Mai 麦 - "Arcadia 1"
Shanghai, China-based artist, Mai麦, brings us this blissful collection of guitar arpeggios and multi-instrumental arrangements. Arcadia 1 is a sleek and stylish blend of ambient synth atmospheres, natural sounds, and acoustic guitar that creates a varied and textural experience for the listener. With a jangly, minimalist fingerstyle guitar embedded in a wide field of electronic sound, Mai 麦 ties together a rich tapestry of color and light that is as engaging as it is soothing.
The release opens with Iridescent, beginning with a simple plucked out chord progression that rises brightly above a mix of humming, crackling electronics that fades into nothingness. The longest piece on the record The Island, begins much in the same way, except with a richer, fuller mix on the guitar that really brings out the body, as a light and peaceful backdrop of tones filters in from the edges of periphery to augment each note. Waterwheel gleams with a natural approach crafted from sounds of gently moving water merging with shifting vibrations and a rhythmic composition. Album closer, Reflected Light, builds feom more ambient tone, finishing the aural experience with a dreamlike lullaby of diaphonus energies.
Overall, Arcadia 1 invites the listener into a tranquil, safe environment with thoughtfully presented selections that allow a meditative journey in a clear, light fashion. Highly recommended for times of relfection or relaxation either in blissful solitude, or in tandem with like-minded participants.