See Blue Audio: ambient / electronic / beatless / cinematic / downtempo / eclectic / introspective… Shade rather than light...
'These Possible Lives' – Night Sky Pulse (SBA #020)
For the label’s twentieth release, See Blue Audio welcomes the renowned ambient and electronic music producer John Sellekaers to its roster with his Night Sky Pulse project. The release is 'These Possible Lives', and this ten-track collection is the seventh episode and first album in the Night Sky Pulse series.
Followers of the ambient scene will surely be familiar with the name John Sellekaers. Born in Montreal and now based in Brussels, he has split his life between the two cities, and released his first music under the name Xingu Hill in 1995. From there, he has assembled an impressive catalogue of releases on a variety of European and North American labels, often under aliases such as Feral Cities, Meeple and Dead Hollywood Stars, and with various collaborators. He has also performed extensively as well as working on film soundtracks and as a mastering engineer. Photography and graphic design are among John’s other professional skills, all of which have helped to forge his distinctive sound and musical vision. Night Sky Pulse is no exception.
At this point, it’s worth noting that a diverse set of influences were the catalyst for John to plunge into making his own music: the early UK electronic scene and labels like Warp Records, the soundtracks of John Carpenter, Tangerine Dream, Cabaret Voltaire, Skinny Puppy and Brian Eno, and the Belgium underground. Musical pioneers like Bill Laswell, Jon Hassell and Harold Budd, Atom™, Godflesh and industrial music, and the experiments of John Zorn provided further inspiration to the young self-taught producer immersing himself in the world of machine music. This process of musical discovery is ever present, of course, and contemporary artists, particularly in the world of movie soundtracks, have been an influence on the sound of Night Sky Pulse. Names like Cliff Martinez, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Mark Isham, Colin Stetson and Mac Quayle to name a few, and the cassette scene that has emerged through Bandcamp.
‘These Possible Lives’ was recorded in Brussels during the last days of 2020 and early months of 2021. As quickly becomes apparent on listening to the opening title track, we’re entering a strange and wonderful sonic universe with Night Sky Pulse. As the name suggests, there are elements of science fiction in the music John has created, but that’s only half the story. This is a dreamlike album, immaculately crafted with exquisite synths, lush textures and eerie beats, evoking feelings of mystery and wonder; the kind of feelings we experience when gazing up at the stars on a warm summer’s night. Each track is short in length but rich in atmospheric, blending electronic and acoustic sources, and rather like individual musical microcosms that come together to form a cosmic whole. It could be described as playful, sorrowful, cinematic, uncanny, futuristic and otherworldly in equal measure.
Influenced as much by films, novels and stories as other music, ‘These Possible Lives’ references the traditions of library music and imaginary soundtracks. It also continues the work of the previous six singles and EPs in the Night Sky Pulse series, and with the closing ‘The Untold’, a beatless and dramatic soundscape, it feels as if we’ve reached some kind of destination, perhaps a new world, as light emerges to fill the dark skies.
Above all, this is music for contemplation, not just of the mysteries of the stars, but for the endless undiscovered possibilities that could be out there. Possible lives, possible worlds, possible futures and stories still to be told.
released June 11, 2021
All tracks written, produced and mixed by John Sellekaers.