Seattle's Jeff Greinke is considered by many to be one of the great talents in the ambient/experimental music scene.
His career has progressed from early experimentalism, through his mid-period ambience and fourth-world atmospherics,
to his recent work in a loop-oriented world/jazz/ambient hybrid style. The one release of Greinke's most often mentioned by
fans of his work is 1992's LOST TERRAIN, originally issued by Silent Records. With a sound that ranges from austere minimalism
reminiscent of Budd and Eno, to strange, surreal soundworlds uniquely Greinke's own, Terrain showcases all that is strong and
unique about Greinke's work. Out of print for several years, this crucial mid-period release is now available again, digitally
remastered and repackaged, from Hypnos Recordings. (Total Time: 51:58)
Track listing, including MP3 sample clips:
1. Terrain of Memory
2. The Cry
3. The Moor
4. River of Wood
5. Falling Away
6. The Precipice
8. Rendered Motionless
"Top 10 favorite CDs."
--John Koch-Northrup on the Ambient Music mailing list
"All time 25 favorite CDs list."
--Brad Yost on the Ambient Music mailing list
"Top 20 all-time CDs. (#8)"
--Bill aka Isomorph on the Ambient Music internet mailing list
"Top 20 'Best of 1999' List."
"Instant fog bank. Just add CD player.... You don't hear this music as much as absorb it through your skin.... There's poignancy to this swirl of sound that lends it a substance such ethereal music rarely manages."
--Glen Hirschberg, The Seattle Weekly
"Re-Release Album of the Year (1999)."
Phil Derby, Freelance Reviewer, on the Space Music mailing list
"Top 20 of 1999 (ranked #8)."
--Scott Raymond, WVKR radio
"Excellent move on the part of Hypnos to re-issue this jewel of atmospheric
music. Lost Terrain is really the most accessible and accomplished album from
Jeff Greinke's body of work. Very different from some of his more experimental
adventures, Lost Terrain cultivates a melancholy reserve through delicate
melodic structures, restrained decorative elements, even subtle ethnic influences.
This "lost terrain" being reclaimed would seem to be the very terrain of being, of
the profound search for one's self. A quest for identity which results in a music
both introspective and transporting."
--Via 2, Orleans, France [translated from French]
"From the opening notes of delicate piano with heavy reverb, backed by
echoing effects and synth washes, it is apparent that Lost Terrain is
going to be a sublime, soothing experience. Brian Eno and Harold Budd fans
will revel in it. Easily the most accessible of Jeff Greinke's creative
back catalog, Hypnos has just reissued this 1992 work, remastered and
repackaged by Mike Griffin, with photography by Greinke.
The music is at turns light and dark, but nearly always soft and beautiful.
Even the predominately percussive piece, "The Cry", is hypnotic in its use of
tribal rhythms. A departure from the rest of the album, this track would
feel at home among the likes of Steve Roach and Robert Rich. "The Moor"
is tinged with dark, sinister tones, drifting into a bank of thick,
ominous fog. "River of Wood" is a wonderful melange of sound, from
primitive wood block sounds to primal chanting and echoes of plucked
strings from another world.
Most of this music, though, is about serenity. Music like "Terrain of
Memory," "Falling Away," and "Spires" gently caress the ear with pleasant
formless sound pools. By the end of Lost Terrain, you are almost guaranteed
to find yourself much more relaxed and at peace than when you started.
Kudos to Hypnos for reissuing this classic ambient work. Practically a
must-have for fans of ambient in the style of Eno and Budd."
