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Viking's Choice: Ancient Ocean, 'Beargrass Creek'

Ancient Ocean.
Laura Bartczak
Courtesy of the artist
Ancient Ocean.

When you're underwater, blurred images and sounds have a way of coming into their own focus. It's disconcerting at first: The current moves in an unknown rhythm, and then it becomes your center. That's where J.R. Bohannon's music undulates gracefully as Ancient Ocean. From his first offering on vinyl, Blood Moon, the 14-minute "Beargrass Creek" gently rocks to and fro, seeking rhythmic harmony in synths and strings.

"The track is named after the creek that was down the street from the house I grew up in," Bohannon writes. "I used processed field recordings of that same creek to create the basic layers of the track that kind of dictated the rest."

With guests Aaron Martin on cello and bowed banjo, Craig Schenker on sax, and Destruction Unit's JS Aurelius on processed piano, "Beargrass Creek" sounds like a smoothed-out version of one of Richard Skelton's frenzied-yet-zen ambient-classical landscapes. But where Skelton's work has a way of fluttering as it draws you in, "Beargrass Creek" crests and falls all around you.

Blood Moon comes out June 30 on Beyond Beyond Is Beyond.

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