"Still" by Night Sea
Gorgeous, ephemeral ambient dub techno from Oakland duo Night Sea, released by a nature-influenced electronic music label in Vancouver
Aside from COVID, which happened to everyone, the biggest thing that happened to me this year was that I moved out of San Francisco, my home for the past decade.
But I didn’t go far: just across the Bay to Oakland. It was this reestablishment of the Bay Area as my forever home, combined with other persistent thoughts passing through my brain this year—the madness of the pandemic, awareness of my mortality, the growing desire to be more intentional about everything— that led me to consciously seek out, listen to, and support local musicians.
And then I discovered this beautiful album.
Made up of David Grunzweig and Johan Ismael, Night Sea follow in the footsteps of dub techno greats like GAS (Wolfgang Voigt), Dettinger, and Rhythm & Sound. What I love most about their new album Still is that while a dreamy lightness permeates throughout, the bass shifts its rhythm from track to track: Here it’s a pulsing four on the floor, here it’s a heartbeat, here it’s dubbing along with a skip in its step. Released on Vancouver-based Still Season, an electronic music label “influenced by the natural surroundings of British Columbia,” the album would fit just as well along the foggy coasts from Big Sur, Santa Cruz, and Marin up to Oregon and Washington. It’s serene, entrancing, and seemingly infinite. And since it was produced here in Oakland, I’m proud to call it one of the best albums of the year.
Stream anywhere or pick up one of the last vinyl copies at Cone Shape Top.