Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.


Messages - richardgurtler

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 33
1
Independent Music Reviews / My review of "Starfields" 2xCDr by Jaja
« on: March 25, 2017, 07:12:39 AM »


Jaja "Starfields" 2xCDr

German deep space voyager Jana Rockstroh alias Jaja has released "Starfields" originally as digital download during March 2015. Its physical version is out since December 2016 on Jaja's co-owned Cyan netlabel as a double pro CDr edition packaged in a transparent poly double DVD case with a full wrap-around insert, printed on both sides, featuring immersing astronomy photographs by Roy Uyematsu, who already contributed to several previous releases by Jaja, for example "Stellamare" or "Starlight". The double album is available in a limited edition of 20 copies and as usual for all Jaja's physical editions, it looks really elegant!

First CDr, comprised of four longer pieces clocking between 12 and 23 minutes, unfolds with 22-minute "Starfield I". Warmly gliding stratums immediately invade my listening room, precisely counterpointed by distant contemplative bells and intangible eerie groans, while smoothly evolving introspective vistas permeate here and there. Additional continuously ascending and evanescing movements join rather monochromatic-driven layers along with unexpected ephemeral cyber-tech rumbles. "Starfield II", the longest ride here, moves into slightly heavier, persistently undulating and intriguingly reverberating domains infused with weeping quietudes, rawly ear-tickling glimpses and embracing traces of silence. The shortest part on this disc, "Starfield III", straightly dives into unfathomably nebulous realms propelled by drifting, sinuating, humming, expanding and diminuendoing layers and reinforced by subterraneanly titillating cyber-biotic vestiges. Dronescaping bliss certainly awaits here!!! "Starfield V" is announced by crystalline effects and then it slowly unfolds with hovering flatlined, yet serpentinely gliding drone pervaded by resurrecting, both transient and magnifying cybernetic patterns and oracularly abyssal calls. Stunningly engulfing soundscape!!!

"Starfield IV", with 26:45 the longest track on the whole journey (thus the switching with "Starfield V"), opens the second disc with monumentally expansive drone, masterfully cascading from ambiguously spellbinding through desolately awe-inspiring to warmly panoramic realms. Transcendentally gossamer disruptions arise occasionally along with crescendoing meridians and invade delightfully monolithic magnitudes. Wow, a truly mind-bending odyssey!!! "Sternenmeer" (or "Sea Of Stars") is as much intense, although more weeping and meditative than its predecessor. Constantly traversing through breathtakingly expansive plateaus and tenebrously enrapturing stillness, yet always fastidiously augmented by a myriad of ear-tickling bells and diaphanous chinks. The listener is unlocking the gates of deeply contemplative heaven and the closing "Starfield VI", only a few seconds shorter that part IV, focuses on soothingly meditative, microscopically granular embroideries, but this magnificently enveloping extraterrestrial emptiness is infrequently punctured by assorted ear-piercing scraps. A profoundly minimal sonic alchemy at its most efficient!!!

"Starfields" double set offers over 150 minutes of fascinating tour de force stargazing adventures, meticulously shaped by one of the best deep space soundscapers on the scene. Jaja's potential is amazingly broad and tremendously flexible, even if always strongly connected to outer space theme. "Starfields" is an exemplary showcase of this highly accomplished artistry, but these words easily apply also to a number of other outstanding Jaja's releases such as "Endless" (I have reviewed this one in January 2016), "Sparkles", "Milky Way", "Stellaris", "Starlight", "Stellamare", "Cosmos Vol. I (collaboration with Spanish kindred journeyer Ran Kirlian, spotlighted in January 2014)... And since the New Year's Day 2017, two brand new albums "Beyond The Horizons" and "Through The Belt Of Orion" are available, both in digital formats only, but as always, I really hope one day they will end up on physical formats as well. Bravo, Jaja, your creativity deserves to be applauded!!! Keep on odysseing!!!

Richard Gürtler (Mar 23, 2017, Bratislava, Slovakia)

2
I loved this album too. I ended up getting the 2xCD.



Yeah, once again, beauty like this is an ultimate must-have!!! A truly masterful work by Anthony Paul Kerby!!! Kudos to both, APK and Dennis of Databloem!!!

Richard

3
If anyone is thinking of getting this album, I can confirm that the 2xCD looks as well as sounds great.



Aural and visual bliss, it's quite obvious for each album of Hollan Holmes, including his Common Ground collaboration with Resonant Drift guys. Explore and enjoy!!!

Richard

4
Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: March 12, 2017, 11:15:10 AM »
Passing by Steve Roach - extended version of a tack called (I think) The Passing Time from a compilation album years ago - loved the original and really enjoying this one

Yes, after phenomenal "Invisible" here comes another long-form monument by The Master, I can't wait for the physical copy!!! It's time to keep an eye on my mail lady...  ;)

Richard

5
Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: March 12, 2017, 11:03:44 AM »


Robert Rich + Alio Die - Fissures

Probably considered a classic by now, but I only just heard it for the first time today. Great album. Distinctly different from the solo albums I have from either artist.


