moments of transcendence that seems to exist in tandem with a feeling of being submerged, which is odd, but that’s what this album does, it brings dichotomies together.
It’s the work of Ohio based artist Ryan Chamberlain, who has a number of releases under the moniker including the bleak and beautiful The Loneliness Of The Deep Sea Diver from 2020 – also on Lost Tribe Sound.
Over time elements reach out from the music, whether it be guitar, gentle murmuring, running water, Chamberlain is remarkably adept at not only layering his sounds, but building his music in unexpected and often non musical ways. This is a work designed to be its own world. At times I’m reminded of everything from the ambient forest disco of Gas to the expressive obscured field recordings of Francisco Lopez, yet it’s not really beholden to anyone else. Arrowounds feels deeply personal, very much on its own. It’s dark and mysterious. It’s very conscious of tension, texture and decay, and though it might puzzle you initially if you persist, at some point you’ll wake up and realise that you’re deep inside it and you can’t find your way out – and this thought will be reassuring to you.