Greig Baird has steadily been releasing music under the moniker of Moss Covered Technology for around 6 years. In that time he has traversed a wide range of sonic landscapes, from the blissful melodic synth work of 2021’s ‘Seafields’ and the undulating drones of 2020’s ‘Quiet Loops’ to the rich evocative landscapes of 2018’s ‘And His Many Seas’. Greig has consistently pushed the envelope of his unique approach to the ambient genre. His work is always exploring new territories, each release striving to take you somewhere new, somewhere exciting, a place you can explore together as musician and listener.
His latest offering ‘Brick and Air’, released on the wonderful Audiobulb Records (UK), is no exception. There is a real sense of maturity in this release, a more deft approach to the sounds we have come to associate with Moss Covered Technology. The album feels like it is moving deeper into the macro realms of his sonic pallet, subtle textures are brought to the foreground giving them room to breathe and expand, allowing the melodies to lightly thread between the rich sonic tapestry of each piece. All the elements you expect to find in a Moss Covered Technology release are there but they feel like they have been slightly distorted, moulded into some amorphous shape that swims around in your subconscious.
‘Brick and Air’ continues to explore many of the themes present in his 2021 album ‘Sodium Light’. Based around a series of walks where Greig was allowed to explore a relatively unknown urban environment he had just moved to, ‘Brick and Air’ explores the darker side of the Moss Covered Technology sound. Images of dimly lit street corners, the smell of thick city air and the low rhythmic hums of city traffic are embedded deeply into the soft melodies and pulsating synth lines that dominate much of the album. Ominous undertones flow throughout, crashing like waves around the listener, slowly giving way to moments of beautiful melodic serenity. Arpeggiated synth lines flicker in and out of the deep hypnotic drones that lead the listener through darkened passageways into the unknown.
The album seems like a very reflective piece of work, with less narrative than many of his previous albums — the sense of atmosphere and place are definitely the driving forces of this album. Dripping in lush reverberation and ghostly echo, each track draws you into this very personalised world, painstakingly created layer by layer, sound by sound. The album seems very familiar but at the same time very foreign, a rich world of the mundane and the supernatural. Each listen reveals new layers of texture, tone and melody that bubble up into your ears, revealing more and more complex sonic threads that slowly fade away into the night. Perfect listening for the coming Autumn months.
‘Brick and Air’ is available via Audio Bulb Records on the 28th of September. You can pre-order the album from the link below.
Reviewed by James Osland