Review: Filalete – Supplication (Unknown Tone, Feb 27)

As a rule, I prefer ambient music to be earthy, grounded. I find that without some sort of tether, an ambient piece can float away from my attention, pigeonholing itself as purely background music rather than something to which I can listen attentively. But sometimes you do just need to drift away, and when those celestial billows of sound are constructed just right, I’m able to do just that. I wouldn’t be able to classify Supplication into either of those categories though, because, miraculously, it fills both niches, imbued with a sense of gravity by the field recordings and other tangible textures Filalete (also known as Irakli Bakuradze) uses but is also pulled upward by gorgeous washes of soft, flowing synth melodies and reverb. The title track, which also opens the album, is the most restrained of the eight in regards to atmosphere; though it’s just as calming and sublime, it’s based around a droning Gregorian chant rather than the delicate, wispy ambience that pervades the rest of the album, and provides a fitting introduction. By the time we reach the end—having glided through the pitter-pattering rain of “Spiritism,” the rushing waves of “DiaFragmic,” the meditative physicality of “Ambient Polarisation”—the concluding “Wave Waves” carries us into the sky on a cloud of perhaps the album’s most beautiful sounds. Supplication is a meticulously crafted journey through both the concrete and the insubstantial.

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