A Produce & Loren Nerell - Intangible
Artist: A Produce & Loren Nerell
Label: Hypnos (digipak CD)
2011. The first collaboration between two artists well-known to Hypnos listeners and fans of ambient & experimental music in general.
While Intangible has a meditative and tranquil drifting quality, it also incorporates more melodic and rhythmic elements than most ambient music of the present day. Listeners who like their ambience musical will enjoy this as much as those who like their drones deep and mystical.
Though it's the duo's first collaboration together, both of them have been releasing music for about a quarter century. These guys are responsible for some of our "Desert Island Disc" listening material here at Hypnos HQ (A Smooth Surface and Lilin Dewa are both long-time favorites). Often at Hypnos we try to introduce new, fresh talent to our listeners, but this is a case of two music-makers who know all the tricks, and yet continue to create work as vibrant and inspired as anything on the cutting edge.
A Produce has released ten albums, including two on Hypnos (Smile on the Void solo, and Altara in collaboration with Hypnos founder M. Griffin). Loren Nerell has released solo work on Amplexus, Soleilmoon, and Side Effects, and collaborated with ambient music giant Steve Roach on Terraform in 2006.
Track listing with MP3 samples:
Purchase for $12.99 on Hypnos Online Store
Reviews"Intangible explores broader stylistic ground and features tracks that are less meditations than compositions characterized by thematic development and rhythm. Interestingly, it's also the first time A Produce (Barry Craig) and Loren Nerell have collaborated, despite the fact that both have been releasing music for about a quarter of a century: A Produce has issued ten albums, two of them on Hypnos, while Nerell has released work on Amplexus, Soleilmoon, and Side Effects. Multiple landscapes are evoked in the album's seven tracks, ranging from the imagined ambiance of a newly discovered planet to the earthy exotica of a humid Middle Eastern setting. The opening title track develops progressively into a stately synth-heavy meditation, with a forlorn demeanour that's somewhat offset by softly bubbling percussive elements. As if transcribing an exploration into sonic form, “Planet Atmo” conjures a spectral lunarscape of mysterious and enigmatic character that gradually discloses a faint percussive presence beneath its surface. Considerably more earthbound by comparison, “String Theory” grounds itself in a gamelan percussion rhythm and exotic instruments (flutes, hand drums), while “Area 51.1” punctuates a slow-motion driftscape with gently wailing extraterrestrial transmissions to foreboding effect. The album is at its most natural during the closing “Pot Covers at Dawn,” which augments the dense thrum of insects with peaceful, late-night murmurings. Cumulatively, Intangible's material, equally ethereal and earthy, covers multiple bases in its fifty-five minutes, and Craig and Nerell come across as nothing less than electronic shamans dispensing mystical potions to listeners along the way."
--Reviewed by textura.org
"This release from 2011 offers 55 minutes of ethereal ambience.
Melodic elements lurk within these harmonic electronic compositions.
Many of the electronics are keyboard generated in contrast to the sustained drone backdrops that ripple like environments of cloud throughout the pieces. The keyboards introduce pacific patterns, often twinkling like luminous fish swimming through a murky medium.
While a certain gentility is pronounced in the majority of the sonics, some sounds possess a subtle density which injects a dramatic flair to the otherwise floating mien. At other times the auralscapes feature heavenly pulsations, drawing attention to a positive radiance from above.
Some pieces feature ethnic percussives; in one case that influence is tempered by winsome flutes, creating a pensive diversity. Other pieces utilize synthetic beats to introduce languid rhythms to the songs. And there are some songs devoid of any tempos altogether.
These compositions are tailored to induce a trance state in the listener, removing them from the heyday of their mortal routines and relegating their consciousness to a region of deceptively intangible (but artfully prevailing) potential. The insertion of melody into the harmonic fabric results in highly engaging tuneage."
--Reviewed by soniccuriosity.com
"Intangible is the outcome of a collaboration between Barry Craig (aka A Produce) and Loren Nerell, both known as skilled ambient composers for many years. Composed between 2007 and 2010, the seven moody tracks on their debut album are a journey into warm textural drone paintings and smooth sequencer patterns with both an adventurous as high-tech touch. Imaginary spheres with timeless vistas are very nicely displayed on the title track and the fascinating "Planet Atmo." "String Area" though is a short percussive outing where Mr Nerell displays his expertise on mysterious Balinese sounds, followed by the cosmic scenery and slow rhythm of "Area 51.1." Deep morphing and alienating atmospheres immerse the listener on the hypnotizing waves of "Lost in Transformation" while exotic and tribal elements are never far away. Tasty percussion and more accessible and lush textures make up the spacious "Meadow Dusk." A veil of sonic magic returns on the immersive drift making the final piece "Pot Covers at Dawn,"
Those having an eye for explorations in ambient sound shouldn't miss out on the beautifully crafted ambiences of "Intangible," a vibrant sonic vista where the exotic meets the tribal and the cosmic."
