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STEREO EMBERS EXCLUSIVE VIDEO PREMIERE – “Groundwater” from the Pan▪American/Kramer Album ‘Reverberations of Non-Stop Traffic on Redding Road’

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So this one comes stealing in like a wind intervening from the east filled with a vaporous light and the tender portent inherent, picking its points of impact with a gentle if sharply intuitve grace while simultaneously hewing to the, shall we say, expansive concision upon which the the tenets of the ambient playbook are written. Reflecting (sly pun possibly intended) the piece’s title, this video for the track “Groundwater” from the Pan•American/Kramer camp’s collaborative – and, really, quite extraordinary – Reverberations of Non-Stop Traffic on Redding Road album is, we’re thinking, the most evocative yet from that quietly startling album. In its sepia-hued, bespoke luminescence we first see, briefly, the captain at the masthead, his fat cigar and balding pate, scanning the approaching waters through some gigantic, almost Oz-like navigational scope and within thirty seconds the intersectional lure of the audio-visual is fully in place and one is, as intended, fully engaged as the video thenceforth shifts to footage of the vessel’s mighty bow plying the waters, coming straight at us, its display of steady forward motion somehow managing to encompass the surging raw power of industrialism’s earlier age even while the music behind the imagery lures us further forward toward an active yet pacific meditative state. While as deft an example of a track’s compositional nous meeting – and melding seamlessly with – its optic counterpart, we can’t say we’re the least bit surprised. The two creative minds involved in this project are of course far beyond needing any introduction so to have expected the results of their pairing up to be anything less than the spectacularly understated gem that it is (and was intended to be) would be the height of foolish. For this writer, while having already essayed my discovery and subsequent relationship with ambient when reviewing the album entire, there’s little to no reason to go there again but will say that I’m grateful for these journeys Kramer – and now with co-conspirator Mark K. Nelson – have been taking of late. Being guided back toward a genre that has been crowded out of my life for the last four-plus decades, one that, given the current ‘state of affairs’ we’re all facing, is a not unwelcome gift, it’s beyond gratifying that it’s artists of this caliber that are the authors of that return. Historically, the rep ambient has always had to overcome and, frankly, hasn’t always been wildly successful at doing, is that it’s too soporific, basically too mellow for its own good. Here, in hands such as these, there’s really no danger of that. The act of being engaged is always the most basic of requirements when interacting with art, and while it’s exactly that challenge that is ambient’s most basic – and possibly only – mission, with navigators such as Nelson and Kramer at the helm you’re in very good hands indeed. [pick up your limited edition LP from Shimmy-Disc here or here]