This is what it sounds like to be inside my head — for the past few weeks, or maybe a month or more. Not that anyone was scrambling to know what it sounded like in there, but I felt like sharing just the same. Interloper is, at least for the moment, the soundtrack to my life.
The Carbon Based Lifeforms guys are masters of ambient music, but this album in particular grabbed me and refused to let go. It’s almost like the halfway point between Enigma and more formless and ethereal ambient works. Interloper is still quite corporeal. The beats are tangible and weighty. The vocals, sparse as they are, are real and human. You can feel the structure and the evolution of the sound, and — even if you lose count a few tracks in — sense the transition between songs. I suppose that’s what I’m saying: that Interloper is still about songs, even while it constructs one cohesive, flowing soundscape. It teeters on the knife edge between shape and shapelessness.
You could say that’s why it’s so easy to get lost in, so easy to find meaning in, and so easy to connect to. Interloper feels the way I think. Contradictions run through the soul of the album. It ushers us into an empty, lonely world, and yet it manages to be inviting, full of life and warmth.
The music is mysterious and alien, formed from synthesized sounds and constructed inside a computer. So how is it that it feels so familiar? How can I be so disconnected and yet so connected, so lost but so comforted?
Carbon Based Lifeforms describes itself as uniting the Earth and space into one musical vision. But more than that, I think it cracks open our own minds and shows us how haunting and weird and wonderful it can be in there. It reminds me how little I really understand about the what makes me tick, but the unknown is never something to be feared. It’s something to embrace and be inspired by.
Whatever world Interloper takes us into, wherever that world exists, it’s a world completely apart from our own. We’re the interlopers there, but that’s okay. We’re welcomed with open arms.
I hope you’ll take the journey sometime, because I can’t wait to go back — and I’d love for you to come with me.
You can grab a digital copy of four Carbon Based Lifeforms albums on the Ultimae Records online store. All but Interloper are also available on CD. Every one of them is brilliant and beautiful and absolutely worth a listen.