Album Cover

Ocean Music by Joe McMahon was released by Earth Mantra in 2009. This is one of those albums that stand alone and stand out at the same time.

An incredibly evocative track introduces the 56min album. The Trilobite Pool dances around you and sets the tone for a great ambient experience. Light Through Water is astonishing. Even without knowing the title of the track images of sun glint spring to mind, or liquid sunshine dripping into water, slowly swirling into the depths, leaving bright tracers as it descends.

A Sea Of Liquid helium hints at strange properites, just like the superfluid itself. Just as liquid helium evidences a frictionless property, the track gives the impression of liquid moving effortlessly, sucking you along in its wake.

The track Gamelan Dream dispenses with the light nature of the previous tunes and is more subdued and Ascension Island takes that theme further by introducing slightly discordant piano work.

Trieste 1960 represents the dive of the bathyscaphe Trieste to the bottom of the Marianas Trench in January 1960. The track can be interpreted as a record of Trieste’s journey to the depths of the Challenger Deep. Long drawn out high tones and the occassional deeper ‘thrum’ evoke a sense of the loneliness of the depths and the pops and creaks that must have have been heard by the two man crew as the pressure on the vessel gradually increased (one of the windows cracked on the way down). Overall, you get a feeling of cold space and how strange it must have been down in those dark, black depths.

An excellent release, and the artwork really does reflect the tone of the music – sparkling, fresh and clean. It is an upbeat ambient album and if you enjoy ambient music with low key abstract elements it will certainly entertain you and lighten your mood.