Tape Tuesday: Julianna Barwick’s Stunning Day-Cycle ‘Circumstance Synthesis’
Julianna Barwick is one of my favorite ambient artists, someone who creates soundscapes that shift and flow in a way that allows her music to always seem ahead of the curve. I can listen to her music 50 times, getting lost in the ether but always finding myself picking out new parts or passages that stand out through the composition.
She released a tape earlier this winter called Circumstance Synthesis that features a five-song cycle that ventures you through a (presumably winter) day: starting with “morning” and “noon,” the music blends into “afternoon” and “evening,” all floating along a similar thread of minimalist synths and enchanted vocals. If you have the album set to repeat on your digital machines, the five-song, 20 minute collection music rolls from beginning to end, and back again, allowing you to have an endless loop of incredibly beautiful, relaxing music. Despite nominally covering an entire day, the vibes are definitely “late night with just candles burning,” even during the “noon” and “afternoon” portions of the mix.
The tape, now sold out, was released by the always-outstanding RVNG Intl right before Christmas, and has been a staple in my tape deck throughout this long, strange winter. Listen to and purchase the album below from the RVNG Intl bandcamp page.
Writer / co-founder