Great Album indeed 8)

Yeah, certainly one of my all-time fave albums!!!

Richard

6


Siyanie "Mystery Of Life" CD

Sergey Ilchuk and Dmitry Shilov are the two protagonists behind Russian miraculous drone ambient project called Siyanie, which I have already reviewed during summer 2013, particularly their jaw-dropping "Homo Multidimensional" album. Yeah, no wonder, I am deeply fascinated by these Russians since the very first day, sometime during April 2013, when they firstly landed on my radar. Always offering a top-notch visual delight, available in two editions, "Mystery Of Life" comes in one regular run limited to 300 copies, while the second one, a special collector's edition, counts 24 copies. This richly expanded version contains 17 A5-sized cards printed on silver cardboard featuring reproductions of Sergey Ilchuk’s artwork created during 2012-2016 as Siyanie Art. The CD comes in a really gorgeous 6-panel eco wallet precisely displaying Siyanie's thrillingly mesmerizing sonic alchemy. It's out since July 21st, 2016 as a collaborative effort between Russian labels Moonsun Productions (home of Siyanie), Frozen Light and Zhelezobeton, which is credited as a distributor. I should also add that 10 of 11 tracks on "Mystery Of Live" are recorded live during Siyanie's three performances during 2012 and 2013 (two in Moscow, one in Yaroslavl). The mastering credit goes to Sergey Bulychev of respected Kshatriy project.

On the opening 9-minute "You Are Self" Timofej Zaozerov with his sitar joins Siyanie for a pure, hypnotically transporting ride, when intriguingly coalescing perpetually spiraling images with piquantly ear-tickling stringed tapestries, intangibly dissonant glimpses and balmily nocturnal quietudes. The magic of Siyanie is back in full bloom!!! Enigmatic flute calls announce "The Moment Of Truth", with 6 minutes the shortest piece on "Mystery Of Life", while ethereal choir-like drones ride atop along with occasional industrial flavored, yet diaphanously solitary fragments and hissy perplexing breaths, which inconspicuously metamorphose into voluminously transcendental and audaciously blissful listening experience. Wow!!! "Circling Eternity" safely follows the vestiges of breathtakingly engulfing terrains, when meticulously amalgamating titillating cyber-organic rattles, contemplative chimes, hallucinogenic drone helixes, stinging flute patterns and shamanic voice opiates. Another indigenously jaw-dropping sonic kaleidoscope! "Invocation" calms down this exciting journey a bit, when merging secluded monochromatic drones with resurrecting expressive guest sitar wizardry by Timofej Zaozerov with some high-spirited Middle East fragrances thrown in. But psychedelic chants with overtone-like vistas shift this opus into the forefront of mind-bending electro-acoustic magnificence!!! "Chant For Beauty" dives deeply into mysteriously sculpted subterranean sceneries, where spellbindingly flatlined meridians, guarding above, are propelled by mesmerizingly immersing potpourri of chants and gossamer ephemeral rumbles. Trance-driven reverie at its most engrossing! 10-minute "Deep Tenderness" glides tranquilly on the wings of enigmatic spaciousness, where sweeping blankets are commingled with gossamer cyber-biotic traceries, swirling crescendoing subtleties and longing mirages. The next composition, "The Sky Is Not The Limit", brings back Timofej Zaozerov's sitar with additional flute work by Nikolay Kalmykov of Hladna project. Healing stringed helixes, euphorically cascading and evanescing synthetic bleeps, voice transmissions, remote whistles, warmly hypnotic yearning expanses... Another amazingly nectarous blend! "Everflowing Stream", the only studio track on this album, unfolds with weirdly weeping intro, but soon transient tribal infusions step in, although the main theme moves into more drifting scenario, smoothly evolving into gracefully immense celestial dimensions, reinforced by some phantasmal groans and backed by liturgic-like choirs and female voice samples. The closing, 14-plus minutes long "Shine If You Will" is divided into three parts. The opening passage keeps on the route of enveloping grandness driven by choir-like drones with auxiliary voice harmonizations, here and there spiced by some scraps, both palpable and vaporous. Cyber-organic embellishments magnify the drifting healings during the second passage, while the final part is highlighted by mesmerizing male verbalizations in Russian.

Each album of Siyanie sounds exactly as it looks like, so "Mystery Of Life" is obviously no exception, visual and aural installments are masterfully melted into a phenomenally challenging, galvanizingly authentic and triumphantly immersing 77-minute spectacle. These Russian guys, as one of the most unique voices on the scene, are always utilizing very distinctive insignias in order to deliver an all-inclusive eargasmic sensation taking the listener way beyond the ordinary. Deep respect, Sergey and Dmitry, you are true Masters of your art!!! And kudos to guests as well!!! Enter now the transcendental Eden of Siyanie displayed as "Mystery Of Life"!!!

