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riverrun - Romer Shoal (Bandcamp)

Album cover for Romer Shoal by riverrun
30 October 2016
riverrun is artist Daniel Land’s ambient project, and one that is about as far removed as you can get from his other musical work. These songs are medium length to long drone pieces, a set of impressionistic tones with place names such as “Conover Beacon”, the lovely opening track. Many seem to focus on the sea, which I imagine ranks high in Daniel Land’s inner world. “Twin Lights” is fluid and somewhat mysterious, with the haunting cries of seabirds buried deep in the mix. I am not sure how Daniel achieves all these compositions, though I can only guess he adds field recordings to treated piano and synthesizer. “Weehawken” is all wind, tinkling tones, and watery piano, a brisk walk on a deserted beach. Some of the song titles seem to be named for locations in the US, where Daniel spent some time in the recent past. “Romer Shoal” is a NJ sparkplug lighthouse, and the sound is a bit creepy and otherworldly. “Jersey Narrows” starts off stately and mannered, before rip tides and high winds break into your reverie with an unsettling menace. “Island Channel” is haunting and mesmerizing with many layers of sound wafting through the senses. “Dubos Point” is named for a NYC wildlife sanctuary, and is a longish piece at 25:50. Animal sounds flit through the backdrop, sounding like slowed down gulls or even whale song.

As with all these selections, this piece focuses on nature. In reading bits about the sanctuary, it seems to be a sad place that groups are working hard to revitalize. I appreciate all of Daniel’s work and am glad he resurrected his riverrun project, as it projects a sense of place and time slipping away from all of us. Recommended for all fans of Daniel’s music and for those who appreciate misty nature-based drones.

Check out Daniel’s other riverrun releases and his other solo work over at Bandcamp.


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