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Vidna Obmana - The Surreal Sanctuary



Tracks include:

01. Infinity (audio clip)
(for double-bass, piano & electric guitars)
02. Lamentation (audio clip)
(for 2-voice overtone singing & fujara)
03. The first coil (audio clip)
(for harmonics & small fujara)
04. The profound isolates (audio clip)
(for double harmonica)
05. Jewel of the underground (audio clip)
(for overtone flute,electric guitar & harmonica)
06.The fragmented dome (audio clip)
(for electric guitars)
07. Flame (audio clip)
(for electric guitar & small fujara)



Reviews

"Haunting.... Best CDs of 2000 List."
--Jamie McNair, Ambient Music mailing list

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"Best of 2000 list."
--Eric Meece, Mystic Music, KKUP Radio

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"Best CDs of 2000 list."
--Jim Brenholts on the Ambient Music mailing list

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"25 Best Albums in 2000."
--Marjan Kostadinovski, Soundworld Radio, Macedonia

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"(The Surreal Sanctuary and The Contemporary Nocturne reviewed in tandem) Released at the very beginning and very end of the year, respectively, Vidna Obmana's two companion discs provide perfect bookends to the ambient landscape of 2000. Cerebral, sombre, wintry, and monochrome and yet just as invigorating as the kaleidescopic brilliance characteristic of much of his previous work. Top 10 of 2000."
--Stephen Fruitman on the Ambient Music mailing list

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"Ethno-ambient master Vidna Obmana returns with a surprising CD of complex soundscapes. Using a host of instruments and "surreal acoustics", together with musical contributions from Steve Roach (guitar), Joris De Backer (double-bass) and Jim Cole (overtone singing and tamboura) makes this one of Obmana's most complex and rewarding works to date, utilising more sound manipulation techniques than I was expecting. Though Obmana's "unmistakable tone" is central in this release, its complex sound constructions and layering of samples makes it a departure from the more gentle and unobtrusive ethno-ambient works of his recent and not-so-recent past. Maybe I have never turned up the volume of one of his records, but with The Surreal Sanctuary the impulse was natural: there's so much hidden beneath these layers, listening to it is like digging for the subtext of a complex narrative structure. This is literature for the ears, telling stories and constructing entire worlds for its listeners to travel through, only to return bewildered to the world like Dante rising from the infernal depths: "It was from there that we emerged, to see - once more - the stars."
--Richard di Santo, Incursion e-zine

.

"Paul Simon created the sound of silence; Belgian composer Dirk Serries - aka Vidna Obmana (the Serbo-Croatian translation of 'optical illusion') -- has created the science of silence. Unlike his more musical works (his now-legendary Trilogy has become a gospel of meditative electronics), Serries' most recent release, The Surreal Sanctuary (Hypnos) relies on thick textures, steel cathedral ambient drone and churchy organ wheeze. Yet for all the seemin calm -- like the furrowed-brow grind of "Infinity" or th esilver gray skies and harmonica squeals of "The First Coil" -- the grieving tensions applied and implied in this Sanctuary are as forceful and compact as a tightly clenched fist."
--Philadelphia City Paper, A.D. Amorosi

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"The Belgian electronic composer “Vidna Obmana,” whose real name is Dirk Serries, has been prolific in these last few years…perhaps TOO prolific. He’s released albums both by himself and with his longtime collaborator Steve Roach, as well as with guitarists Jeff Pearce and Serge Devadder. This proliferation of Obmana music inevitably leads, I believe, to a lessening of quality, or at least erratic quality. These two albums, in my opinion, show this irregular output of Obmana’s clearly. In the first and most recent album, The Surreal Sanctuary, he seems to be using not Steve Roach as a model, but Robert Rich – who, as far as I know, has not worked with him.

The Surreal Sanctuary features many of the sound-motifs found in Robert Rich’s work, as exemplified by Rich’s recent 3-CD set Humidity: eccentric tonality (including the unconventional “just intonation” which is Rich’s trademark), wailing exotic flutes and voices, cavernous reverb drift, irregular, ultra-slow rhythms, and a general eerie surrealistic bleakness. In his True Stories done with Jeff Pearce, Obmana had to make his harmonies more conventionally tonal and “major key” to go with Pearce’s guitar style, but Obmana’s preferences have always seemed to be more toward the dissonant and atonal, and both these albums show it.