Richard Gürtler (Mar 12, 2017, Bratislava, Slovakia)


7
Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: March 03, 2017, 11:00:08 AM »
15% of my posts have been negative opinions and none of them were directed at a forum member.  There are no rules prohibiting this. 

No, I'm not someone you banned before.  It's my first account.  It's my last account.  I won't be posting here anymore.  Congratulations.

Enjoy your fantasy land wrapped in a bubble of perpetual fake positivity.

There should be a quite big gap between constructive criticism and sarcastic comment, unfortunately, in some posts the line between these two becomes quite thin and fragile. It's a pity, Tardigrade!

Richard

8
Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: March 01, 2017, 02:46:02 PM »
Because I have no shortage of music on my wishlist and I don't feel the need to directly tell Spotted Peccary how to market music more effectively.  I prefer indirect methods that they may or may not see, such as this.

Since there aren't many places on the internet where people enthusiastically talk about purchasing Ambient music, perhaps they should be reading this message.  ;)

While I'm at it, the free Spotted Peccary compilations I downloaded at Bandcamp should have required an email for marketing purposes.  As a label, they aren't doing much to promote their artists to me and others like me.

To my taste, too much badmouthing in the air, Tardigrade...  :( What about signing to Spotted Peccary's newsletter, following them on Bandcamp or signing to their e-mail list on their Facebook site? A quite acceptable amount of options to be informed, it works pretty well for me. :)

Richard

9


Rudy Adrian "Coastlines" CD

New Zealander Rudy Adrian, the master of panoptic sublimity, returns with his "Coastlines" album 2 and a half years after splendiferous reminiscences entitled "Atmospheres". Released at October 7th, 2016, on Spotted Peccary, the album is delivered in a catchy 4-panel eco wallet designed by the label's visual pro Daniel Pipitone. The mastering job is, as usual, handled by renowned Howard Givens. As mentioned by its creative force, the album follows the footsteps of "Atmospheres" and reveals recollection of tracks recorded during the last three decades, including two rare ones from "SubAntarctica" cassette release from 1990, when Rudy Adrian was being a part of the touring exhibition "Art in the Sub-Antarctic". However, most of the tracks from "Coastlines" album are previously unreleased, yet deeply connected by artist's memorable explorations of the coastal areas of his homeland when younger together with his father.

The opening title track, "Coastlines" is rather shorter, when clocking over three and a half minutes mark only, nevertheless it immediately embraces the listener with its breathtakingly panoramic and poetically enrapturing mood carefully counterpointed by pristine shoreline field recordings, unmistakably showcasing evocatively immersing aural insignias that are no one else but Rudy Adrian. "Clouds Over The Horizon", one of the two tracks from "SubAntarctica" is even shorter, but it really sounds like a continuation of the previous piece. Translucently contemplative tinkles permeate across, bridge with delicately shimmering retrospections, while guarded by serenely reverberating solitudes. Beauty!!! "Mists From The Sea", as displayed by its title, delves into more yearning, yet tranquilly engulfing terrains meticulously augmented by ethereally nuanced monochromatic meridians. Rather minimal, yet profoundly magnificent!!! The next composition, "Pebbled Beaches", moves towards more meditative path, when enriched by a myriad of softly tinkling bells, but soon the scenario shifts into expansively surrounding vistas pervaded by subtly dramatic glimpses. Intangibly sparkling traceries resurrect here and there, before quietly evanescing. "Tussen De Monsters", with 7:41 the first longer composition, unfolds with darker subterranean drone, but the spectacle is soon stolen by another trademarking earmark of Rudy Adrian, his wordless voice harmonisations, which brilliantly commingle with gliding, awe-inspiringly panoramic dreamscapes and rattling shakers. As always, I am absolutely fascinated by this mesmerizingly immersing equilibrium! An utterly balsamic sonic medicine is served here!!! "Theme From SubAntarctica", another piece taken from "SubAntarctica" cassette, floats calmly over the immense glacierized landscapes. Gracefully peaceful elixir! 9 and a half minutes long "Message Of Dolphins" rides safely on the waves of evocative grandness, when Rudy Adrian clandestinely brings back Nick Prosser, his frequent kindred soul, when hypogean subtleties graced by dolphin calls, nocturnal quietudes and diaphanous chimes are fastidiously magnified with his wistful baroque flute magic. A magnum opus!!! 6-minute "Languid River" is announced by a richly faunal symphony, which persistently coalesces with choir-like droning layers and elusive contemplative patterns. Subtly hissing blankets occasionally ascend along with pleasantly crescendoing glimmers. "Thursday's Legacy", with 10 minutes the longest track on "Coastlines", incorporates crepuscular organic serenities, cascading ambience with textural motifs and meditative curtains, all intriguingly reinforced by sneaking ear-piercing climaxes. Another pinnacle! "Evening On Pohara Beach" closes this beautiful collection with poetic piano notes guided by secluded scenic drifts, which are as much placid as amplified, while randomly pervaded by humming subaqueous-like calls and gossamer fragments. Sublime atmospheric beauty!

