Much ink has been spilled about ambient music over the past few years. The genre has become a cottage industry, propelled by algorithms and playlists in search of vibes tailored to your every mood. What this has resulted in is wallpaper music; “content” that replaces the human element by reducing any creation into numbers and streams. Insofar as creativity, it’s been dire. Fortunately, Loris S. Sarid’s debut album has imbued the landscape with a sense of fun and joie de vivre that’s been sorely lacking. It’s a salve, not for our “troubled times,” but for your weary ears.
Seabed-Sunbath is a spiritual continuation of his last record, 2019’s Music for Tomato Plants, wherein Sarid utilized kalimba, marimbaphone, and glockenspiel in addition to Korg and Yamaha keyboards to achieve meditative serenity. This time, however, the tracks are much more externalized, reflecting the natural world rather than its compositionally based prequel. Indeed, one of the most entrancing qualities about Seabed-Sunbath is its ability to evoke temporal emotions, transporting the listener to the beaches of Aruba or the reefs of the South Pacific. One could easily see “Yellow Lines” soundtracking a documentary about the ocean, its deep synthesizer tones and chimes paralleling the hypnotic beauty of the sea and its creatures.
The expansive nature of Seabed-Sunbath recalls great artists: Lyra Pramuk in its vocal sampling, Beverly Glenn-Copeland in the vibrational synths, Spencer Clark’s The Stimulated Australia in its close attention to how environments move and sway. Nevertheless, Sarid is unique in his particularity and attention to detail. Consider “Laundry”—its majestic timbres feel conjured out of thin air, as if he is inventing these sounds on the spot. It’s almost jaunty, a far contrast from the stuffy self-importance ambient music can sometimes be associated with.
Though it may be a largely cleansing piece, there is an overarching sadness about Seabed-Sunbath. In light of the climate crisis, Sarid’s melodies feel poignant, guiding us through the beauty of the Earth while lamenting its current desolation at the hands of malicious actors. Even when divorced from this interpretation, Seabed-Sunbath invites rumination and contemplation, its whispers and coos stemming from a deep and thoughtful creative mind.