Though there are some stirring passages in The Surreal Sanctuary, such as in the first cut, “Infinity” and the second cut, “Lamentation,” there are also long periods of toneless droning, or slow guitar twanging. The Surreal Sanctuary, when it is good, is sustained by its trance-inducing electronic intensity. When it is not so good, it is simply sleep-inducing. At any rate, this long (over 70 minutes) album will appeal only to hardcore fans of “dark ambient” or chill trance electronica.

The Shape of Solitude, done by Obmana in collaboration with avant-garde guitarist Serge Devadder, is an example of the “erratic” output I’ve mentioned. Though it begins promisingly, with Devadder’s guitar tracing plaintive melodic lines in “just intonation,” it soon degenerates into a dreary mixture of aimless guitar noodling and electronic special effects. Anyone who has ever been to a Grateful Dead show will recognize this style as what the Dead produced during the psychedelic “space” interludes during their second set…meant to accompany the altered mental states of the audience. Imagine 56 minutes of this (rather than the 15 or so that the Dead used to do) and you have this album. Not that there aren’t some interesting mixes between modified or unmodified guitar, and Obmana’s icy electronic sounds – it’s that unlike Roach, Rich, and the Dead, there is no sustaining structure behind the music to make it travel along, and it just goes on way too long. The notes, some of them clear and some of them messy, drip and flow away in a great big virtual cave of digital reverb. After about the fourth or fifth track, I kept hoping that they would segue into “Goin’ Down the Road Feelin’ Bad” or some other Dead standard, but unfortunately, being Serious – dare I say, Pretentious – Europeans, they didn’t."
--Hannah MG Shapiro, EER

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"vidnaObmana displys a marked tendency, especially in recent years, toward the external and otherworldly, whereas I tend to prefer the internal and the worldly, so it's hard for me to judge this release.

This is a very carefully orchestrated work, with plenty of instruments in the mix, not just as add-ons, but as the fundamental components that determine the direction of each track. Probably the most interesting element is Jim Cole's evocative overtone singing on "Lamentation."

The distinction between "art music" and "popular music" has always seemed like it is more about presentation than anything else, and vidnaObmana seems to want to play with this distinction recently. There are elements of classical music as well as elements of contemporary jazz working their way into this mix. I'm not talking about the sounds so much as the approach to their organization."
--Eric Prindle

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"Belgium-based Obmana plays a number of instruments and synthesizes them into a gradually unfolding exploration of forlorn beauty. There's a strong sense of forward movement; the music never meanders. You feel a kind of nagging urgency as unknown territories are inspected in Obmana's "less colorful winter season." It's hard to believe that some of the most other-worldly sounds here are based on samples from instruments as homey as the harmonica, flute and double-bass."
--New Age Retailer

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"Ethno-ambient pioneering. Obmana's new blending methodology, with Steve Roach's guitar, an overtone singer, and a bassist, reveals his more intense, wintery side."
--NAPRA

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"The Surreal Sanctuary is the first instalment of a double album release that will feature Vidna¹s continuing interest for more esoteric sound experimentation. As Vidna explains the gap between the two albums sets the right pace to fully explore his fascination for the avant garde. The second album entitled, The Contemporary Nocturne will surface sometime shortly in the future to complete this unique excursion into the project. As with previous albums Vidna's interest in recycling various sound sources plays a major role in shaping the album.Instrumentation includes the electric guitar, harmonicas, synthesizers and the Turkish Fujara, a overtone flute which Vidna seems to be making his instrument of the moment. Contributing to the overall sound and feel of the album, we have Joris De Backer on double bass the rather unique talents of American Jim Cole whose overtone singing features on the track 'Lamentation.' We also have long time collaborator Steve Roach adding not a synthesizer element to the proceedings as may be expected but an electric guitar soundworld,on a piece reminiscent of Steve¹s recent work on Midnight Moon.

There are seven tracks presented each featuring a key instrument, for example on the first track, 'Infinity,' the double bass along with the piano and electric guitar are the main players.The overall effect inducing a hypnotic suggestion with the listener, punctuated by the double bass¹s rather eccentr ic dulcet tones.The track then fades together into 'Lamentation' and Jim Coles overtone singing, which if you have not heard it before sounds more like a 'toning' instrument, the effects being to harmonise with the subtle electronic effects which compliment each other very well, and add a human touch to the evolving music.

