Benoît Pioulard‘s Thomas Meluch’s latest body of work sees him releasing Radial, a three-track album just over 40-minutes in length. The latest album sees Meluch continuing much of his experimental ambient work, all in the hope of raising money to cover medical bills (through the use of a pay-what-you-want model). The album comprises some of Meluch’s most interesting bodies of work, showing a strong creative streak that draws much out of the ambient music genre. Radial at times feels a little hastily thrown together, but there’s evidence of a real dedication to the craft, making it one of Meluch’s more stronger independent releases.
Radial features many elements we know and and understand from Meluch, though there’s something a little different this time. Everything seems to rely mostly on Meluch’s ability to create large washes of ambient noise to help push along the album, with surprise elements coming in effortlessly to help build up the individual elements. Each track has its own identity, with some very interesting motifs coming out at each point. Notably in the album’s 22 minute opener, ‘The Very Center Of Its Flame’ harkens back to Meluch’s 2015 album Sonnet, in instance, the album’s track ‘The Very Edge Of Its Flame’. Here we’re seeing Meluch drawing more out of this initial idea in the creation of something ambitious.
It is perhaps important to take note of Meluch’s decision to include a reworking of Aphex Twin’s ‘Stone In Focus’ on Radial. The decision to do so is perhaps ambitious, though we get to see more insight into how Meluch operates and create his music, with Aphex Twin’s original track acting as a launching off point for Meluch to begin his own version. Some may find Meluch’s experimental style of ambient music a little less interesting than those at the forefront of the genre, perhaps mostly due to his reliance on walls of noise. Those who enjoy it though and simply let the music transport to whatever destination will no doubt find Radial an interesting release.
Meluch has certainly been prolifically acting in the past few years, pushing out releases at an incredible rate. It seems that with each release, we’re shown more of what Meluch is capable of, and perhaps just how ambitious he can be. There’s something about Radial that seems to draw the interested listener in, enveloping them in a world that is entirely their own. In terms of ambient music, it may not be as minimalist as some people may prefer, but it is indeed every bit as creative and every bit as relaxing if one simply allows the music to be. As of now, Radial is perhaps one of Meluch’s more interesting releases, that fans should definitely find much to enjoy from.
- ★★★★☆ 4/5
- The Very Center Of Its Flame
- Stone in Focus
Benoît Pioulard latest album ‘Radial’ is out now, available at: https://pioulard.bandcamp.com/album/radial