Marc Barreca does justice to innovative ambient music.
Marc Barreca does justice to innovative ambient music. Dave Segal

Marc Barreca, "Bellows" (Palace of Lights)

How many bankruptcy judges do you know who also create excellent ambient music? Zero? Well, you need to remedy that by exploring the still-growing catalog of Seattle musician Marc Barreca. A key figure in Seattle's strong electronic-music scene of the '70s and '80s as a member of Young Scientist and Savant, as well as a solo artist, Barreca has had a late-career resurgence after many years of focusing on his important day job. Buoyed by reissues of his works by labels such as Freedom to Spend, Vinyl-on-Demand, and collaborator K. Leimer's Palace of Lights, Barreca has come back strong this decade with 10 albums that further cement his reputation as a producer of complexly serene and texturally tantalizing soundscapes.

Barreca's latest full-length, From the Gray and the Green, is a highly evocative sonic portrait of Pacific Northwestern nature in all its muted splendor, teasing out those titular colors with a scientific rigor. In the press notes, Barreca noted that his aim with this album "was to create immersive, evolving landscapes shaped by a dynamic past and viewed as if through the translucence of passing clouds." That he does.

"Bellows" is perhaps the most tonally vivid track on the disc, a beautiful cosmic-pastoral palimpsest of folk guitar twanging and droning over a burbling synth brook—or maybe Robby Krieger's languid guitar spangles from the Doors' "The End" atomized into a tranquil audio bubble bath. Whatever the case, it exerts a much-needed calming force in the wake of Mitch McConnell's noxious appearance on Fox News last night.

Marc Barreca performs Saturday, January 4 at Chapel Performance Space with Young Scientist.