Los Angeles-based multi-instrumentalist, David Ralicke, is the latest from the city to deliver a new brand of film-inspired sonic splendour, with the likes of Kenneth James Gibson already giving us an exquisite interpretation with his latest LP, Groundskeeping.
Ralicke has spent years in the shadows, playing trombone and saxophone for the heavy hitters in modern music, not limited to Paul McCartney, John Cale, Beck, Devendra Banhart, Cat Power, M83 and Charlotte Gainsbourg.
Under his Space Between Clouds moniker, Ralicke finds space to breathe, using his surroundings for inspiration and creating the kind of droning soundscapes tailor made for open spaces, whether they be green open fields or barren wastelands.
On his self-titled Space Between Clouds debut, Ralicke reframes ambient music as we know it. With the addition of meditative bliss scapes, his compositions have subtle, innovative textures and range.
On Wide Corners, a series of field recordings bubble beneath meandering synths, roomy saxophones and orbital drones. Methods we’ve heard before, however Ralicke captures a unique, cinematic intensity that has evaded many of his contemporaries. This is gentle-hearted composition through a new portal and the rest of Space Between the Clouds follows in similar fashion.
Metacarpal Bones is the kind of drone that one would have expected Sunn O))) and Anna von Hausswolff to create had they extended their creative dalliance beyond the live Metta, Benevolence… recording.
Meanwhile, Ralicke continues to find inventive new ways to utilise space – on the title track, the flugelhorn not only adds crucial layers; it’s the focal point during this piece, passing off the kind of jazz echo the likes of The Drift accomplished with Memory Drawing. And then there’s Water Cycle, which builds with a similar whirring gusto. Think Sons Of Kemet trying their hand at post-rock.
The intricate closing cut, Green Glass Bottle, sees Ralicke slowly guiding us back out of his contemplative sound portal with a piece that maintains the emotional force of the preceding four compositions.
It’s a world anyone with a strong curiosity should explore, and with Space Between Clouds, it’s evident that Ralicke is a new vital voice in this space. The enthralling aspect of this is that it’s just the start of his journey as Space Between Clouds.
Space Between Clouds via AKP Recordings. Purchase from Bandcamp.