I bought this album on a whim. Browsing through the new releases in Fopp, the staff written (possibly) description of the album intrigued me. What was actually stuck to the album cover escapes me now, but it was certainly enticing enough to buy. I’m glad I did as this became my favourite album of 2017.
The story is: David O’Reilly created an interactive game called Everything. It is a without borders wander through worlds, taking a view of life from multiple perspectives from an amoeba based level to intergalactic. In the game you learn about life through encounters, making decisions that will impact the future, your future. Sounds deep for a video game? The game itself is a lot of fun, a bit like No Mans Sky but a bit easier to understand.
The soundtrack to the game is nearly 4 hours long. The physical format is 10 tracks with an associated code to download the full 43 tracks. Like Max Richters Sleep, if you listen to the entire 4 hours (which I have many times) there are tracks that are reinterpreted, presumably to support different worlds or perspectives in the game. This provides a familiarity that helps the listener immerse themselves in the music.
Now the music is lush, in the main, and on occasion a little whimsical. It is orchestral throughout and with enough repetition that you remain grounded in the album. It is pretty difficult to talk about individual tracks on this soundtrack as they all go to comprise the body. However, Winding and Unwinding is one of the most emotive pieces of music i have heard in years. It features heavily in the game. Lush atmospherics, swirling keys and a haunting hook creates a particularly beautiful 3 mins within the vast soundtrack. It is reminiscent of Marco Zaffarano The Band, a techno record played out a lot in the mid 90s, if it were pitched down considerably.
This is an album that soundtracked my sleep for a few months. It is an album to disappear into. Let the album bring you back and forth gently. The game is worth buying. You don’t need it to enjoy the soundtrack. I had the album for 6 months before I got the game. When you do play the game after knowing the music inside out, you smile. To me, this is the very definition of ambient or even jaykits.