58-minute "Coastlines" is another very strong sonic installment by Rudy Adrian, who masterfully keeps on exploring beautiful and wild grace of New Zealand's natural heritage, when retrieving warm memories of his youth. "Coastlines" album, which is Rudy Adrian's 15th, included are two collaborative releases with already mentioned Nick Prosser as well as one with Groove Unlimited's Ron Boots, is without doubt a highly recommended and fully rewarding listening experience wrapped in audiophile sound quality, offering marvelously tranquil, indigenously flavored and grippingly engrossing soundscaping with all his significant signatures delightfully unveiled.

Richard Gürtler (Feb 27, 2017, Bratislava, Slovakia)

10


Eyes Cast Down "Souls Adrift, In Disrepair" CDr

Four years ago Chicago based Greg Moorcroft, the sole protagonist behind Eyes Cast Down, debuted with his album "The Separate Ones", which I was fortunate to review several months later, in May 2013. In the meantime, during 2014, second solo album "Divinations" saw the light as well as collaborative recording "Memory Palace" with kindred soul Chris Russell. "Souls Adrift, In Disrepair", the latest album by Eyes Cast Down, which is out since July 12th, 2016, was released by artist's own Kalindi Music label and it's packaged in a 4-panel digipak featuring stunningly immersing paintings by Royce Deans and Tali Farchi. This strongly enrapturing interaction was firstly born during a spontaneous, improvisational setting in a live art show in Chicago at April 1st, 2012. And four of five pieces presented on this album are connected to this multimedia jam.

Nearly 10-minute "Fading Angel" reveals layers of longing guitar drones, which drift, meander, reverberate, mesmerize... Introspective, smoothly sinuating passages distinguishably commingle with intricately high-pitched ear-tickling dissonant vistas. Although the mood might be rather minimal, hidden inside are lyrically enveloping nostalgic canvas, which masterfully amalgamate with the album's visuals. 17-plus minutes long "Astral Drift" straightly dives into jaw-droppingly gargantuan depths, humming ultra deep drones briskly invade the scene and steal this magnificently transporting spectacle. A splendiferously dronescaping powerhouse is fully activated here!!! Ephemeral overtone-like groans sneak in here and there, but the magmatic flow is devastatingly adventurous and undeniably unlocks the gates of eargasmic transcendental Eden. Around 10th minute slightly relieving glimpse arise, but that's just an "optical" illusion as the scenario quickly finds its tracks and resurrects all drone ghosts. Eerie ocarina calls arise as well and I am still swamped with ominously unfathomable drone walls. Even my weirdest expectations were surpassed with this composition, this is certainly Eyes Cast Down at its most exquisite, monolithic and desolate, a Drone Hall of Fame awaits!!! Enter now the Void!!! The next piece, "Sirens Of Maya", takes me back to earthier terrains sculpted with kaleidoscaping electric strings wizardry and painting thrillingly reflective and isochronally spiraling spellbinding images. As much rawly dazzling as harmoniously engrossing! "Transcending Memory", another longer track clocking to nearly 16-minute mark, maintains the deeply evocative route, where subtle monochromatic drone guards above, while relentlessly helixing desolations peculiarly bridge with poignantly magnifying, yet sinisterly traversing meridians. Aberrantly engulfing listening experience awaits here each devoted ears, this is obviously another epic composition superiorly exhibiting Greg Moorcroft's extraordinary soundsculpting techniques. Bravo!!! Transient pounding bass drum quite unexpectedly announces 18 minutes long "At This Body's Final Hour", which closes this highly astonishing journey. Mysteriously labyrinthine drifts are knottily counterpointed by poignant, yet evanescent piano patterns. Hallucinatory groans and voices are hanging above, interrupted occasionally by drum outbursts. Auxiliary female chorus (credited are Dasi, Greg's wife, & Leyla) surreptitiously sneak in and numinously augment this ambiguously shapeshifting aural phenomenon. A grand finale indeed!!!

Greg Moorcroft, who mostly utilizes 6- and 12-string and fretless electric guitars, EBow as well as synths on this tour de force recording, has shown an enormous creativity and potential. This is a sensationally prodigious album, a truly triumphant 74-minute showcase of a challenging ingeniousness by its visionary force. I somehow can't remember what my predictions were before exploring this album, but this doesn't really matter, because as mentioned earlier, Greg Moorcroft has blew them all away with such glorious performance. A true gem, and still enormously hidden, among the most gifted pinnacles of 2016!!! Darker than the darkest, deeper than the deepest, hats off to Greg Moorcroft/Eyes Cast Down for this milestone, which must be encountered and applauded!!! A non-glass mastered format is the only limit here... Regarding the latest updates, the next album by Eyes Cast Down is already recorded, it's entitled "The White Island" and it should be out during the spring. The final mixing and artwork still has to be done. And last but not least, if you live near Philadelphia, mark in your calendar the date October 7th, 2017, because Eyes Cast Down will open for the iconic ambient guitar virtuoso Jeff Pearce at The Gatherings, which celebrates its 25th year. Then, after the concert, an hour live to air on Star's End at WXPN Radio at the University of Pennsylvania will follow. Greg, you truly deserve such exposure!!! I really wish I could join...

