I’ve recently discovered a gorgeous and all-encompassing slice of ambient heaven in the form of two albums, titled Stasis Sounds For Long-Distance Space Travel I & II. The artists are 36 and zakè. 36 is the musical project of UK musician Dennis Huddleston, while zakè is, well, zakè. His work has been talked about and adored on these pages many times over the last couple of years, starting back in 2020 with Dawn Chorus and the Infallible Sea’s Liberamente(released via Azure Vista Records.)
With 36 & zakè’s Stasis Sounds For Long-Distance Space Travel I & II these two ambient musicians take us up into the cosmos. Slow, drifting swaths of electronics encompass you and take you on a cosmic journey. I do think music can heal, and with these two albums they emanate a kind of soothing, sonic pulse that calms the nerves and quiets the mind. Who doesn’t need some of that these days?
There’s lots of music that comes my way, and honestly it’s hard for me to cram it all between my ears. Believe me, I try. Listening to and writing about music is something I’ve done on a regular basis for over a decade now. And listening to music? Well I’ve been doing that since I could walk. At least since I could pick up my parents copy of The White Album and ask my mom to put it on the turntable. So when I don’t have enough time in the week to devour all the amazing music coming my way that’s both a bummer and pretty amazing. It means that just because I’m not hearing it, doesn’t mean that people aren’t continually opening their heads and hearts and giving the world the gift of sound.
When I hear from labels like Past Inside The Present, Zakè Drone Recordings, Azure Vista Records, and Moon Glyph Records I make sure I listen. Their ambient and drone albums have been a source of mental comfort for years now. They’ve opened my brain to the world of ambient and new age. It’s a deeper trip, and I feel it’s the logical progression from the world of Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze, and Rudiger Lorenz. Where the darker realms of Komische and Berlin School were the gateway for me into electronic and heavy synth, ambient and new age were the welcoming step into the light. Still dig the dark, but you can’t stay there all the time unless you’re a mushroom.
Stasis Sounds For Long-Distance Space Travel I & II have the vastness of a widescreen view of Earth from the point of view of a space station. It’s awe-inspiring, like earth from several thousands of miles away, or the sight of the aurora borealis hanging over the atmosphere from a galactic view. This is music to fall into and let it engulf you. 36 and zakè build slow moving soundscapes that soothe the listener into a weightless world, using synths and electronics like paints. Each brush stroke and added layer of color creating vast canvases of cosmic visions and ethereal light.
Over the two volumes of Stasis Sounds For Long-Distance Space Travel there’s plenty of sounds to keep you in stasis for a couple hours. Sonic bliss and a sort of cosmic peace make these records truly special, and a welcome respite in these troubled times.