Review: Nate Scheible – Indices (Never Anything, May 27)

For all of its delicate beauty, Nate Scheible’s brand of ambient music always has undercurrents of tension, hints of uneasiness buried beneath the floating drifts of effects-laden keyboard drones and samples. Indices has none of the vocal elements that were explored on Fairfax, the Washington, D.C. artist’s previous tape release, but no less of the woozy subliminity and emotional resonance. “A01” unfurls with bubbling movements drenched in reverb, soft gossamer waves of sound expanding outward atop a base of dusty tape recordings and crackling artifacts, setting the stage for more reserved sketches of this wonderfully diaphanous atmosphere—which, although I’m no synæsthete, is quite in line with the soft pink that was chosen for the cover design. As each of Scheible’s carefully constructed miniatures progresses, they move past beginnings fraught with uncertainty and strangeness—such as the abstract manipulations that introduce “A03” or the stifled chokes at the start of “B02″—into gorgeous stretches of harmony and tonal resolution like a deep sigh and a flop down on the couch after a long day of work. As you can probably guess, this is the perfect tape for me right now. By the time those rustling branches (or whatever they are) that conclude “B03” fade into existence, I am ready to drift away.