It has to be said that all seven tracks melt into one whole, as the music progresses each track subtely changing to each stage in turn. To me, the music presented a picture in sound that on one hand has a slight edginess to it but features a calming slant which made it more of a challenging listen than much ambient music of late. All in all a worthy addition to Vidna¹s increasing and respected body of work. We now have to wait for the second part, and I for one will be waiting with an expecting air."
--Sequences (reviewed by Gary Andrews)

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"In the first chapter of a two-part set, Vidna Obmana uses his dark space electronics, the electric guitar atmospheres of Steve Roach, and the droning double bass of Joris DeBacker to create undulating minimalist soundscapes.

Developing his "fascination for the avant garde and more experimental sound design," Obmana takes listeners to regions of the sonic netherworld seldom heard or explored. "The work has been a unique opportunity to create a more intense and somber flavor in atmosphere and mood" he says."

'The Profound Isolates' with double harmonica drifts on note-packed synth strings like dense fog moving through a damp, mountain valley. Electric guitars slide in bent-neck harmony throughout "The Fragmented Dome." The fascination with electric guitars that Obmana and Roach have recently taken up is deeply explored in this latest offering from the masterful Belgian synthesist."
--New Age Retailer, reviewed by Ted Cox

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"Visionary Belgian producer Vidna Obmana caresses the listener on his latest Hypnos Recordings release THE SURREAL SANCTUARY, an eventful, dream-inducing soundtrack to the ideals and culture of the Far East. What highlights the release from other recent Obmana efforts is his expert use of harmonics and "surreal" acoustics to produce powerful, intellectual ambient rhythms. In short, THE SURREAL SANCTUARY is the ultimate atmospherically-sound companion to an adventurer's quest into the labyrinths and dimly lit tunnels of a forbidden temple, quite possibly found on the border between Indian and Tibet.

As one of the most highly lauded and respected producers within the ambient discipline, Obmana has earned his place alongside other producers like Robert Rich and Steve Roach. Having used a cache of ambient flute, chimes, fujara and relative recycled feedback to complete this piece of art, Obmana allows the listener the privelege to join him on his fellowship to the depths of the imagination, found on 'Lamentation,' 'Infinity' and 'Jewel of the Underground'."
--Digital Artifact (Brad Anderson)

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":melodic ambience:
Connoisseurs of ambience know Vidna Obmana well. He is a familiar electronician, specializing in ambience. I know what to expect from a Vidna Obmana release-or so I thought. The Surreal Sanctuary is his first release under an exclusive partnership with Hypnos, and is actually the first part of double-album project, the second half (to be released late 2000) being The Contemporary Nocturne. Where most of his releases traverse sunlit environments, The Surreal Sanctuary wanders into the forest, under tall trees, where only occasionally does the heat of sunlight fall. Or even light. Along with that, each track highlights specific instrumentation amidst the Vidna wash of ambience. "The Profound Isolates" weaves double harmonica into a pensive synth swirl, succumbing to sonic disintegration as the track unravels, the sounds fading to decay. The double-bass of "Infinity" wanders through jangling vines of guitar before a rising synth tide envelops everything. The synths eventually drown all sound in a crisp, flush of fire radiance. The radiance leads one into "Lamentation," in which 2-voice overtone singing skewers the heavens. Oblique, and tailored to fit uncomfortably, the ambience here is most mysterious. The addition of musical elements, though sparingly used, gives the ambience a vitality that distinguishes The Surreal Sanctuary as one of Vidna's finest releases to date. (And leaves one anxious for The Contemporary Nocturne)"
--John C. Smith / Outburn Magazine

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"Ethno-ambient master Vidna Obmana returns with a surprising CD of complex soundscapes. Using a host of instruments and "surreal acoustics", together with musical contributions from Steve Roach (guitar), Joris De Backer (double-bass) and Jim Cole (overtone singing and tamboura) makes this one of Obmana's most complex and rewarding works to date, utilising more sound manipulation techniques than I was expecting. Though Obmana's "unmistakable tone" is central in this release, its complex sound constructions and layering of samples makes it a departure from the more gentle and unobtrusive ethno-ambient works of his recent and not-so-recent past. Maybe I have never turned up the volume of one of his records, but with The Surreal Sanctuary the impulse was natural: there's so much hidden beneath these layers, listening to it is like digging for the subtext of a complex narrative structure. This is literature for the ears, telling stories and constructing entire worlds for its listeners to travel through, only to return bewildered to the world like Dante rising from the infernal depths: "It was from there that we emerged, to see - once more - the stars."
--Incursion Music Review, reviewed by Richard di Santo

.

