Minimalism, in musical terms, is by definition a form of music which is non-teleological; in other words, it has no end point, no narrative arc, no goal as such. Sequence One has many of the hallmarks of minimalism in terms of the textured layering of simplistic phrasing to create a greater whole, yet a journey is readily evoked from this album which does not allow it to snugly fit into the borders set for an artform which is supposedly free of such semantic restrictions. In far simpler terms, Sequence One is well good.

Jace Lasek of power shoegaze demigods The Besnard Lakes and Young Galaxy’s Stephen Ramsay are Light Conductor, a primarily ambient synth duo who make simple and seductively soothing music which ambles, oscillates and centres itself within the liminal space between silence and structure. This is free-floating music for waking up to; the warm arpeggiated tones soundtracking the welcoming sunrise in the distance in an overly-romanticised vision of sleeping on a beach in some faraway land where pickpockets, crabs and other patchouli-oil-drenched, bare-footed gap year travellers do not exist to ruin the beautified vista and sense of tranquillity in front of you.

The album as a whole is divided into two parts – the first centring around the ostinato melody of ‘A Bright Resemblance’, which has layered patterns of softly textured sounds reminiscent of minimalist composers such as La Monte Young and Terry Riley, and the languid propensity and drowsiness of more ambient acts such as Stars of the Lid or Loscil. There is a melancholic feel to the first two segments of the album which make up the whole of ‘A Bright Resemblance’ with ghostly bleeps and whistles interspersed with keyboard drones which suggest a sense of isolation, of abandonment and perhaps of machinery floating in space, off course and hopelessly sentient. The timbre of the music brings to mind Douglas Trumbull’s masterful and meditative 1972 film Silent Running, with its themes of survival and hope eventually, and perhaps inevitably, turning to despair and loss.

The melody and trajectory established in ‘A Bright Resemblance’ blends into the album’s next ‘track’, which has the Game of Thrones style title of ‘Chapel of the Snows’. Here, the nascent melodies and repeated tones move from their unhurried and semi-catatonic state of quasi inertia to an enveloping crescendo of a blanket of white noise which engulfs and suffocates the thrum of life which precedes it. There is a sense of a portal opening, sucking out the last vestiges of life before a transcendental transmogrification begins which is heralded by the opening bars of the aptly named ‘Far from the Warming Sun’. The slow, siren-like sound at the beginning evokes the idea of a spirit reborn, or reawakened, as if consciousness and cognition are returning after the disorientation of the journey so far undertaken. There is a metronomic beat in the background, suggesting uniformity and restoration at a somatic level, whilst the atonal noises which sweep across the track develop the idea of mental confusion and instability.

The closing track, the eponymous ‘Light Conductor’, is an interesting way to bring a record of this type to a close. Whereas what has gone before is soporific in the best possible way, this last track bursts with the heated energy of Playing with Fire era Spacemen 3. A heavily reverbed guitar refrain follows a minimalist keyboard line which pulsates and swells until the listener surrenders to the aural haze and tension. This last track, in many ways, highlights the juxtapositions at play on this album, contradictions to the norms of this sub-genre which no doubt many will find problematic. It also illustrates that this is not an album to fall asleep to as greater urgency, vibrancy and life are to be found in this last track, which heralds an emergence into the light after the somnambulism of the first half of the record.

This is not background music to soothe away the day. These songs deserve the listener’s attention to enable the lush tones, the ebbs, flows and cadences of the sounds to deliver a sense of quiet ecstatic. Whereas some forms of ambient minimalism can be seen to be driven by intellectual and pseudo musicological motives, this album is emotive at its very core.

Light Conductor have made an accomplished album with a retro-futurist sensibility and it is clear that they have moved this project forward under their own terms - long may they continue to do so.