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»Forest Refractions« by Segue

Cover of Forest Refractions

Canadian artist Jordan Sauer, composing music as Segue, makes a memorable first appearance on netlabel Autoplate following releases on the Danish netlabel Kyoto_Digital and his own ambient/minimal/dub label Duckbay. Among Segue’s musical influences are the electronic/dub artists Pole, Deadbeat, Hieronymus, Xoki, Boards of Canada, and Rhythm and Sound, along with listening to classical, jazz, and folk. In addition, Jordan states that “my physical environment (nature/urban) provides me with much of my creative energy.”

Culled from tracks created over the past few years, “Forest Refractions” elivers a moody collection of dub-inspired beats and ambient-dub soundscapes. ordan says that the tracks “have mostly been created with an initial sound, ood, or idea in mind, although much of the time the end product greatly iffers from what was intended. That being said, I think that music generally akes on a different meaning for each listener, leaving interpretation up to he individual.”

The aptly titled “Glass-reflection” opens the album as a soothing blend of glitch, dub, and distant piano pan across the speakers creating a very relaxing lounge-like atmosphere. The laidback ambiance of “Glass-reflection” is followed by a dubby trio of faster-paced, beat-driven tracks beginning with the Deadbeat influenced “Anon” that is memorable for its deep, dub-inspired sounds and catchy bass-line. “Gnt” is a brief, satisfying interlude brimming with dub flavorings and described by the artist as “a celebration of the simple pleasures in life as they burst through with colours and flavors.” Heavily influenced by listening to Rhythm and Sound, Hieronymus and Xoki, “Critters” is a playful sounding, rhythmic piece laden with reverb which gives the track a deep sense of space and, as Jordan writes, is “the perfect soundtrack to exploring the forest at night.” With the arrival of “Vista”, the album, while preserving its dub influences, slows the pace down and concludes with three poignant compositions that take the listener considerably deeper into the ambient side of ambient-dub in which the measured use of reverb and delay give this part of the album an inspiring panoramic quality. Beginning with a mysterious ambience, “Vista” builds into a two-part piece that seamlessly merge in to one as the gradually building tension of the first half is resolved in the second. Jordan likens this to “hiking up through a forest, struggling and sweating to get to the top of a mountain where one is rewarded with a spectacular view”. Similar in architecture to “Vista”, “The Faithful” is a reflective composition of soft chords and gentle rhythms inspired by the artist’s “thoughts in regards to the dichotomy between faith/belief and truth/rationality.” Ending the album with it’s warm, pastoral atmospherics is “Wind Through Trees “ - a fitting conclusion where the reverbed piano symbolizes the sweeping of a gentle breeze through the treetops. For Segue this track is the embodiment of his “exploration of minimized beats and ambient environments.”

/Larry Johnson

Netlabel: Autoplate
Release Date: 2006-08-30
Release-ID: apl039
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