Tim Martin, under the guise of Maps and Diagrams is something of a mainstay of quality within the ambient scene. His prolific output remains exciting to discover, each new work revealing more of his ongoing explorations in the field. 'Get Lost' gets a release on Colin Herricks' fledgling limited edition label - Time Released Sound - and how appropriate, as the packaging is as unique and special as the music it contains. Immediately intriguing is the cover art; being a fan myself of cartography for its visual aethetic rather than just its geographical purpose. I own a small collection of old maps including one Victorian folded map of South Africa; clearly out of date now, it is in effect a snapshot of a country that no longer exists - and despite advancements in technology - the same is true of all maps. That is to say, a map creates an imagined land, and it is clear that Martin is concerned with using these visual identifiers, as with the symbols and keys in cartography to germinate images of places in our imaginations also. The end result is a set of exquisitely crafted tracks that produce a sense of wonderment at the world and its vastness.
Our journey begins with Unordinary People, its analogue phasing blurring and distorting our sight with what sounds like radio attempting to retune but never finding a channel. Slowed down Emeralds arpeggios, delicately hazy, nostaligc perhaps, and certainly warming. Each piece unravels without formula or pattern at its own pace - sometimes taking time to reach our destination, we experience these places as if discovering them for the first time - its surroundings are described lucidy and with the heady richness of arriving at a new location for the first time. Although hinting at real physical locations in the track titles, the nature of the music manages to disorientate from the off.
'Floating Sculptures' features beautifully Japanese-tinged chiming piano notes above the noise of rain, distant bird noise and ambient synths. 'Honeycomb Archipelago' in title and sound, reminds me of the detuned melodies of Boards of Canada. Throughout the albums fourteen tracks we discover images of islands, cities, mountains and oceans but as listener we must complete the picture. A poetic involvement that reminds me of Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities in which the narrator Marco Polo describes lands he has visited to his emperor - Kublai Khan even though the two speak different languages.
Martin once again provides us with music to loose ourselves in, delivering an album real presence and design.