The amber street lights glow against the cold concrete of the sidewalk. The white lights yawn over the deserted lanes of the highway, and both look dim against the black of the night sky. Your car, dusty from the journey, pulls up to the hotel. You’re both ready for sleep. Recorded at a hotel in Columbus, Ohio, Reservation is a sleepy listen during a period of transit and transition. You’re a long way from home.
You sleep like a log, wrapped in soft, forgiving sheets that ripple in the freshly scented ambient air. The dream begins, the light seeps out. You’re surrounded by an organ-toned drone. It hovers in the air, moving slowly. It matches the easy rhythm of sleepy breathing. Ambient – and, more specifically, drone music – has always intertwined itself with the state of dreaming. There’s an obvious connection, clear as day, between drone music and a relaxing body, making it the perfect choice to induce sleep. Basing music off of sleep is usually the first port of call for an ambient artist, but the tired, disheveled mood and the promise of subsequent renewal is very difficult to pull off.
The first night is always the longest night. The track “Night 1” clocks in at an impressive thirteen minutes, rolling back and forth on a still, stable drone. The drone leans close to melancholy, as if the door opened on a cold room without a view, where the phone doesn’t work and the distance tears away at a love you once lost. The drone feels heavy, so heavy. At the tip of the drone, though, there’s a lighter promise that helps you to levitate out of your body and into your dream. You have to hold onto your dream, because the cold steel of reality can take it away. The drone is muffled, buried somewhere in a place only you can access.
Forest Management takes you into a deep, comfortable slumber where the rattling of keys in a foreign place and the heel-hard footsteps of strangers yards from your own door are erased one note at a time. Traces of their life disappear as you slip into the drone. In this temporary abide we call home for a day or two, nothing is permanent. Everything is familiar, in an unfamiliar place, like the blank-faced television that hangs from the wall. Your loved ones are so far away, but her face is always there, in your dream.
The natural light filters in through a window. For a brief moment, you wonder where you are. Your stay has come to an end, and you leave feeling cleansed, rejuvenated. The music drains away as you leave the room. The daylight returns, but the dream still feels real. (James Catchpole)