--Reviewed by Bert Strolenberg, SonicImmersion.org
"Part of the pleasure of the collaboration is hearing the unexpected results. Such is the case on Intangible (54'48"), the wonderful CD by A Produce & Loren Nerell. As each track spins out we feel their thrill of discovery. From open empty space into which the hearer will project their own imagination to vivid soundscapes of primeval atmosphere, Intangible manipulates our sense of time and space. There is really quite a bit going on within the seven sound designs of this album. Barry Craig and Loren Nerell manage to capture the mysterious vibe of the electric jungle - a mystical place where synthesizers, samplers and signal processors coexist beautifully with native flutes, ethnic drums and ringing gamelan solos. Each piece offers a distinctive mood - either built on the seeming stillness of shifting drones, lush currents of detailed sound and environmental recordings or the rhythmic energy and repetitive structure of traditional percussion runs. Intangible delivers realizations of deep-thought ambiance alongside rousing compositions of diverse beats. Exotic more than it is alien, harmonically rich and introspective without being dull, Intangible hopes to transport the listener to an imaginary untouched place between our early history and these technology driven times. Central is the interplay between these two musicians - who complement each other perfectly. This duo has the talent to match their ambitions."
--Review by Chuck VanZyl, WXPN Stars End radio
"Some more musicians who have been around for some time, are Loren Nerell, who had some fine albums of Soleilmoon and Side Effects and A Produce on Hypnos and Trance Port. If Nebulae and Steve Brand are downright ambient with a small tendency towards new age, this collaboration is the one that drifts slightly towards the realms of ambient house. Not as 'pumping' or 'driving' as some others, but the plinky plonky rhythm elements are surely present, along with small melodies, as opposed to endlessly sustaining material. It reminded of the earlier solowork by these two, but also a fine reminder of the Silent Records catalogue, especially the work of The Heavenly Music Corporation, or the pseudo/quasi ethnic percussion of O Yuki Conjugate in 'String Theory'. This is where ambient house was at its most ambient and least house related. Great atmospherics going on here, the perfect chill out music, in case anyone knows what that was all about. Great late night music, or very early morning."
--Reviewed by Frans DeWaard, Vital Weekly
"A Produce and Loren Nerell, two highly respected, in California based, sound explorers in the genre, remained quiet for the last few years. But since summer of 2007 they were sporadically working on new project that firstly ended up as a soundtrack to Bart Santello's short film "Intangible". Now, few years later, they are striking with long time awaited collaborative effort "Intangible" on Hypnos. Stunning digipak artwork (art and design by Hypnos' Mike Griffin) catched immediately my attention, shortly followed by truly exciting sonic landscapes. Yes, Barry Craig and Loren Nerell deliver amazing blend of gentle atmospherics and crispy tribal rhythms, all made in a very distinguished manner showing enormous potential of like-minded musicians who are uniting their talents and styles. The title track "Intangible" opens this show with its delicately crafted warm atmosonics, tranquilly and graciously floating around my ears just like the cover image, wonderful intro!!! "Planet Atmo" fits exactly its title, another beautifully evocative aerial ambience with occasionally raising and falling texture, a true intergalactic voyage at its most captivating level! Earthy and galvanizing power of tribal drumming, tinkling bells, suggestive flutes and strange sounds enrich exotic perfumed "String Theory". The next cut, "Area 51.1" merges gently deep space drifts with slowed down trance-like rhythm, a very smooth and mesmerizing, crystal clear listening experience, totally magnificent!!! "Lost In Transformation" is slightly more experimental, ghostly and meditative, flavored with singing bowls, voice samples, bells, assorted metallic sounds. A very impressive exploration of deep and mysterious realms! "Meadow Dusk" incorporates again tender tribal drumming blended with peaceful and melancholic floaters, another strongly visualizing composition. The CD ends with hypnotic "Pot Covers At Dawn", the most naturally sounding piece with occasionally emerging tribal beats. Every piece on "Intangible" is masterful, A Produce and Loren Nerell delivered the best of their masteries. This is one of the best albums so far for 2011, so if you like a truly sophisticated mixture of immersive sound painting with sensitive tribal elements, you can't go wrong with "Intangible", it's highly recommended!"
--Reviewed by Richard Gürtler (Bratislava, Slovakia)
"I love this recording! I agree with Forrest, my fav cuts are Lost In Transformation and Pot Covers At Dawn. Excellent release all around."
--David Michuda on the Hypnos Forum
"Really nice! One of the highlights of 2011 so far."
--Eric719 on the Hypnos Forum
"Great album. An "instant classic" in the Hypnos catalog, and probably the best thing I've heard this year."
--Drone On, on the Hypnos Forum