Richard Gürtler (Feb 23, 2017, Bratislava, Slovakia)

11
Independent Music Reviews / Re: My review of "Percipient" CDr by Super Fata
« on: February 25, 2017, 11:21:32 AM »
Thank you guys!!! Super Fata is highly recommended!!! And not only "Percipient" CDr, but also "Structural Tendency" album from 2013, which was released by Origo Sound as a glass mastered CD. A Drone Eden awaits here!!! Ask Jan Roos/Super Fata about this one, maybe he has still some physical copies left. If not, then try via Discogs, I see that Harald Lervik of Origo Sound has available sealed copies for 9,90 EUR. A must-have CD!!! Plus few additional digital albums.

https://superfata.bandcamp.com/music

Link to my review of "Structural Tendency" CD on this forum:

http://www.hypnos.com/smf/index.php?topic=8445.msg49426#msg49426

Enjoy!!! :)

Richard

12
I have said it before but HH is one of the most underated ambient artists.
Really good and epic quality music, I like the cinematic quality it has.

I did listen to this album a couple of times when I was in Gothenburg some weeks ago.
Overall it is a really good album.

Absolute stand out tracks for me is the the track "Great Expectations" , very emotional track that opens up doorways into past memories but also make you reflect about the future of your existence and life, kind of introspective journey into yourself.

I hope HH will get more fans, I have made a few threads recommend your albums here on hypnos.

Can't agree more!!! For me, Hollan Holmes is already one of the giants of the genre!!! Each of his albums is highly recommended, plus a collab with Resonant Drift guys as Common Ground. I have reviewed all these albums on this forum, so don't miss this huge talent!!! :)

Richard

13
Independent Music Reviews / My review of "Fusion Of Soul" CDr by Jarguna
« on: February 21, 2017, 11:46:15 AM »


Jarguna "Fusion Of Soul" CDr

"Fusion Of Soul" is the newest album by Italian soundscaper, photographer and ethnobotany researcher Marco Billi, who acts under the moniker Jarguna. Released during October 2016 on Forrest Hill Records, the black CDr is housed in a catchy 6 panel digipak designed by the artist himself. Well-done, Marco!!! Jarguna's discography counts around 16 albums, both solo and several collaborations, with bigger half of them available also on physical CDr editions. At least they were available few years ago, so better to check out this with Marco through his mail-order at Shangri-la Association.

"Aura Age", which clocks just over 4 and a half minutes mark, unfolds the album with gracefully sweeping ethereal washes, while gossamer organic traceries permeate across along with additional female choir-like glimpses. Then serenely evanescing on the wings of flimsily contemplative tinkles. Aural ambrosia! 10-plus minutes long "Awakening Of The Seed", keeps briefly on the path with meditative bells, but soon shifts into more intenser landscapes, guided by droning layers, where solitary magnitudes persistently commingle with evocative cinematic vistas. Fragilely cacophonous primordial subtleties continuously emerge and intriguingly spiraling dissonances occasionally join enigmatically undulating dronescapes. A very good one! The title piece "Fusion Of Soul", with 17:22 the longest one, glides into stunningly expansive zones, soothingly waving through warmly panoptic horizons. Intangibly ascending sequences join the forefront and inconspicuously steal the spectacle with glowingly euphoric shimmers, while celestial choirs are guarding above. Auxiliary groovy trimmings sneak as well. Beauty!!! "Garden Of The Gods" unlocks its gates with gorgeously sweeping blankets bridged with nocturnally enrapturing symphony, before calmly metamorphosing into balmily humming drone scenario enriched by eternal faunal calls and vague ephemeral sequencer motifs. Atmospheric aural paradise awaits here! The next piece, "Sacred Sheng", delves deeply into mysteriously subterranean domains, where undulating drone magmas ceaselessly amalgamate with transcendental groans and oracular voices. Evocative soulful flute patterns with mesmerizingly distant tribal quietudes ascend, coalesce and transport the listener into magnificently breathtaking terra incognita realms. An epic sonic elixir indeed!!! "Water Memory" follows the primeval vestiges and masterfully explores labyrinthine magic of cavernous sceneries, where ambiguous drone traverses are fastidiously augmented by a myriad of ear-tickling shamanic artifacts with amphibious fragments, while seraphic traces are hanging above. Another pinnacle of the album bringing back memories from the good old days of the 90's tribal ambient expeditions. During 11-minute "Between Haven And Earth", as indicated by its title, the listener is leaving fascinating subterrestrial domains, when loosely carried through tranquilly monumental expanses. Remote sequences clandestinely transpire, shimmeringly magnify and incandescently radiate, then dissolving for a brief moment before transforming into invigoratingly galloping climax. The closing, 13 and a half minutes long "Ecstatic Ascent" relieves unfurling scenario with gracefully revealing horizons, where warmly sweeping massive waves are meticulously pervaded by gorgeously introspective mirages. A pure sonic elixir!!!

