Interview: Ambience

Ambience, a musical project hard to define, but allways around the most darkest sounds of the ambiental movement. In the end of 2007, they gave us their fourth album. "As Dez Esperas", via Nekrogoat Heresy Productions. After listening to this excelent album, one of the bests of 2007 and, for me, the best Ambience album, I had to know more. So, wearing a journalist coat from Lusitanium, I went to the dungeons and made an interview to M., the guy behind this one-man-band.

If you want to read the interview in Portuguese, go to http://smallr.net/entrevista-ambience. Here is a rough translation to English. Either way, you may want to read this while listening to the actual music. You can listen to the first track of this new album in the label's myspace at http://www.myspace.com/nekrogoatheresyproductions. If you want to listen more than that, you can download "Funeral", its third album, for free at http://www.archive.org/details/Ambience_Funeral.

What's the motivation behind Ambience?

The question is more complex than it seems. First, the intention was to make music that would be relaxing to myself. After that, it worked as a scapegoat from the whole metal projects I was involved in. Since this would only depend on myself, I could do something when I wanted or felt like, and that was much more enthusiastic. And productive too. Nowadays, this is my most important project because it works somewhat like an exorcism that I wasn't able to preview at first, that results like something terapeutic. What was made just to play around, ended up like a tool to exorcise what I have inside.

Looking behind to the whole work of Ambience, there was an enhancement until "Funeral", the third Ambience album, that was released in a digital format only and with a Creative Commons license. What made you do the release like that?

Well, I see "Funeral" as the second album, since the first release was a split with KULT, but thinking about it, I made it as if I was making an whole album, so I can accept who considers it as such. Regarding your question, "Funeral" was released that way just because I didn't felt like looking for a label, Void Rekordz had closed some time ago, and also because that work was used as the soundtrack for 5 texts I wrote on Deviant Art, that makes part of a story that I hope to release as a book. It was something I just decided in that moment and since the texts were and are freely available online, I thought it would make sense to release the soundtrack for them in the same way.

2007 brought us a new Ambience work, "As Dez Esperas". This work was again released in a CD-R format, this time from Nekrogoat Heresy Productions. How this oportunity appeared?

I met João Pedro from Nekrogoat since we swapped some Dungeons Records material, an underground record label I'm slowly closing. From that, he started to have some interest in releasing some metal projects that I jad and we made some contacts with some musicians he knew, but, as before, it ended not working. In the meantime, I talked with him about Ambience, he listened to the new work and he was interesting in releasing it. For me it was awsome since I was thinking about releasing it in archive.org again or something simmilar.

This album brings a new element to Ambience music, almost marking a new phase. Besides to cohese dark ambient that you made ourselves familiar with, it has now a really heavy drone, dark and slow. Do you consider this a new Ambience phase, or was it only a experience this way written?

Nice question. Honestly, I have no clue. Conciously I would really like to reach that relaxing point, the inicial target. This last work is absolutely the oposite, in such a way that I can't stand to listen to it. I'm extremely proud of what I made, but I admit that it's not the music you'll be listening everytime, and that you need a certain mindset and body to enjoy it, trying not to be to pretencious. I already started working on a new Ambience track in the few free time I have and perheaps I'll go into a completely different new path, perheaps more tradicional in terms of the instruments to use, I don't know, it's something that is still open. It will be something instinctive and it might go in the same veign, or be something completely different. Only waiting to see.

This album music comes with a strong aesthetics, in both a visual an lyrical level. It was a developing concept, or one of the parts precedes the other?

Once again, it just came this way. I had a defined concept and also some ideas for the artwork. I asked some help to two people to do something related to the ideas I had for the texts and images, but both took way too long so I ended asking two other persons in a more free way. I gave the music to Sérgio (http://punhal.deviantart.com), that is an excelent poet, simply genious. I gave him the music and only told him "listen and write". And he did it, and in a really small timeframe. After that I have André those texts and the artwork elements and he made the paintings you can see in the artwork. I could never predict something like this, both parts were way too spontaneous, thanks to the huge creativity of both.

After a Split with Kult, this time the album "As Dez Esperas" has one remix from that musical project. How did this happen?

I had already told him I wanted him to work with something I did, and this also ended happening spontaneously. I made him listen the track, he asked me a copy, remixed it and it ended substantiantly different. It was that difference that made me want that track in the album, it works like a bonus track that complements the album and that makes all the sense there, like "Dez Esperas" part 2 ("Dez Esperas" translates to Ten Waitings).

What are the influences to Ambience?

In the beggining a huge influence was Morcheeba, in the instrumental level, it's a kind of sound that makes me relax entirely. Chill out and some electronic music also, that those were influences that never jumped (I think) into the end result, because since the beggining this was more like something that came from inside me than something I wanted to do to make it sound like this or that. Everything I listen ends being an influence, specially my Metal side. I think that this is the work where you'll feel it more, mainly in the atmosphere that is thicker this time, almost extreme.

The first Ambience works are already impossible to get... Are there plans to re-release that material?

Not from myself. Only if someone's interested in re-release it or give it a new graphical look. But I have no plans for it.

What will give us Ambience in the future?

I have no idea. I hope to keep the release rythm of one release per year, but lately my personal life and work aren't letting me to dedicate what I should to the project. First well see a new release in 2008, but I still have no idea of how will it be, but the target is to give something more of myself in a musical way.

I hope you liked this interview. If you're interested in buying this Ambience album, just go to http://www.myspace.com/nekrogoatheresyproductions and order it: it's an excelent album for just 4€ in CD format, or 3€ in Cassette Tape.