David Ralicke (the musician behind the moniker Space Between Clouds) says that the genesis of his self-titled debut was a series of drones “designed to sneak by consciousness and lay down in the shadows behind thoughts.” While indeed the final product showcases patience and subtlety, Space Between Clouds is anything but ordinary.
Today Ralicke has released the video for “Wide Corners.” The stunning single moves naturally within the ambient instrumentals. The video itself takes viewers on a resounding journey outside which then crescendo’s into a masterful backdrop of palm trees, buildings, skies. Much like what is awaiting you with Space Between Clouds, “Wide Corners” has a charming sense of new age promise, with beloved tones and timbres artfully rescued from an all-too-often trite form. Saxophone, flugelhorn, clarinet, glockenspiel, all interlocking with textural, environmental sounds paint the album with perfection.
For the Midwest-reared, longtime Los Angeles resident, these sounds emerged organically, as a culmination of a lifelong love of music and culture. From Coltrane to Russian Romantic composers, to Jamaican and Latin music––which settled deep into Ralicke’s DNA via his Puerto Rican mother––Ralicke has long reflected on how it all works: “Art is solitary and social at once,” he says. “It is the maker of culture, drawn from deep within the human psyche.”
There are still more reasons why Ralicke’s slow-motion explorations of spiraling dream tones transcend the ordinary. For decades, Ralicke’s ordinary has meant playing trombone behind Beck, Rodrigo Amarante, and Broken Bells; or saxophone with Devendra Banhart and Cat Power. The list of artists with whom Ralicke has played in fact goes on, unfurling in an almost unbelievable way: Paul McCartney, John Cale, M83, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Van Dyke Parks, and so on. As a profoundly in-demand player, it’s no wonder Ralicke has found himself making work about which he says, “no moment leads to the next and rarely is there a return to what was before.”
Ralicke’s work with all of these artists demands rigor and perfection. One might imagine that the meditative Space Between Clouds is a sort of relief from those demands, but this is not to say that such rigor and perfection have been left behind. If Space Between Clouds seeks to embed itself in the shadows behind thoughts, it does so precisely and Ralicke executes his vision with staggering expertise.
Space Between Clouds is set for release on May 20 via AKP Recordings.
Photo Courtesy: Jessica Smith