It’s safe to say we were all pretty upset when UK indie icons Hood broke up/ went on hiatus in 2006, yet it turns out that sentiment was somewhat short sighted. Since then we’ve had a bounty of Hoodish projects, such as Chris Adams’ beautiful electronic orientated Bracken project as well as downpour which saw him exorcising or perhaps exercising his drum and bass demons. Meanwhile his brother Richard Adams has focussed on the gentle ambient side of electronics with his gorgeous Declining Winter project though also started a band, Memory Drawings with hammered dulcimer player Joel Hanson and violinist Sarah Kemp. It’s been fascinating watching the progression of their sounds, and impossible not to hear the subtle lineage to Hood even if its just periodically in the melancholic tone – or just because you want it to be there.
Western Edges is yet another project for Richard and its nothing short of sublime. Dependency is his second full length album under the moniker after 2019’s Prowess which felt like a series of warm at times wistful electronic tones.
This is music with one foot on the dancefloor, or actually maybe the foot is about a block away from the dancefloor, and the sound gently permeates the walls like a blurry heartbeat. It’s electronic, melancholic, unhurried, a kind of lofi electronica that owes as much to his DIY indie past as ambient music, where fuzzy beats exist alongside wistful ethereal pads. It’s the kind of music that takes your breath away.
At times its durational, almost post rock in the way repetitive motifs build to cathartic ecstatic moments, at others it seems to be more about mood with these gentle evocative soundscapes reminiscent of its predecessor. You can hear elements of Aphex Twin’s collected ambient works or Wolfgang Voigt’s trips to the forest as Gas. There’s a hypnotism in the moment, in the repetition. It feels like the reflection of a party – the vapour that exists in the air for a few seconds before it evaporates. Everything has its place for Adams. Everything is sequential, it progresses and makes sense. There are no rough edges here. The music is beguiling. It will draw you in.
I like it because it is not just one thing. At times you think its some kind of post club late night ambient hangover where the gentle techno thud is still reverberating through your body, at others it’s atmospheric sound design – working with density and mood. You want to put it in a box but you can’t. This is what keeps you coming back. In this way it confounds while it beguiles. Find this.