(Image is Meditation Hood by Sea Moon.)
Admittedly the closest we come to praying is whenever a new series of Doctor Who starts and we’re hoping Moffat and Gatiss don’t find yet more ways to abominate the great classics of British design that are the Daleks and the Doctor Who theme, so while we might sometimes affect a wise and saintly air, it’s mostly not advisable to pay too much attention to anything we have to say on matters any more spiritual than what comic books, video games, and music we like.
But recently we’ve been thinking a lot about drone, and how the act of prayer seems forever implied in the experience of either creating or submitting yourself to a drone. On a superficial and fashionably new agey level, drones make appropriate meditation tools. There’s also a historical relationship of drones in sacred musics – think of the raga and Hinduism, the figurative dreamtime in didgeridoo drones, or the harmonium patterns in qawwali devotionals.
Words jumble the brain and beats excite the body. An unadorned drone can convincingly denote the sacred because it doesn’t offer any more detail then those gradual shifts in tone, colour, and mood that seem at once ascetic and ecstatic. There’s an underpinning sense of travelling without moving – a good drone piece being full of constant movement and micro-fluctuations, like particles of dust in a sunbeam, swirling with data. Though delivered typically as mantras, a good drone should also be like a haiku, it should fire powerful images with only the most economical palette of syllables. It should be more functional than beautiful. More than simply acting as aural anaesthetic – an uncluttered soundtrack for ‘chillaxing’ – drones are a good place to think about not thinking.
Constellation Tatsu deal in delicious synthdrone bliss better than anyone, and this tape by Prayer is just one fifth of their frankly awesome-value-for-money October bundle. Just picking one highlight is difficult enough – the Pleq/Quinn Walker tape is also beautiful.
The label have already sold out of some of their November/December package featuring xxjfg favourites Food Pyramid, so interested parties are advised to get in early on future bundles. These are the kind of epiphanies we can get with.