It goes without saying that if an artist is capable of releasing a handful of noteworthy efforts in the span of a single year, they got to have a few surprises up their sleeves. Don’t get me wrong, what Jimmy Billinghan is doing with his Venn Rain
project is hardly redefining the current ambient movement, but there is a certain mystical quality to his works that makes him stand out of the crowd. Show me a recent album that would envelop me in a blissful mist so thick that even Diamond Dust would have to bow down and take some lessons. Or a record with the same hypnotic power as Place in World, power that leaves its marks for hours after finishing listening. See? They both proudly scream VENN RAIN, but both do it with a different voice, a voice that makes them what they are.
echoes with a different sound entirely. Pursuing a noticeably mellower direction than its predecessors, the record wanders through tranquil, slowly-absorbing drones, and does so with a flair for the exotic. Where Diamond Dust was the soundtrack to a journey long forgotten, Cymatic Cymbols
invites the listener into a peaceful nap in a jungle far, far away, in the middle of nowhere. ‘Nada Brahma’ lures the mind into a daze, with sunlight barely penetrating through the palm trees. And as our eyes close on their own accord, the only contact with the outside world is mediated through the sounds of our Mother Nature: the fluttering of birds, the light air drowning our skin in warmth and tenderness. Maybe we can even hear the clashing of ocean waves, but who is awake enough to notice? ‘Singing Sands’ and ‘Psychophonic’ build a world of their own, immobile, assuring and never-ending, a world where we travel the furthest corners of our subconscious. Nature enters the forest once again in ‘Form Waves’, but it’s a different world altogether, neither reality nor a dream. The birds are unusually close and the colors are faded, making everything hard to see: we’re revisiting a world we once knew but left behind. A distant but strangely familiar voice mutters something into our ears, something we already know; fragments of memories we chose to bury deep inside us. We reach for the source of that human noise, but it dissolves as ‘Psychophonic II’ clouds our vision and plunges us into nothingness.
How long has it been since we left this place? And where are we now?