A Light Beacon is an ambient music act consisting of solo artist Joel Eckert, a musician with eclectic roots that strives to produce edgy music with a strong charisma and with an unpredictable approach. Music For The Patient is the project’s first recording effort, written, performed, produced and recorded independently without the aid of VST or other midi instruments. The man behind the project performed the album nearly 10 years ago, eventually re-discovering and releasing it online. Because of the home-recording quality and with this old-school approach to ambient music, this album feels incredibly organic, embracing such a wide variety of sounds and influences. Lush pads dominate everything, but different elements drop in to color the songs, pushing each track towards different directions.
The opening number "As the Heavens Rained Grace" strikes with a combination of dissonant guitar lines and analog drum-machine type of beats, while other compositions mainly focus on the development of sonic textures and wall-of-sound atmospheres, not unlike the work of groundbreaking electronic ambient pioneers such as Brian Eno. The track "As the Heavens Rained Grace" becomes more substantial as it builds on guitar work and synths. A track like "Tween #1" lasted under a minute and was a simple piano melody you might hear at a recital while other songs like "Losing Passion" are sprawling 10 minute atmospheric journeys which rely on percussion elements that sound industrial and clouds of noise that are as warm as they are ominous.
While the album excels at creating a good sequence of sounds there are a number of lulls as well. Some of the the songs entitled "Tween" are sometimes unnecessary and feel like fillers while some of the longer songs don't always reach the heights of one of the stronger tracks like "Losing Passion". These things being minor imperfections in an otherwise well thought out ambient album. Eckert manages to creates a surplus of original tones that don't sound overly pretty but rather feel like natural occurring fragments of nature.
This album hosts a relatively long set list, featuring 17 compositions that are meant as a full-on listening experience. Music For The Patient is a mesmerizing and appealing ambient record that deserves to reach an audience, even 10 years after its creation.
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