I think recording and packaging like this would deserve a glass mastered format, it's a pity Forrest Hill Records didn't take this route, even if it might be a bit risky these days, but with a soundsculptor like Jarguna on their roster they have got a truly gifted and spirited journeyer indeed. Also I could imagine slightly refined sound quality with a broader chromatic range in depth and dynamics as there is hidden a huge potential in such fragranced album. However, I won't hesitate to say 79-minute "Fusion Of Soul" is most likely Jarguna's magnum opus and a strongly significant work exquisitely exploring the magic of Marco Billi's soulfully vast ambient insignias. Bravo, Marco!!! "Fusion Of Soul" is a must-have recording!!! And by the way, at February 17th, 2017, Jarguna has released his latest installment, contemplatively infused "Sogni di Sutra nei Venti", but this one is available as a digital only.

Richard Gürtler (Feb 19, 2017, Bratislava, Slovakia)

14
Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: February 05, 2017, 01:25:46 AM »
Since Alphaxone has been mentioned, I urge you to listen to Absence of Motion completely.  Attempt to remove negative bias by pretending it isn't classified as Dark Ambient and isn't on Cryo Chamber.   ;)

It's his best effort so far, IMO.

https://cryochamber.bandcamp.com/album/absence-of-motion

When speaking about Alphaxone, highly recommended is also Mehdi Saleh's side-project Spuntic with album "Broadcast", which was released in May 2014 on Dutch label Databloem. Btw, I have reviewed "Broadcast" CD on these pages two years ago.

http://databloem.com/home/642-spuntic-broadcast.html
http://www.hypnos.com/smf/index.php?topic=8013.msg47087#msg47087

Enjoy and all the best!!!

Richard

15
A must-have double album!!! Congratulations, Anthony!!! I am a really proud owner of this aural beauty!!!

Richard  :)

16
Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: January 30, 2017, 10:24:29 AM »
Some recent listens/highlights:

The Circular Ruins - Pathways

Very impressive epic double album, need to play it again soon. Lots of variety and little details.

https://dataobscura.bandcamp.com/album/pathways


Yeah, can't agree more!!! "Pathways" 2CD is a true masterwork, and deep listening sessions are still ahead, congrats, Anthony!!! And kudos to Dennis/Databloem too!!!  ;)

Richard


17


Howard Givens & Madhavi Devi "Source Of Compassion" CD

Highly acclaimed Spotted Peccary producer, composer and mastering maestro Howard Givens, who was also a member of the collaborative project/ensemble Brain Laughter (active during the 80's and 90's), joins his creative experiences with harpist and meditative soundscaper Madhavi Devi aka Cheryl Gallagher, who is mostly known for her fruitful contribution on "Tibet", a joint effort with kindred soul Deborah Martin, released on Spotted Peccary back in 2004, but also for her other albums "Pregnant Pause", "Kinetic" and "Harp Dreams", which I believe were self-released during the second half of the 90's. As customary for Spotted Peccary's visual realizations, "Source Of Compassion", which is out since the beginning of September 2016, comes in a really elegant 4-panel eco wallet featuring original art by Madhavi Devi with additional design skills provided by Daniel Pipitone. And it's quite obvious the mixing and mastering duties are handled by Howard Givens.

The album begins with 11-plus minutes long "Intention", which serenely glides into stunningly spacious zones highlighted by transcendentally buzzing expansive meridians, gracefully sinuous, and precisely backed by intangibly permeating sequences. Although melodious vintage patterns radiate more and more, the center stage is always guarded by murmuring undulations and mindscaping helixes. A strongly immersing journey is in full quintessential bloom!!! "Emergence" remains focused and safely drifts through magnificently voluminous realms. Subtly nuanced monochromatic, yet intriguingly multi-dimensional layers are clandestinely illuminated by yearning panoptic vistas. A soothingly sweeping beauty, bravo, Howard & Madhavi! "Omkara", with nearly 17 minutes the longest piece on album, merges again flatlined contemplative stratum, at time slightly reminiscent of droning didge-like solitudes, with balmily serpentine textural curtains, while flickering sequencer traceries inconspicuously arise and pervade across. Along the way additional opiate synthetic pulses join the spectacle as well. Artificial percussive passage calmly transmutes into vividly-driven tapestry of abundantly fragranced brilliancy delightfully amalgamating mesmerically elusive meditative trimmings with spellbindingly galvanizing authentic high-tech arrangements. A tour de force exhibition celebrating the ingenious artistry of both cognate spirits, certainly a magnum opus!!! No wonder, the words are pouring themselves when my listening room is invaded by such masterpiece!!! "Source Of Compassion", a 10 and a half minutes long title piece is announced by seashore field recordings, which soon commingle with mildly gossamer tribal beats and balsamic shakers, while enfolding reflections continuously ride atop, persistently percolate through and conquer the forefront with its emotive urgency. Another ultimately triumphant composition! "Pathless Passage" emerges from unfathomable depths carried towards immense spacefields, colored with soaring blankets and translucent cyber-tech rumbles. Ethereal choir-like drones are helixing above, but the odyssey is quickly stolen by vaguely magnetic, yet aeonian laid-back pulses. Expansive dissonant glimpses pop up occasionally and cascading washes relentlessly commingle with emitting signals and euphoric shimmers. A truly genuine sonic healing! Closing "Connected Space" shifts into tranquilly engrossing domains propelled by profoundly pensive meanders. These utterly poignant quietudes are gorgeously lulling and navigate the listener into the sacred garden of contemplation.

