Facture and Flow (2021) — Robert Scott Thompson — Ambient Music

...a hauntingly gorgeous collection of compositions...

Robert Scott Thompson’s Fracture & Flow is a hauntingly gorgeous collection of compositions that are all distinct from one another, yet they seem fit together like regions on a map of sonic topography. As is the case with any well-designed ambient listening experience, each piece explores a different landscape of emotion and meditation.

As I write this, I’m listening to “Of the Luminaries” and am struck by how restrained and beautifully arranged it is. The first time I heard this piece, I instantly replayed it in order to fully appreciate its nuanced arrangement. The second piece, “Alterity,” evokes, at least for me, a sort of industrial loneliness, a landscape I instantly wanted to occupy and explore.

“Fracture & Flow,” the title track is a brilliantly restrained piece of minimalist rhythm and texture; it manages to evoke some of the same moods of Brian Eno’s best works, yet it is also unique in that it does so through textures that are unfamiliar enough to make the journey one of surprise and discovery. “Mind of an Ocean Planet” uses tones and sounds in such a way as to present the listener with a combination of déjà vu, dreams, and interstellar travel.

It’s rare that I find myself putting on music that I keep on repeat, but this is precisely what this project demands. It has become my go-to listening experience for writing, meditating, or just being. I love this project and urge other neuronauts and lovers of transcendent music out there to experience it as well.

— Eric Hill


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