Crystal Quartez’s restorative energies and deeply resonating song titles from her winter release, Causal Loop, was fabricated with healing in mind. Crafted as a collage of found sounds, weaving analog and digital stitch to aid in meditation or as social distancing requires, bliss out your droll quarantine, Crystal Quartez circumvents “lite” ambient schtick as she pushes and prods into outré terrain, swirling spells of ritual leading to a grounded relief.
Causal Loop offers five songs of transformative vibrations and sonic pasting. Beginning with sounds mimicking water, “Light Reservoir” is exceedingly magnetic and radiating, bathing Loop in early beauty and healing. The early movements on “Helix” provide Loop with a necessary cast. Despite the restrictive reins, Crystal Quartez stretches further, thus revealing shadows and fluttering memories musically like swarming bats out of a cave during twilight. She crisscrosses a story from trauma to transformation as her experimental sounds feel less rooted in guess and check and broadcast a keen mastery of narrative and melody.
“Chamber”, the longest of the five tracks, begins with the wind and slowly marches to a tribal rhythm of distance as the crisp, clanking of bottles matches a bonfire’s ascent from elemental to digitized. Imagine tossing your deepest hurts and everyday masks into the flames. What billows upwards is captured by “Chamber”. “Rumble” inhabits its name as horroresque looping, dissonant drones, and static letdown stirs most sinister. Unlike “Chamber”, “Rumble” is built in reverse; rhythmic chattering eventually creates from persistent chaos until the song fades into a low hum of scenery setting for the epic finale.
While “Rise” maintains creatures lurking and an eerie pulse of slithering, there’s a warm chug of human spirit expressed by voice. After homespun beats overtake the dark forces, breath becomes the focal expression. Colors swirl as electronics change hues and value while memory, outbreath illuminate the holding space.
Evident by the circulate cover art, Crystal Quartez comtemplates change/healing to be an unhurried process. The continual path is framed by curved and bending lines flowing together as one treks inward to their own awakening. Listening to Causal Loop feels serendipitously larger amid the current pandemic and with so many unknowns, a welcomed salve.