"Comprised of seven songs ranging from four minutes to eighteen minutes, The Surreal Sanctuary is the Obmana's first solo work since Crossing the Trail. The new album is an intoxicating blend of ethno-ambient musicality and deep space ambience, which is actually the first half of a double-album project, scheduled to be completed with the Iate-2000 release on Hypnos of The Contemporary Nocturne.

For the most part, The Surreal Sanctuary depicts music and Images in rhythmless suspension, as Obmana lavishly paints poignant, loomIng Images with his arsenal of digital electronics. Vidna Obmana drinks deep of these delicate platitudes in a music as unpretentious as it is lovingly constructed. Highly recommended."
--Alternate Music Press reviewed by Ben Kettlewell

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"Vidna Obmana's The Surreal Sanctuary is the first half of a double album project on the Hypnos label (the second The Contemporary Nocturne will be released later this year). His first solo work since Crossing the Trail, Obmana ventures into new territory with a somber and darker atmospheric work than his more recent releases. At times fragmented and experimental, Obmana aims for compositions that are both disturbing and fascinating at the same time. Obmana is no stranger to the world of experimentation/avante garde, having worked previously with Asmus Tietchens, William Tanke, and Serge Devadder; and over the years has shown his increasing fascination of this form of music. This new album breaks new ground for him as it presents his love for experimentation within harmonic parameters. He is assisted in this endeavor by three artists, Steve Roach (guitar) on "The Fragmented Dome", Jim Cole, from Spectral Voices (overtone singing) on "Lamentation", and Joris De Becker (bass) on "Infinity"; each artist's creative talents integrating within Obmana's soundscapes. A notable example is Jim Cole's singing over subdued but high pitched drones which slowly morph into a backdrop of a tamboura. Vidna has embarked on a journey into unfamiliar territory and I eagerly await the follow-up in this two-part series to see what lies ahead."
--New Age Voice Magazine, reviewed by Allen Bogle

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"On his sophomore release for Hypnos, Vidna Obmana's first solo work since Crossing the Trail (recorded in 1996-97) treads confindently onto a kind of avantgarde ambient path, which he intends to continue exploring on The Contemporary Nocturne, a companion piece scheduled for release on the same label later in the year. The distinctive ethno rhythms of previous solo efforts have receded into the background as an atmosphere of pure minimalism is striven for and successfully achieved. Vidna Obmana claims that The Surreal Sanctuary is deliberately more sombre, wintry and monochrome than the kaleidescopic brilliance of much of his previous work. Indeed, a sanctuary is by definition a place of retreat and reflection as opposed to the open, life-affirming spaces suggested by titles like A River of Appearance or Echoing Delight. Cerebral and yet emotionally appealing, reminiscent of the dark caverns of the soul in which Robert Rich can often be found spelunking, The Surreal Sanctuary sees Vidna Obmana ploughing new furrows in the sonic soil without abandoning the trademark mood which characterizes his earlier work. A record to play and replay many times in order to fully explore its quiet magnificence."
-- Stephen Fruitman, on the Ambient Music mailing list

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"This album is a chapter of a double album (second chapter is "The contemporary Nocturne"). Vidna creates with this album something new. This pure ambient album contains the high quality elements of his previous work, mixed with new sounds, vibrations and characteristics. With this album, Vidna passes the borders to some undiscovered lands of strange environments. A remarkeble point is that the tracks slowly fading into each other in such a manner that you think it's only one track on the album. The music has several melodies, buildings : it is smooth, at the same time there's some sadness in the melodies. The harmonies and timbres are a perfect combination. All these combinations, togheter with others making this music a beauty in the collection of Vidna Obmana. It 's an album you have too play a few times with your eyes closed. And every time you discover some new area's, dimensions in the music. I waiting for the next chapter to see what this album will bring us of ambient music. Points : 10/10"
--Electron Magazine, Belgium

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"Always examining new soundspaces as well as "recycling" past concepts, Vidna Obmana's redefinition of his own contemporary harmonics continue with this deeply satisfying 71-minute stop in The Surreal Sanctuary. Expect more "sanctuary" than "surreal", or at least anticipate surreality of a gently marvelous, if unknowable, nature.

We're fortunate enough to have a few behind-the-scenes words from the creator himself...

