Some of the most incredible music ever made has been offered to us without a lot of contextual cues, and I’m not just talking about press releases from major labels. To make something that can speak to someone’s soul without the inclusion of traditional linguistics or lyricism of any kind is hard by itself, but to extend emotionality to an audience without ever having the desire to string together beats, a tempo, or even a tonal presence that can tie everything into a neat little bow requires so much more acumen than what the average musician can bring to the table.
Even with this being the case, Phi Tribe makes it look all too easy on their YouTube page, and thanks to the handiwork of former musical engineer Laura Ford, this project is presenting some of the most acclaimed deep sleep content on YT or otherwise at the moment.
When there aren’t any lyrics to come between medium and audience, there’s also a lack of egotism that comes with someone having to sing them to us, which is part of the reason why the dynamic sonic poetry found in the deep sleep / third eye chakra videos is as enrapturing as it is. We’re listening to the story without the four walls it’s normally presented within, which is what allows the listener to develop their own context around the flawlessly physical arrangement being put forth across many hours of play. There’s no recycled loop we’re running into after a while here, and I say that having listened to these extended videos without interruption for a few different nights of sleep.
None of this is to say that Phi Tribe’s approach can work for everyone, of course, but there is no real argument against the depth of their performances in these recordings. The way the music comes alive with nothing driving it other than a melodic whim is something that gives me chills every single time I listen to this material, and yet I never feel like the sophistication of the material is neither overpowering or intimidating from afar. This is as elegant as it gets, in addition to being highly intellectual from a few different angles, and few are likely to disagree this February.
Ambient music has a special place in the experimental lexicon, and when it’s being offered up by an act that has the level of talent Phi Tribe does, the whole world perks up its ears and begins to talk. I’m someone who has struggled to get to – and stay – asleep for the better part of my adult life, but when listening to something as magnetizing as the third eye chakra videos here are, I don’t feel like I need to resort to medication to get the solid eight hours I need, and if that isn’t a win for this kind of a project, I really don’t know what else could be. All in all, Phi Tribe deserve high marks for the output they’ve got under their belt right now.