In a sense, Epicentral Examples Of The More Or Less feels like Will Long lifting the ambient veil just a tiny bit. Tightrope was the last Celer release to grace ATTN’s review pages, consisting of 24 tracks stacked and assembled into a solitary 70-minute work – an eclectic palette of sound sources (crackling fires, medicine drip buzzers, the eating of ice) melted down into a mercurial ball of drone inspired by a recent trip to Tokyo, turning a set of distinctive memories into a hazy swirl of lost voices and pulsing colours, like the words of a travel diary condensed into one fluid sigh. With Epicentral…, movements between time and location are granted distinction, and the listener can feel their sonic environment undergoing drastic mutations during the cross fades from one section to the next: the sound of choral voices whizzing through a concrete underpass becomes an excitable chatter of laughing voices lost within traffic noise, which in turn finds itself encased within a murky, somewhat ominous synthesiser chord trapped with a rising, falling tidal exchange.
If Tightrope was the sense of collapsing completely into the subconscious, Epicentral… consists of momentary lapses and sudden awakenings from dream state. Much of the material here follows a track that will no doubt ring familiar for Celer frequenters, with thick washes of reverberant synthesiser undergoing constant, steady tonal rotations – an ambient cradle of sorts, rocking the listener back and forth until a blissful calm begins to seep into the pores. But for those listeners that have yet to hear Long emerge in sharp, dazzling detail in the foreground, many sections of Epicentral… can be somewhat startling. The opening moves of the third piece offer a perfect example: just as a melancholic stream of murky drone slips into silence, a warbling, shimmering chord progression comes shoots out of it, wafting a bright and brash synthesiser tone right into the face of the unexpecting listener. Even the most blunt transitions are never carelessly choreographed though, and while modulating stasis is already well documented as one of Celer’s core strengths, it’s fantastic to see that Long is equally as capable when working with a more diverse set of sound blocks.