One thing that never ceases to amaze me about music is how many different effects it can have on someone. Some music makes me sad, some makes me happy, some makes me want to crash down the door to my room and dance down the hall, some makes me want to tear down my door as well as everything else in the world, some makes me think and some makes me just forget— forget everything really, to the extent that it will put me in a trance and I’ll snap out of it ten minutes later wondering what the hell has been happening and how I got here. Tethera’s new release titled Riverside EP does just that. Composing long-form, ambient music, Rob Cumberland, the mind behind the music, creates blissful, evolving textures which put me in a prolonged daze.
I would describe this music as very organic— although it is ambient music, a genre which people typically associate with very digital, overly-effected sounds, Riverside EP maintains a sense of grounding, and sounds very friendly. It sounds very warm, removing some of the distance that some people feel when listening to predominantly electronic, instrumental music. This may be due to the slightly lo-fi production, which causes the music to not sound overly-produced and overly-pristine. I think the techniques used to process these sounds works for Tethera— they are not too complicated, but at the same time absolutely get the job done.
Something I think Tethera could improve on would be adding a bit more movement to his songs— although I understand that this is ambient music, it struck me that the songs could be enhanced by more parts folding over each other. There are a lot of drones on this EP (naturally) that sound lovely. However I believe they could be improved if there were more development aided through other instruments.
I do think that Rob Cumberland accomplished what he set out to do— he put out an alluring, ambient EP which passed all the tests. In the future, I would like to see Tethera work on making the music a bit more involved, as it would come across as more attractive. It’s hard not to like this EP, so check it out!
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