Future Museums captures a very specific mood and feel in its music. This blissful hum of contentment; a higher plane mind set that elevates you to a hazy, deeper outlook. A new age vibe with a Komische/Berlin School aesthetic. Synths, guitars, and electronics coalesce to create a sound you could’ve heard humming from inside a hall or abandoned church in early 70s Berlin, or from high atop some mountain echoing thru ancient temples.
Future Museums is the solo project of musician Neil Lord. He isn’t one to sit idly by waiting for ideas and projects to come his way, as he’s almost always working and involved in something new. Thousand Foot Whale Claw and Single Lash are both other projects he’s involved in and released music with this year, but Future Museums is his personal music project. At the beginning of 2018 Lord released Future Museums’ Rosewater Ceremony, his Future Museums debut with Holodeck Records(though one of many Future Museums releases Lord has put out over the years.) We now have Rosewater Ceremony Part II: Guardian of Solitude. Where Rosewater Ceremony felt like musically centering oneself, Guardian of Solitude is that point where you’ve found the center and it’s time to do the work. It feels deeper and more contemplative than before, with more emphasis on rhythm and movement. It’s a stunning listen.
“Cedar Incense” washes over you like mid-70s Tangerine Dream. Bubbling synths and swaths of new age sonics hit the reset button on your brain, allowing you to step into the sensory deprivation tank that is “Cedar Incense” free of mental baggage. Lord makes good use of mood and atmosphere, as you can almost smell the scented smoke ring hanging in the air. “Housewarming” is the aural equivalent of a cloud hovering around you. Its music is shapeless and conforms to whatever space you may be listening to it in. Where there was definitely a Krautrock vibe before, “Housewarming” feels and sounds like free form meditation. Very deep. “Closed Eye” distinguishes itself from what came before with crystalline guitars, bringing to mind the guitar/synth combinations of Jonas Munk’s excellent Pan LP.
Lord can fill a space expertly with just the right amount of existential drift, while still working things in a very specific direction. We’re drifting, but drifting with purpose. Tracks like “Position the Inverse” and “Presidio” build these grand moods with what sounds like simple rhythms and varied sonic touches. Clean guitar lines intermingle with patches of dreamy synth, invoking daydreams of cloud bursts and endless horizons. It’s not how much you pile onto a track, but what you do with just a few simple details. Future Museums sets the stage for serious internal building, taking you out of your headspace and into a musical world where the noise of the outside world is muted. Even if just for the length of that track.
“If There is, I am Here” shines and glistens like a mirage in the distance, while album closer “Thin Layer of Ice” cruises along at the speed of enlightenment. They both work to end the musical journey on a high and ethereal note.
Rosewater Ceremony Part II : Guardian of Solitude is a wondrous continuation of the journey Future Museums began at the beginning of 2018. It’s a high point for 2018. Classic Komische and Berlin School headiness mixed with a bit of New Age inner light makes for an incredible and therapeutic listen.
Rosewater Ceremony Part II : Guardian of Solitude will be available from Holodeck Records October 19th. Preorder here.
8.3 out of 10