ANTHÉNE “Protection” (Distant Bloom)


Ambient music is a shield against the world. I often refer to it in terms of things like warm blankets or amniotic fluids (actually, that’s a new one, but it fits) or some sort of covering protecting me emotionally from external forces. It’s a centering tool, a formal way to align my mind and my outlook so that I can face each new day, and each new awful experience (this is the year 2020 after all), with a demeanor that promotes not only my own mental health but that of others – I can project this Zen outward and hopefully brighten someone else’s day beyond my own.


That’s all because of ambient music, which I’ll admit to listening to a lot, especially with this important job of writing for Cassette Gods. (I get quite a few ambient tapes sent my way to listen to and write about – I love it.) And that’s why Protection by Anthéne is such a “duh” kind of tape – it makes perfect sense that someone made the connection that I was subconsciously making and put together an entire  album cycle in its honor. Protection acts a “protective” bubble, causing the outer stimulus to dull and smear into a haze so that it no longer acts as an acute stimulator of the stress centers of your brain. It follows a narcotizing pattern, smoothing as it does the brittle sharpness of the edges and lulling you into a sense of security. Is it false? Doesn’t matter – the outlook changes, and therefore you’re a force for good.


Protection is like walking barefoot through the lawn on a summer’s eve, the j-card following my whim here as breeze interacts with skin. Or is it the other way around – am I swayed by imagery? Either way, there it is again – that Zen follows and flows, interacting with me and others. I could close my eyes as I wander, but I don’t think that’s wise out here in the yard. There are, indeed, trees I could walk into. I guess I’ll just keep my peepers peeled and incorporate everything into my experience. Protected from pain and suffering …


Anthéne is Brad Deschamps.