For his day job, David Ralicke has played saxophone and trombone (among other things) on albums by the likes of All Saints, Devendra Banhart, Beck, The Jayhawks, Ziggy Marley, Natalie Merchant, and Morrissey. That’s a pretty eclectic list, to be sure, but it doesn’t really prepare you for his solo work under the Space Between Clouds moniker. For that, Ralicke draws inspiration from Harold Budd, Ryuichi Sakamoto, and the recently departed Vangelis, with the result being expansive-yet-intimate soundscapes.
This is best heard on the title track from Space Between Clouds’ eponymous debut. Filled with airy drones that Ralicke has “designed to sneak by consciousness and lay down in the shadows behind thoughts,” and accentuated with bubbling synths and breathy horn arrangements, “Space Between Clouds” evokes the focused improvisation of artists like Arve Henriksen and Supersilent — artists that bridge the gap between jazz, ambient, and electronic music with spellbinding results.
Envisioned by Ralicke as a meditative aid, “Space Between Clouds” is music to sit with and absorb, preferably while alone and late at night, when your focus is undivided and it can truly enfold you within its dreamy textures.