Danny Scrilla returns to Cosmic Bridge Records with a full-length project inspired by a desire to experiment outside of club conventions. While Cosmic Bridge has become known for forward-thinking, dubwise dancefloor mutations, label founder Om Unit has long been a fan of ambient and synthesizer music and Ancient Musical Box offers a current take on the format, with 16 tracks of lush electronic compositions and meditations. Fittingly, Ancient Musical Box also marks the label’s first cassette release.
Ancient Musical Box was written over the past year as a direct reaction to Danny’s frustration with club music and the inevitable cynicism that can sometimes arise from prolonged contact with scenes, styles, and genres. “I wanted to create something without any ulterior motives,” he explains. As the tracks accumulated, the project took on a personal dimension and therapeutic qualities. Intent on not over-thinking or polishing his ideas, Danny created something that is less album and more “a collection of emotions in their rawest form.”
Despite not being intended for the dancefloor, the music on Ancient Musical Box still bears clear relations to Danny’s catalogue in its minimalist approach and use of melodic motifs. You can hear it in the hazy crescendo of ’Night Sweats’, the wobbly funk of ‘Pangalactic Gargleblaster’, and the gentle keys of ‘Talisman’. Alongside these are more experimental moments, seemingly fragile in their simplicity but hiding a depth that reveals itself in context: the delicate loops of the title track, the vibrations of ‘Cryopod’, the melancholy progressions of ‘Too Little Too Late’.
Ancient Musical Box is the sound of a producer remembering that the best ideas are the simplest, in the process pointing to new directions.