I’ll Make You Quiet documents Carl Ritger’s recent move from Philadelphia to the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. All of the uncertainty that arises when departing home comforts is present, and finds itself coupled with (and in some respects, amplified by) the beautiful, daunting new landscapes by which Ritger is now enveloped. What stands out most prominently (particularly during that first listen) is the way in which a warmth of character is always on the verge of materialising throughout. The sounds themselves are intangible and ever-changing in form – never settling into definable rhythmic shapes – yet faint ghosts of melody exist within the music’s tonal movement, captured midway through their crystallisation, in the process of solidifying into the routinely processes that comprise a new home.
Emotion entwines beautifully with environment. During “Sometimes, I Can’t Make Full Sentences”, one feels swamped and lost within the very clouds that occupy the album cover – lingering masses of drone fog, constantly drifting and rolling around the piece’s expansive setting, yet somewhat static in its ever-presence. Gusts of high frequencies often help to provoke a dizzying sense of altitude, while blizzards of noise emerge unexpectedly from the most tranquil movements, causing a distrust of even the album’s most meditative and unthreatening corners. The malformed loops of “Good Evening, Ghosts” could be Ritger’s memories of his previous Philadelphia home, teased out of shape as the furtherance of time begins to smudge the more intricate details. But while all interpretation as to what derives from where can only be speculative, the evocation of landscape on I’ll Make You Quiet is undeniably strong – even it’s hazed and distorted by Ritger’s own perspective and circumstance, the album’s attachment to place never fades from mind.