Scott Solter is a studio engineer who not only helps out John Vanderslice at his Tiny Telephone Studios (on releases by groups such as Ester Drang, Spoon, The Mountain Goats, and others), but also owns and operates his own recording space, called Pueblo St. He released his debut album The Brief Light on Manifold Records last year, and found him mixing tribal polyrhythyms with sheets of ambience and vocals into something that sounded like world music gone weird.
One River is a release that moves in a completely different direction, as Solter takes processed guitars and tape manipulations and creates serene, slowly-evolving ambient pieces that recall the ambient work of Brian Eno, Keith Fullerton Whitman (Playthroughs-era), and Stars Of The Lid. Split into seven different tracks, the album is one continuous track that flows with steady undercurrents of deeper drones while higher elements slip in and out of the mix over the top of it all.
Opening track "Tarn" is the one that might draw the most Stars Of The Lid references, as it seems to blur space and time with curling guitar tones that move things along drowsily while soft tinkling chimes ripple in the background. From there, the album keeps moving at a similar pace, slowly unfolding and overlapping until "The Great Cold" piles things on even more densely, with cold sheets of sound and even the faint sound of a didgeridoo.
On "Antique Brothers," Solter weaves some disembodied vocals from singer Wendy Allen (Howard Hello, Tarentel, Paula Frazier) and it's a nice touch that helps the track really stand out on the release. As a whole, One River doesn't offer up a whole lot of variety, but it does create a warm, singular cocoon for a steady thirty-five minutes. There's not a lot on One River that really separates it from the pack, but it's a nice little subtle and soothing that will put you in a dreamy headspace.