Having previously reveled in the cinematic beauty of his single Vapour Trail, there was no questioning as to the value of this subsequent EP in terms of listener escapism and impressive musicality. William Jacobs has a way with production and composition that sees him creatively bend the rules and bring together elements of natural ambiance with those of a more retro, electronically sourced energy. The title track from this release, Ozone, quickly proves itself to be everything the teaser single promised and more.
Progressing through its near six-minute journey from quiet delicacy to the rhythmic embrace of a neo-classical, EDM-kissed contemporary dream, Ozone is an experience categorically designed to embrace and envelop its listener. Your mind wanders, the music provides the world it wanders through, and Jacobs’ own thought process is hinted at as these varying levels of intensity and colour pour over you.
Vapour Trail follows the opener and leads with that recognisable, retro gamer riff, and this joyful, uplifting array of bass-notes and melodies. There’s a slower pace here, a smoother finish – a slightly more dreamlike, floating sensation takes over. Still you’re within the same realm – the EP has these conceptual threads that keep your head in a fairly relevant place throughout. Never does the artist let this grow tiresome though; far from it. These four compositions are skillfully eclectic, whilst still holding close to these somewhat environmental, existence-orientated ideas.
Stickman comes in as a natural progression from Vapour Trail, the set-up feels familiar, though the density of these synths and audio fragments makes for a slightly fuller soundscape. Again, the mind wanders, but during the latter half the piece makes certain to recapture it – taking control of the moment with a flicker of spoken word and a suddenly more spacious, reflective arena.
At this point, you really notice the careful intricacies of the work. The creativity and skill that has crafted this is immense, incredibly impressive – even those who are notably aware of how electronic music production goes will hear the strength and focus that has built this; even among such gentle, warming results. William Jacobs appears to lose himself within the moment when building new soundscapes, and that’s a powerful quality – something that can’t be faked.
Stasis brings the project to a finish with a slightly more organic, piano-led ambiance, and a distant, manic beat that gives the whole thing something of a pulse. Simplicity works its magic again as the music surrounds you – listening at volume strangely intensifies the calm. Again, this is a quality that’s difficult to master. The louder you play it, the softer the elements seem as they grace the room. This final track offers a near-EDM energy that seems fit for remix but also works beautifully well just the way that it is. So much so that a second listen immediately after the first is highly recommended.
A wonderful way to finish. A hypnotic collection that holds close to its own intentions and creates a powerful, lasting experience for its audience.