There are many artists in the glacial ambient field, but few have succeeded in capturing the sound as well as Mark Harris does here. Comparable albums include Spheruleus’ The Disguised Familiar Altus’ Black Trees Among Amber Skies and Steve Roach’s Quiet Music. The skillful pacing and solemn emotions of Liz Harris (Grouper) also come to mind. With this in mind, it’s no surprise that The Angry Child sees release on forward-thinking American outlet n5md.
The Angry Child is mood music for early mornings. Mark Harris knots a piano ribbon across these six tracks like a slowly decomposing star over a night-time backdrop, creating suspense through the extension of minor keys. While anger may inhabit the title, it does not reflect the tone. “Everything I Did Was Wrong” marries Buddhist teacher Adyashanti’s ‘crushing defeat’ at being unable to meditate properly for four years (Falling Into Grace) to the acceptance of the idea that one cannot progress. The track speaks in a soft droney tongue about memories and loss.
No counterfeit, after-owning blues is found here. Instead, this music offers a good helping of unravelling portent. Any sense of stasis evaporates during playback, offering calm like a welcome change in the weather. The piano sounds deep and resonant; the reverberations are seductive and inviting. After immersing myself in this album, I found it difficult to remove from my stereo; maybe, with the right circumstances, your inner ‘Angry Child’ will relax and do the same. (Mick Buckingham)