Maybe I can't find the correct words to explain it, but "Source Of Compassion" has hidden inside something very special, which is displayed throughout its entire length. The artistic languages of both protagonists are bridged flawlessly. A sonic equilibrium at its most exquisite! Yeah, I have no idea what exactly each member has brought to the table, but I don't care, because it's the final result that counts and 67-minute "Source Of Compassion" album is an absolutely sophisticated piece of art!!! Hats off to Howard Givens & Madhavi Devi!!! Previous release by Howard Givens "Life Flows Water", on which he was accompanied by Craig Padilla still deeply resonates and now we have on Spotted Peccary gang another top-notch collaborative project, this time resurrecting artistic expressions by Madhavi Devi. And by the way, via Spotted Peccary shop are available also very nice "Source Of Compassion" t-shirts (including women's scoop neck style) graced on the front with Chenrezig, the Buddhist image. Both, CD & t-shirt are highly recommended!!! And last but not least, stay tuned for more from the Spotted Peccary headquarters, the year 2017 will be again exciting thanks to this dedicated crew!!!

Richard Gürtler (Jan 22, 2017, Bratislava, Slovakia)

18


Steve Roach "Shadow Of Time" CD

After two highly challenging join efforts "Biosonic" and "Second Nature" with UK's gifted spirit Robert Logan, Steve Roach has once again dove deeply into profoundly poignant atmospheric oasis. Released during August 2016 as a 4-panel digipak, renowned Polish visual master Michał Karcz got a call to participate and deliver another of his creative gems, you might remember his artwork on other three Steve Roach's releases "Dynamic Stillness", "Afterlight" and "The Desert Inbetween" (with Brian Parnham). Additional credits go to usual fellow travelers Sam Rosenthal (design) and Howard Givens (mastering). I should add together with this album was released at the same day also a long-form journey "This Place To Be", which was originally released as a digital download only at the end of May 2016, but fortunately this stunningly embracing recording has found its way to a physical version few months later.

A 38-minute title epic composition "Shadow Of Time" ignites this exceptionally immersing ride with subtly meandering minimal layers, persistently rising, ebbing and overlapping. Distinctively reflective with clandestinely emerging warmly distant symphonious horizons and as usual for the Master's contemplative milestones, meticulously magnified by utterly enfolding and exquisitely climaxing glimpses of silence. The listener is invited to experience an ultimately tranquil sanctum of delicate introspectiveness. Enter now into some of the most powerful quietudes ever sculpted by Steve Roach, a pure aural ambrosia is served here in gargantuan doses!!! The next piece, a nearly 24 minutes long "Night Ascends", gently shifts into slightly more intenser, persistent and gliding paths, carefully augmented by sweeping solitudes, billowing consonances and ear-titillating meridians. Lithe and graceful deep nocturnal expansions at its most spellbinding! By the way, the digital version of this composition clocks to 78 and a half minutes! "Cloud Of Knowing", which reaches almost 12-minute mark, delves deeply into tremendously voluminous zones, graced by soulfully emotive panoramic insignias, as always magnificently scenic with breathtakingly longing vistas and constantly bridged with spiraling awe-inspiring ephemeral stillness. Blissful beauty and monumental tranquilness of these sceneries are fully unfolded. Cruising with such eternal grace can only Steve Roach, this is a truly jaw-dropping conclusion!!!

Deeply focused full immersion is highly recommended!!! Yeah, to be honest, it took me longer time before I was able to explore all the hidden magic of this album. Trust me, it's fully rewarding now! I still keep in mind one night, when falling asleep with beloved music in my ears. Usually, I am evanescing after few tracks (I mean of course the shorter ones...), but at that particular night I journeyed through the whole "Shadow Of Time" and it was a truly unforgettable night! That was the breaking point! Steve Roach is a man, who constantly enriches our lives with his essential soundcarvings and "Shadow Of Time" is certainly one of them showcasing the Master at the very top of his deepest sonic contemplations!!! And don't forget, the New Year's Eve has brought to us three new albums by Steve Roach, "Spiral Revelation", "Painting In The Dark" and "Fade To Gray". As always, collective dreams are shared...