"The inspiration and motivation by the avant-garde became my focus on how to score The Surreal Sanctuary. Utilizing in detail the recycling method, I've been currently using in collaborative mode, got me to access a particular mood and atmosphere which translates my fascination for this genre in sound but also gives me the perfect ability to moderate my inspiration to an unique level of blending and creating harmonies.

"Both albums (The Surreal Sanctuary, and its to-be-released companion piece, The Contemporary Nocturne) present this method and incorporate new elements, varying from electric guitar, double bass, and overtone signing to the rare overtone flute 'Fujara'. To accomplish my project it was a fine opportunity to score this work over two separate albums, increasing the space of time to a maximum in which I could develop the design according to my specific ideas and at the right pace.

"The work has been an unique opportunity to create a more intense and sombre flavour in atmosphere and mood, contrary to the perhaps brighter and open spaces I've been working with in my previous solo albums. Although the double work has a more uneasy and unintentionally darker feeling, it's true my goal is to present a collection of conceptual pieces that draw from a different place than my previous work.

"Perhaps while the work requires more energy and attention to absorb, I sincerely hope this collection of abstract and soothing collage music truly contains an equally calm and introspective atmosphere to repose with." - vidnaObmana: April 28, 2000

The Surreal Sanctuary's opener explores a pensive landscape as rendered by processed piano, electric guitar and Joris De Backer's double-bass contributions (but isn't it strange that a piece entitled Infinity (5:10) is the shortest track?). The track is overtaken by a mechanical thrumming which leads into Lamentation where a more human essence slips in via phantasmal threads of Jim Cole's overtone singing; sporadic flutebursts and bass notesfurther enhance this expanse. The piece lulls and becomes the eerily lovely The first coil, wrapped in a slowly oozing orchestral-like drone and underscored by grittily rolling textures. More fluting emerges to stroke the resonant airwaves, sometimes sputtering fitfully into the thickly wavering breezes.

With preternatural smoothness, silky ribbons slip through The profound isolates, weaving in near then stretching out and away. Almost imperceptible atmospheric touches add a marked sense of wonder to this divine isolation. Shining amid evershifting (and faintly gritty) streams of liquid tones, the Jewel of the underground sparkles with flickering caresses of the overtone flute. Other listed instrumentation for this piece includes electric guitar and harmonica (!?), though these sounds are covertly submerged in the tranquil, meandering flows.

Steve Roach's spaciously questing guitar strands (a la Midnight Moon) slowly twist underneath the glistening bell-like twinklets which drip from the ceiling of The fragmented dome (17:53). Instead of blazing, Obmana's smoky Flame warms and smolders, releasing the heat and energy of virtually unrecognizable electric guitar sounds and flickering bursts from the small fujara.

The Surreal Sanctuary is a personal waystation for Vidna Obmana (and for us, of course)... a thoughtful, and not so dark, place to pause, reflect and simply soak in placid, though subtly "surreal", soundwaves. Definitely recommended and rated 9.1 by the AmbiEntrance. "
--David Opdyke / The AmbiEntrance

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"This is certainly a change of direction for Vidna Obmana, having in mind his last solo effort Crossing the Trail and the most recent collaboration releases like Spirits, which were more uplifting projects and I am personally glad this shift into darker territory and atmosphere has taken place. Not only do I think that The Surreal Sanctuary is a courageous step into new ground, filed with beautiful sounds from seemingly unrecognizable instruments, but also its a great pleasure to see a collaboration with such a talent like Jim Cole.

Its also nice to see Vidna again on Hypnos, after Landspace in Obscurity and I really hope this is just a beginning of a long lasting collaboration."
-- Vladimir Jovanovic, Inner Space Radio, Zagreb, Croatia

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"I have known Vidna Obmana's Dirk since we were both kids who weren't realizing what we were doing (I leave it up to you to tell if we do now). Our interests were big time noise and we both grew beyond - I hope. There was a time that I simply defied Vidna Obmana's music as 'too soft to be good, read new age, but too dark to be called new age'. Last year however I heard his more recent work, which were collaborations with others, such as Serge Devadder (guitarist), Willem Tanke (church organ) and Asmus Tietchens (concretist). I was surprised to see that Dirk was still so involved in recycling other people's sound and taking their material into his own terrain, that of lush long keyboard patterns. So I was eagerly waiting for his new, real solo CD in some time. Assisted by Joris de Backer (double bass), Jim Cole (overtone singing) and Steve Roach (guitar), Vidna Obmana simply continues what he has started in his way back. Dark hums of keycords, which hisses and hushes in harmonic overtones. Even when it all seems smooth, it's not. The overtones (in a more metaphoric sense now) are dark, like watching the sky at night: you see a lot of black, with small lights, endless amounts of small lights in fact, but the background remains black. This is what Vidna Obmana represents in his music, a dark sky but with the sense of light present, and the assured knowledge that a new day will break at the end of the night. And this album is just half of a two chapter work... More light in the darkness to come."
--Frans DeWaard, Vital E-Zine, Staalplaat, The Netherlands

