Synth EP Review - Gibarian, Lambent
One of the dictionary definitions of lambent is “softly bright or radiant” and that’s exactly the vibe that I got from Gibarian’s Lambent EP. The entire EP is suffused with a delicate glow and a sense of ethereal lightness. This EP took me on a journey through soaring cloudscapes and through misty places suffused by filtered golden light. By the end, some of the stress and anxiety of the day had lifted, making me feel like I was surrounded by that soft radiance of the EP’s title.
I was particularly taken by Gibarian’s subtlety and grace in how he approached this EP. No one element overtakes another and the tracks avoid falling into the trap of being so ambient that there’s no interest to the music, while still maintaining a sensation of serenity.
The production values are really excellent on Lambent. If Gibarian’s focus was to emphasize the ethereal poise of the music, he succeeded admirably at his task. Everything is full of brightness, uplift and a sense of elegance. His production approach was effective in terms of maintaining a consistent (and beautiful) sound.
The opening track “Search and Discovery” starts with the susurrance of wind sweeping across serene synth arps. Chiming synth sounds slip into the mix as a beat brushes effortlessly across the track. More solid drums come in and propel the track forward as flying arpeggios circle and a tapestry of sound starts to build. This is a track full of warmth and openness, as the arpeggios ascend and descend through the airy sounds around them. The track is grounded by that steady drumbeat before resolving in a stripped-down conclusion.
“Shimmer” is an apt title for the next track. The synth melody in it is all coruscating light as it trips softly over a more standard "synthwave" beat that keeps it supported from below. The sense of an outward expansion is as palpable on this track as it was on the previous one. Those shimmering sounds drifted effortlessly across misty sonic landscapes to transport me to a realm of peace and ease. One impression that sticks with me from this track was that of soaring through billows of pastel cloud filled with glowing light.
Delicate chiming sounds open “The Elder” as a sense of warmth is generated by sustained synth notes that swell under them. Thickly textured bass reverberates through the music before a slow, steady beat joins it to provide a rich underpinning. The track is gently emotional with a weight suggesting wisdom under all of the purity that it calls to mind. As it sweeps along, it does conjure to mind some sort of ancient, wise being.
"A Lambent Memory" begins with a slightly distorted bass sound that is joined by flickering synths that circle in open arpeggios as the steady throb of the beat acts as an anchor. The arpeggios continue to move with a swirling sensation. This track creates a feeling of uplift and gives me the impression of moving through open skies and flowing air. Another lucent melody comes into the track, as smooth as silk as it floats off through the clouds of sound. Something about this track made me feel cradled and soothed.
When I finished listening to Lambent, I felt as if the day had become a little less hectic and tense. There was a sense of being refreshed and cleansed after the last notes had faded. I also, crucially, felt like I’d enjoyed the experience. Sometimes music that is too deeply ambient can be a little dull but Gibarian found the right balance between movement and crystalline elegance on this EP.