Reviewed: Wanderwelle – Gathering of the Ancient Spirits [Silent Season]

Words on contemporary releases. Seeking to offer an honest description of works which manage to exist in their own space and time.

Wanderwelle – Gathering of the Ancient Spirits [Silent Season]

To say Gathering of the Ancient Spirits has been long awaited is a grave understatement. The well-curated release sold out in mere 7 hours from the main distributor Juno and was featured as a soundtrack on the Dutch TV show Krabbé zoekt Gauguin. The talents of the Amsterdam-based duo became apparent for the larger public since their previous release on the Canadian Silent Season Lost In A Sea Of Trees, from where they made a large musical evolution.

The continued collaboration with the label seems very organic considering the stilistic fit. Although it’s safe to say that Wanderwelle does bring something special to the table in the densely populated “organic” dub techno scene with their new album. Gathering of the Ancient Spirits is thematically based on the multi-medial works by Gauguin, made in the remote Tahiti. A combination between hopes and dreams, idealizations, appropriation, and disappointment, the sounds on the album reinterpret this crucial yet misunderstood phase of Gauguin’s life.



A1. Primitive Dreams
A2. Sanctuary for Forgotten Birds
B1. Her Name is Vairumati
B2. An Offering of Gratitude
C1. The Seed of the Areoi
C2. Sacred Spring, Sweet Dreams
C3. The Fire Dance
D1. Ancestral Guidance
D2. The Haunted Shores of Hiva Oa
D3. Oviri


Gathering of the Ancient Spirits is available in vinyl and cd format, accompanied by an explanatory piece (read), which aids to concentrate deeper on the transliteration of the text to musical vibrations. The tracks from the album move collectively away from the standard dub techno approach towards 90s ambient or downtempo electronica.

Primitive Dreams is lush in the full sense of the word, immediately transporting the listener to a world beyond Western recognition. The steady pace is strengthened by the dissected gamelan drumming and contrasted by the clear synth. Sanctuary for Forgotten Birds lowers the pace until we arrive in a looping, meditative state. Trickling water, bird chatter, rustling of leaves are all incorporated to give the full dream-like experience. An Offering of Gratitude raises the hypnotic experience once again with a strong percussion, innovating in intensity from the previous tracks, almost bordering on really slow psytrance. The Fire Dance makes a remarkable shift from daytime ambiances to nighttime introspection. The vocal sample exudes solemness into the track, where the synth now serves as an icy bode of the dark.


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