Canadian producer and artist Andrew McPherson returns to Six Degrees with Ventrilokissed, the 4th chapter of his ambient project Peppermoth. While it could easily be considered a ‘pandemic’ record, the quiet and intimate world Andrew creates could all be considered music made in isolation or solitude. Ventrilokissed is a nuanced and bejewelled sonic oasis built on a signature, less-is-more approach to instrumental music. Andrew weaves patient, melodic stories together to create an aural tapestry bringing neo-classical, dub, minimalism, jazz and of course, ambient influences under one roof. The album unfolds like a ballet score where dancers and actors perform in the mind’s eye, far away from a physical stage – and with our shared global experience of isolation in the background, the concept of a ‘ventrilokiss’ becomes a compelling metaphor for our desire to connect while separate. Could someone feel ‘ventrilokissed’ from afar?
Ventrilokissed follows the path laid by previous Peppermoth releases (The Second Bird, Glimmer Tide and Now You Hear Me), with its ongoing debt to the reductive and textural work of early 20th century classical composers Erik Satie and Claude Debussy, the contemporary work of artists Daniel Lanois and Michael Brook, ambient braintrust Brian Eno and trailblazers David Sylvian, Jon Hassell, Fennesz, Harold Budd and Ryuichi Sakamoto. Listeners will hear the familiar sounds of brass, piano, double bass, guitar and Andrew’s mercurial sound treatments but Ventrilokissed is distinguished by the arrival of pedal steel guitar to the tonal palette. Steel player Matt Monoogian takes the project’s sound into a woozy, almost transcendent place of gilded melodies and sonic buoyancy. From there, core members Gary Diggins (brass) and Jeff Bird (double bass), along with new collaborator Irish session ace Bernard O’neill (double bass), craft an 8 song suite of instrumental pieces that both ground and elevate the listener. Eschewing any sequencing or sampling technology in favour of live performance and improvisation, McPherson’s Peppermoth project continues to forge new ground in its blend of neo-classical, minimalism, old school analog synthesis, dub and ambient.
Andrew has produced dozens of albums, remixes and one off’s with a dizzying array of collaborators and artists including Dub Colossus, Vieux Farka Touré, Delhi 2 Dublin, Transglobal Underground, Desert Dwellers, Dubmatix, Jane Siberry, Kiran Ahluwalia, Syriana, The Heart is Awake and Lenka Lichtenberg, with releases on labels including Six Degrees, Real World, Modiba, Warner Music, EMI, National Geographic and Buddha Bar. Andrew is also the creative force behind global dub fusionists Eccodek, who’s 7 releases have garnered them worldwide fans, 2 Juno nominations (Canada’s Grammys) and glowing international press.