Ron Thomas and John Swana – Serenity

8.12.19 by Ryan Masteller

This Galtta stuff, am I right? You just never know what they’re going to release, but you can be almost 100% certain that it’s gonna get under your skin in the most pleasant and affective ways possible. Sometimes it’ll be the most amazing soft rock this side of Seals and Crofts. Other times it’ll be something like “Serenity,” which takes cues from Tangerine Dream and Cluster and Eno but also has kindred-spirit Galtta releases in Energy ☆ and Purelle. That’s what Ron Thomas (not Rob Thomas from Matchbox 20) and John Swana are slingin’.

As much as you’re like me and want to shout “Serenity now!” at the top of your lungs or start watching the “Firefly” episodes over again, this kind of “Serenity” is this kind of serenity, a little relaxation music with a psychedelic edge. In fact, whatever that thing is on the cover of the tape looks a little like a serpent-y version of the alien life forms encountered far under the sea in “The Abyss” – but a little more weird and wild and maaaaybe less willing to help. In fact, listening to “Serenity” will give you the vibe of being in some kind of extraterrestrial terrarium, a sealed environment in which you’re interacting with a controlled ecosystem, but one that you’ve never encountered before.

But safe! It’s all very above-the-board, and there’s no way you can really get hurt here. In fact, you’re left to observe life as it happens as Thomas and Swana fill the atmosphere with bubbling pockets of energy, swirls of ambience so appropriate that you’ll swear you’re breathing them rather than listening to them. And that’s probably intentional – actual living DNA seems to be encoded in the DNA of these tracks, lending them an incredibly tactile quality despite their ethereality. The full effect is one of equal comfort and disorientation, like you’re tripping balls or something with your best friends in somebody’s parents’ swimming pool in the middle of the night.

Or so I assume that’s what it would feel like. Gulp!

Anyway, hey – this is a hot one. Grab it from Galtta while you can! Edition of 125.