Review Summary: A beautiful vacuumRare, Forever
feels hollow. For most artists, such a statement would likely imply the existence of a rather disappointing record: for Leon Vynehall, it’s a convincing testament to his strengths. Rather than letting the music get consumed by emptiness, the producer envelops his rhythms and atmospheres in a unique vacuum, rendering the record an excellently monotonous experience.
The album’s best moments find themselves rooted in minor, muted experiments. ‘Alichea Vella Amor’ succeeds at reducing its jazzy patterns to a hazy minimum, while remaining entirely distinguishable and ultimately hypnotising. Similarly employed repetition can be explored on the transcendent ‘An Exhale’, where Vynehall bathes dreamy motifs in gentle waves of trance; occasionally exploding, yet leaving more than enough space for both the song and listener to breathe. Spread throughout Rare, Forever
, such moments of calm not only add to the record’s textural depth, but also afford it its cohesive properties. Unlike previous projects by the artist, the album does not follow a particular concept or storyline, instead fully relying on the fabric of its sound and arrangements to achieve similarly successful results.
‘Farewell! Magnus Gabbro’ and ‘All I See Is You, Velvet Brown’ close the album on two eerily abstract notes. Distilling the glitchy eruptions of ‘Dumbo’ into a combined seven minutes of densely layered drone and ambient, the closing moments feel like an inevitable comedown. While being the most minimal tracks on Rare, Forever
, they appear less empty; more filled with the beautifully desolate patterns that preceded. As such, the album neither overstays its welcome nor neglects prospects: its ominous finale appears to hint at a more replete and hopefully equally beautiful future. For now, the intricately captivating vacuum is ours to bask in.