Wind and Wire Magazine
"This is one of Jeff Greinke's best releases to date and definitely worth the
words "an ambient music classic." Greinke's inspiration comes from both Brian
Eno and Jon Hassell, and while some of the tracks display their influences,
others are much more undefinable, carrying the listener through a number of
distinct worlds, some of indescribable splendor and hypnotic wonder. Both "The
Cry" and "River of Wood" incorporate the same type of microtonals and sampling
of sounds as Jon Hassell's works. Opener "Terrain of Memory" has Eno-like piano
shaping its textures, while "Spires" is sent spiralling my guitar harmonics. The
other tracks reach rich primal depths of amazing texture like the spooky "The
Moor" or the pastoral "Falling Away." Overall, what hypnotizes the listener is
the sonic breadth of the music. Each piece is a distinct sculpture that resonates
in the air with purpose, showing its surreal beauty before continuing on to an
equally transfixing piece. Surely a gift for ambient listeners, if you missed this
first time around, here's your chance."
--Mike McLatchey, Expose Magazine
"Until recently, much of Jeff Greinke's discography remained out of print
and hard to find, the victim of labels that folded or changed direction.
Thanks to reissue efforts by the Hypnos and Projekt labels, however, the
last few years have seen several early Greinke releases resurface for
consumption by a new generation of ambient listeners.
Lost Terrain was originally released in 1992 on the Silent label, and
captures Greinke during his most ambient period. His trademark misty sense
of distance is put to use here on a series of floaty synthesizer pieces,
only a few of which feature any discernable rhythms. Slow piano
meanderings, low bass tones, muffled bell-like sounds, wailing voices and
the occasional clanky percussion are weaved together into a thick ambient
A representative sample of Greinke's atmospheric work, Lost Terrain takes
cues from many of his other sound explorations and works them together
into a very coherent album."
--Ujamaa's Ambient Experience
"Although his ability to create rich,
experimental ambience is very apparent
on certain tracks, the prevailing sound is
haunting, dreamy ambience with excellent
touches of piano.
Works well for late night listening,
With dimmed lights and proper setting,
it gives you that nice, soothing feeling."
Inner Space Radio, Zagreb, Croatia
"Listening to a release by Jeff Greinke is all about the experience of
remembering past places, people and those affiliated memories. He has a
unique ability to create interesting and at times challenging music, though
somewhat on the visceral side. Strangely beautiful, haunting, slow moving,
serene and graceful, Greinke at times sounds like he may have studied the
musical moulds that people like Brian Eno and Harold Budd collaborated on
many years back, albums which for many people still represent an exciting
time in ambient music. (OK I'm caught in my own musical past ) These are
other worldly sounds based on distant memories, layered and worked upon
till emerging worlds start to develop. You know you've been there before,
but damned if you know where these places are. Moods begin to unfold where
activity is of a minimal nature, but if you listen closely it's there in
the background, ie a sense of activity. Organic textures evolving and
reinventing themselves time and time again. Lost Terrain originally came
out on Silent in 1992, and rapidly grew to be a 'classic' in ambient music.
Later on of course Greinke would go on to create world jazz with ambient
overtones with the group Land, as well as composing for other medias.
Besides the ambient moods there are traces of Javanese and Indonesian
influences, with Greinke's use of light percussion. Utilising techniques
such as looping / layering, Greinke's world are interesting and varied
enough, at times somewhat melancholy but certainly never dull nor morose. I
have the original release and had forgotten how much I liked it. At times
to my ears, Lost Terrain is a continuation of Eno's On Land,
stark cold and alien. Greinke uses his own skills to explore hidden parts of the
psyche, effectively illuminating those dark recesses we have covered up. Simple
melodies, poignant moods. Great album. Get a copy before it disappears once
PowerSpot Radio, NSW, Australia
"Good music will never disappear. It's just unavailable for some time.
Here is an example of proto ambient work, releasedon the peak of
ambient music (1991), on a label that was a leader in that music
(Silent Records). Now that Silent is gone (I mean, maybe not, but at
least I don't hear much lately), this album by Greinke was gone for
several years, but due to the good work of Hypnos it is now
re-issued. There is the highly reverberated piano's (Brian Eno is
never far away), kinda ethno like percussion (O Yuki Conjugate's
trademark) and the washes of synths and guitars. If you get this now,
then you have it before the next ambient revival (scheduled for 2004)
or you can imagine what it all ws about before."
Vital E-Zine, Staalplaat, The Netherlands