Air is this one man act's third release from the set of four EPs, each dedicated to one of the four elements of nature. As Fire- and Water-EPs have already been released and Earth is soon to follow, I can only guess what the project will explore in the future. The EPs are currently available only as downloads for the price of £2,50.
Same as the two previous EPs, "Air" is composed of two song mixed and mastered by Sombre Soniks Studios, one track remixed by the label-head, and the two main tunes' early and unprocessed versions. The track titles are in faulty Finnish with proper English translations accompanying them, which, again, applies to Alchemist's earlier releases as well.
The opening six-minuter "Pillars of Sky" delivers calm and soothing ambient. The minimalistic scene is built from higher digital synth-notes creating an airy serenity, whereas some deep and vast low frequencies create the calm and neutral movement that simulate a feeling of vastness. All the fluctuation and movement during the song is subtle and hard to grasp, and I mean this in a good way; this is the way to portray air in an aural form. The following seven-minute piece "Child of Ruin and the Ageless King" brings on a stronger soundscape with more of a structure; the basses fluctuate with more power, and the higher notes are presented as a calm and slowly evolving rhythm. Everything is still, and if the soundscape wouldn't be so minimalistic, light and airy, one could definitely throw the word "epic" in there.
After the neat and theme-strict main songs, it's time for the remix by P23. His version of the song is foggier and all the sounds carry more rugged edges. To get all poetic, it's more like a blurry and dreamy vision of the opening track, with everything resonating on a faster rate. It's a hint gloomier as well, but still suits the theme. It's just a different aspect on Alchemist's vision on air. As for the demo-versions of the songs, they present the tracks' structures and components in a clearer, sturdier and slightly harsher form, but don't carry the same amount of calm, serene and airy atmosphere. If you prefer to hear the instrumentation or are just curious what lies behind the songs' surface, you're glad these are included.
The cover image and the colourscape pleases my eye and suits the EP's theme and sound perfectly - and even manage to do so without giving the listener too concrete or dominating visions of what they're meant to be hearing. The Ouroboros-drawing seems oddly rugged, though. It's nice to see that even though this is a download-release, "Air" comes accompanied with the basic infos and both the back- and front covers.
I was going to complain about the EP's length, which indeed is an issue since the two main tracks don't last for longer than a bit over 13 minutes, but the record needs to be put to context to see the whole image. "Air" is one piece in a set of four, and if it were longer, it would become too dominant and the quartet would be too massive. That being said, I still would've gladly enjoyed a longer piece of sky-view serenity. "Air" does justice to its theme and left me hungry for more, but, perhaps because of the strict theme and its minimalistic approach, it didn't deliver the final wow-factor that would've enslaved me. Maybe I should return to this EP after I've gotten acquainted with the remaining three pieces of the set.
I'll be waiting to hear "Earth" in the near future.