As the one-man operation behind Portland-based Moon Glyph Records—a leading curator of ambient, new age, and “transportive psychedelia”—Steve Rosborough juggles different roles and responsibilities.

He works with artists putting out their music and plans out the label’s busy release schedule. He handles distribution and production of cassettes and LPs, as well as marketing and promotional efforts. He manages Moon Glyph’s finances and other typical small-business duties. He even does the majority of the art and graphic design for the label and its releases, which number over 130 since Rosborough started Moon Glyph in 2009.

So when he sits down to make his own music under the name Omni Gardens, Rosborough tries to use the process as an opportunity to slow down, scale back, and declutter. Inspired by the brevity and workmanlike approach of prolific indie rock songwriter Robert Pollard (of Guided by Voices), Rosborough endeavors to not get bogged down in tiny details and sound design.

“You do it for a little bit and then stop, and if an idea doesn’t work out, then whatever—you move on to the next thing,” he said. “I just wanted to simplify and stop overthinking things.”

During the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic–in pursuit of “relaxed home listening for difficult times”–Rosborough made a second Omni Gardens album, Moss King, using primarily a single synth: the Moog Grandmother.

“It’s not capable of a ton, but it sounds good,” he said. “I think having that limitation really helped my process, because I wouldn’t toil away at tweaking little things. I was focused a lot more on, like, ‘Is this melody working?’”

Indeed, Rosborough’s melodies are reliably enchanting, and Moss King was a surprise hit, selling well and landing on influential lists of 2020’s best albums.

The attention placed a bit more pressure on Rosborough as he went to work on his latest Omni Gardens album, Golden Pear, a 12-track collection of relatively short, meditative tunes built from warm, arpeggiated synth tones, bleary dream-zones, and some new sounds, including vibraphones, marimbas, and field recordings. Pressing play on the album is like being dropped into a beautifully serene, self-contained world where German electronic composer Hans-Joachim Roedelius is a household name, beloved by all.

Golden Pear takes a succinct approach to ambient and new age music, where track lengths that stretch beyond 10 minutes are common. All but one song clocks in under three and a half minutes, which makes it a lovely, laid-back listen that doesn’t demand a highly developed attention span.

“I want Omni Gardens’ music, in general, to feel like a lazy afternoon or your favorite sweater,” Rosborough said. “You know, like a kind of cozy, fuzzy feeling.”

In a broad sense, that describes much of the music that comes out on Moon Glyph Records, whether it’s floaty flute music for national parks or percussive electronic experiments or atmospheric ambient music or out-there spiritual jazz. Over the years, Rosborough has cultivated a clear aesthetic for the label, one that covers a lot of ground but still feels very Moon Glyph.

“I’ve been really happy with how the label has evolved, and it does feel like more and more people are checking it out and listening to the music,” he said.

“It seems like people will check out new releases on the label just because they’re on the label, and that’s ultimately my goal (because) I discovered so much music that way,” Rosborough continued. “That’s what I wanted to emulate, you know? To be a place where someone can be like, ‘I know the general vibe of this label and they’re putting out a new thing, so therefore I’ll give it a shot.’”

Omni Gardens opens for Roy Werner as part of a special show at Leach Botanical Gardens, 6704 SE 122nd, Sun Feb 11, $33 per person, free with membership to Feels Like Floating, tickets here, all ages, w/ Patricia Wolf