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"The press information for this CD refers to Vidna Obmana's musical maturation, and it is evident from the first notes that this is the case. At times disturbing, but fascinatingly complex, Vidna Obmana really comes into his own with this uncompromising work. Some may find the end result unsettling, but there is a sure-handedness to the project that is unmistakable. His penchant for electronic treatment of sounds is in full force here, taking samples of such varied sources as double-bass, guitars, small fujara, double harmonica, and two-voice overtone singing, courtesy of the extremely talented Jim Cole, whose Coalescence CD was extremely well-received for its ability to use vocals as space music.

I found this CD a bit challenging the first couple of listens. It is somber and dark. Vidna Obmana readily admits it is a contrast to the "brighter open spaces" of some of his prior solo releases. "The first coil," for example, does have Vidna's trademark brooding atmospherics. However, the other instrumentation, which I assume is the small fujara, though vaguely flute-like, is more dissonant and slightly shrill. The effect is somewhat unsettling, but probably intended. The textures here are unbelievably rich, remarkably fluent given the sometimes unbalanced sonic landscape. But fear not, if you prefer to lose yourself in drifting ambient reverie, cue up any of the lengthier tracks, such as "The profound isolates." I have no idea what a double harmonica is, and I wouldn't expect it to sound ambient, but after Vidna's sonic manipulations it most definitely is. Long, slow washes of sound build up, crest, and fade, in a very slow yet rhythmic fashion. It is haunting, but incredibly soothing and strangely beautiful. The pinnacle for me is "The fragmented dome," 18-minutes of softly flowing ambient electric guitars. Surprisingly, Steve Roach contributed this sound source. I was not aware that he had recorded any guitar music. This piece is comparable to Obmana and Roach's best work, from Well of Souls and Ascension of Shadows. The Surreal Sanctuary is a signature work from one of ambient's signature artists."
--Phil Derby, SMD

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"Steve Roach and vidnaObmana are analogous in many respects -- their musical identities morphing together famously. Is it happenstance that vidnaObmana would release, on the superlative Hypnos label, a guitar oriented* CD at the same time as Roach? Doubtful as Roach accompanies vidnaObmana on The Surreal Sanctuary. The results are, as you will read, similar only in certain respects yet comparisons of the two are inevitable as they have particulars in common. The Surreal Sanctuary is a decidedly ambient work as vidnaObmana obscures the instruments, especially the guitar and harmonica, with electronic manipulation more so than Midnight Moon, off times obscuring the original sources into anonymity. Occasionally, the guitar is identifiable -- yet not so much as on Midnight Moon. As The Surreal Sanctuary moves further into the recording, it draws the listener in, going deeper and deeper into ambient territory. The addition of overtone voice and tambura lend a new dimension to vidnaObmana’s repertoire and in all actuality sounds as nothing he has previously done. The closest reference point would be Cavern of Sirens, IMO. Thankfully listeners will never guess the tracks which contain harmonica as the source is manipulated into an indistinguishable remnant of it’s ‘’true’ harmonic. This is, after all, Electronic music with these additional instruments thrown in as accompaniment. Even knowing which pieces contained these instruments try as I might I could not pick them from the mix. Incredibly subtle work performed by vidnaObmana in the mixing procedure. There are certain artists who have ‘the touch’ at composing -- releasing music and makes for an event with each play. VidnaObmana is one of a small, select group of composers that put quality work onto the market, and this CD is no exception. Each play left this listener with the feeling of wonderment at the beauty of the sonics. It really is rough to relate the feelings and emotions had during the playing of this disc, but let us leave it as extremely positive. Any collector of true ambient music must make The Surreal Sanctuary an addition to their anthology of music. This Hypnos label never ceases to amaze with the quality of music they release.

Music - 9 ½ (rating out of 10 points)
Sound - 9 (rating out of 10 points)
."
--Glenn Hammett, The Raging Consciousness Desk

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