An Unexpected Shelter
The Wind at Night
The Flatlands (Ghosts in the Heatwaves)
Exposé Magazine "…uniformly excellent, tapping into that subconscious wonderworld of sound that guides the listener along on an explorative floating ambient journey. The Blue Dunes represents a glacial moving sonic sculpture that will quite intentionally alter the listener’s mood and consciousness."
Sonic Immersion "The fluid, smooth evolving textural landscapes and expansive ethereal soundscapes making up the 70-minute The Blue Dunes form an ocean of ambient bliss."
Best New Release 2022 – WPPM Sound + Vision
The Blue Dunes, a serene and meditative work from starfaring Australian ambient/electronic artist Deepspace, paints calm and exquisite sound pictures of imagined desert landscapes. Deepspace’s second album on Projekt Records contains six floating passages of soft waves inspired by the Odyssey orbiter’s 2018 finding of what first seemed to be blue-coloured dunes on Mars. The Blue Dunes takes the aesthetic impact of that discovery and explores a desert bathed entirely in those cool serene hues.
Even though the dunes only appeared blue due to false-colour imagery indicating temperature, it was enough to kindle the desire for such a surreal place. This desert, with its imagined shadings, is the starting point for Deepspace’s hypnotic floating ambience. Longing, desolate shimmers with glassy luminescence abound, interspersed with soft transient murmurs not quite identifiable — maybe the aural representation of a cluster of strangely-shaped rock, or something unusual on the path into a vast and strange terrain. Like a pulsing heatwave, blue chords hover and transform, invoking a halcyon shimmer that sings of the love of solitude and nothingness. Occasionally, some respite from the harsh barren desert occurs as the chords dissipate and clouds form, providing shade from the penetrating sun.
Mirko says: “I think that most ambient creators listen to their own work after creating it for a number of reasons: to check for errors, consistency, feel and various other aspects. But I have listened to The Blue Dunes almost obsessively since creating it. It calms me deeply and is the right feeling — and this aspect is so intangible to me that after all these years of creating ambient works, I still don’t know what makes any piece the right one for an album, other than how it takes my imagination on a journey and somehow fits the theme. I try to let inspiration drive me, as it always ends up being more exciting than too much intentional planning. I’ve discovered this through trial and error.”
Wandering through an ambient dream of deserts unknown, the album is a 70-minute exploration of a far-away and imaginary place. Whatever the type of place evoked, this album is a love song to escaping the chaos and noise of our world and feeling the glittering, gentle pull of solitude and warm isolation.
And who knows, maybe there are blue deserts somewhere out there?
Deepspace is Brisbane, Australia-based ambient artist Mirko Ruckels. His hypnotic, glacial, dreamy and atmospheric work is created with synthesizers, software and acoustic instruments such as bells, guitars and piano. When he was a little boy in Germany (he is German/French) he would slip into a reverie at hearing a distant lawn mower, church bells, passing planes, or the rumblings of far-off trains. This love of drones and ambient sound led to a wonderous moment upon discovering like-minded artists and listeners who also enjoyed atmospheric environments that evoke liminal moods and spaces. Ruckels discovered vidnaObmana and later Steve Roach; their unconventional approach inspired him to explore and create his own pieces. He says, “I literally had no idea how to make ambient music and just felt my way in the dark.” In 2006, Deepspace was born. Themes range from macro — such as space, underwater, deserts and science fiction imaginings, to micro — internal states and microscopic life.
Mirko was so inspired by his exploration into the blue dunes that he authored a science fiction short story that conveys the experience of journeying into these lonely sand hills where the mind begins to question itself as time passes. His account of a solo trip across vast dry drifts is included as a 10-page downloadable booklet at Bandcamp, complete with photos and illustrations.
If you are streaming only, you can view the pdf here.