It’s great having a large music collection. I’ve been growing mine for years. Occasionally, not often thankfully, the collection has to be moved and or cleaned up, usually on account of my purchasing a new computer or faster haddrive. It’s now at the size where it’s difficult to manage. I haven’t made the call yet, as to what I’ll do this time around but I’m leaning towards a full audit… this would take a significant amount of time. Browsing through what I’ve got lead me to check in with a group that I’d forgotten about, but who produce great music. Also, they release their albums for free. Checking in at Webbed Hand records I was pleased to see that after a few years off my radar, Beyond Absence had been hard at work.

I’d discovered them during my uni years, completely randomly. That’s the sweet payoff in finding random netlables and grabbing sections of their catalogue without any preconceptions as to what the experience will be like. I don’t think I would have ever searched for “ambient jazz”, but that’s essentially what these guys are. Their first release “Rarified” sets the tone for the two releases that follow, “Complacency” and “Heritage”. The albums are also tied together by the coverart done by one of the two, Mauro Longordo, which I find really suits.

This music is perfect for study, dinner parties and sleep. That could be a good defenition for ambient in general. I think it was Brian Eno who said that an ambient track can change meaning simply by how loudly you play it. I’ve listened to Complacency a lot over the past five years and it certainly sits in the “best” ambient pile.

Fleshed out, cohesive, thoughtful and free – if you want some good msuic do yourself a favour and pick up Beyond Absence’s back catalogue here.