Musician, label runner, and all around sound wizard Jonas Munk has a knack for building sonic masterpieces with nothing more than guitars, synths, and racks of blinking lights and patch cables. I liken Munk’s ambient/new age work in Manual, Billow Observatory(with Auburn Lull’s Jason Kolb), Ulrich Schnauss, and his solo work to falling slowly through the universe. No worries in your mind, just an expanse of time and space in front of you as walls of heavily-effected guitar and electronics build a sound world around you.
Munk’s work in Billow Observatory is similar in scope and headiness, but on last year’s solo release Minimum Resistance the Danish musician created an album of subtle beauty and slow motion composition. Light as air, yet dense enough to wall you from the crumbling world just outside the door, Jonas Munk made a quiet and meditative piece of new age psychedelia.
Jonas Munk has returned to the solo album fold with the free-flowing and iridescent Altered Light. Munk continues his inward musical journey that he began on Minimum Resistance. Going deeper into subtle sonic touches and sparse composition, Altered Light feels like weightless ascension into a comforting unknown. A deeper dive into a meditative and transcendent listening experience. Music as healing.
Eight tracks at a little over 30 minutes, Altered Light offers a soundtrack for deep contemplation and much needed subtle tones to drop out to. I’ve found over the course of the last year and a half that I’m finding myself drawn to music that envelopes the psyche. The mind being stimulated with a constant reverberation of angst and anger via the media hum tends to dull the senses. Jonas Munk has given us a portal into a peaceful headspace. A place to take a load off and recalibrate.
Songs like title track and album opener “Altered Light” and “November” descend like fog, wisps of subtle melody like a ghost symphony emanate a kind of quiet hopefulness. This music is like light at the end of a expanding tunnel. “Terrain Vague” carries quiet contemplation and an ambivalence with it. A kind of morphing darkness and light that we deal with on a daily basis.
“Monbijou” carries the sense memory of the ocean with it. Seagulls sway in the distance as the track pulsates like the drowing sun in the horizon. “Dimlands” has the heft of Vangelis, but with the blanket of existence keeping the sound from rising to the clouds. “Waiting For The Ghosts” is our exit from this plane, releasing us back into the wild.
Altered Light is this peaceful sound palace that Jonas Munk has built from guitars, electronics, and a touch of sonic wizardry. A quiet little corner of the universe where we can take a breath, take stock, and recalibrate the heart and the mind.
‘Altered Light’ is out now via Azure Vista Records. Buy it here.