Richard Gürtler (Jan 21, 2017, Bratislava, Slovakia)

19


Bing Satellites "Extensions Of Reality" CDr

UK, Manchester based soundpainter Brin Coleman, who acts under the moniker Bing Satellites, undoubtedly belongs to the most prolific ambient composers on the scene. Self-releasing sonic canvas since 2009, Bing Satellites' discography is really monstrous, I didn't count it exactly, but it must feature over 70 releases. And that's still not complete list, because he also releases his ambient recordings as The Ambient Visitor and The Lovely Moon, plus Blocker, where he focuses on more rhythm, techno or glitchy driven electronica. For me, who is nuts into physical editions, is very interesting to find that about 50 of Bing Satellites' albums are available as a pro CDr editions, usually packaged in elegant 4-panel card wallets or digipaks (except multi-album editions) or just as a simple 2-panel card sleeves. To be honest, I must clearly come out with the fact that I have been overlooking this highly crafted composer for some time, so a really big shame on me!!! But maybe it was that huge discography that scared me off, who knows... But I usually immediately add, always better late than never, right? Anyway, it seems like the newest release "Extensions Of Reality" was the triggering point for me as well as quite numerous and detailed recommendations by kindred Dutch soul Sander Berkvens (dank je wel, Sander!!!), so the more I am now enjoying exploring utterly magnificent soundworlds by Bing Satellites. The album is out since December 10th, 2016 and it comes in a slimline natural kraft card case. Not exactly my fave kind of packaging, but the case still looks really nice. And of course the most important is hidden inside, so let's unfold the journey!

Comprised of three longer compositions, the brilliance of the album unfolds with 22-minute "A Dream Within A Dream". Calmly emerging curtains are soon permeated by ear-titillating meridians, while deep drone stratum inconspicuously sneak in and steals the center stage for some time. Nebulously graceful choirs arise as well and join this gorgeously expansive spectacle. Splendidly immense horizons are deliberately revealed, while ethereal piano glimpses shift the composition into delightfully evocative vistas. An awe-inspiring voyage to the deepest ends of fascinating atmospheric Eden waits each dedicated pair of ears. "A Dream Within A Dream" is a true sonic ambrosia connecting to the soulfully imaginative haven of Bing Satellites!!! I am really grateful for letting his sonic insignias to fully reveal all its ultimate magic on me, thank you, Maestro!!! Man, how could I miss such immersing listening experience? "Where One Room Is Also Another", which runs to almost 17-minute mark, keeps safely on the path of serenely encircling drift zones guarded by angelic choirs. Gently nuanced, free-floating movements continuously delve profoundly into endless spaciousness of sweeping panoramas, here and there reinforced by clandestinely climaxing layers. This tranquil ride can't be wrapped up in a better way than by a composition entitled "Gliding Slightly Above The Ground". Incredibly infinite quietudes persistently drift and undulate, while occasional pastoral blankets percolate through voluminously monochromatic flow. And then transcendentally cascading choirs invade and guide us into breathtakingly monumental and tenebrously delightful sceneries, towards the end magnified by chimerically shimmering vertexes. Welcome to the Drone Eden!!!

Wow, this is a truly powerful, 60 minutes long soundsculpting by Bing Satellites!!! Yeah, maybe I would rather see this album in a more attractive 4-panel digipak or eco wallet type of packaging, but I don't mind, because "Extensions Of Reality" album is my ticket to explore many fascinatingly enveloping territories! Bing Satellites' sonic healings reveal the genius loci of these places! And don't forget, this guy is fruitfully productive, so before I was able to complete this review, he has just released a brand new album, "Twilight Sessions Volume 20" is out since January 6th, 2017!!! Bing Satellites is tremendously recommended soundcarver, so don't even think about making the same mistake I did...

Richard Gürtler (Jan 07, 2017, Bratislava, Slovakia)

20
Independent Music Reviews / My review of "Central Plateau" CD by Alargo
« on: January 08, 2017, 10:41:00 AM »


Alargo "Central Plateau" CD

Alan Brown, a respected jazz pianist based in Auckland, New Zealand, who has joined ambient community during 2015 with his piano-infused debut "Silent Observer", has in the meantime joined his creative, this time electronic-driven forces with fellow renowned jazz trumpeter, tubist and wind instrumentalist Kingsley Melhuish and gave birth to Alargo project. With a quite extensive schedule of live performances during 2015 and 2016 on their credit, at the end of November 2016 their debut CD entitled "Central Plateau" has landed. Released via Pacific Echoes, which I believe is their own label, "Central Plateau" album comes in a catchy 4-panel eco wallet designed by Alan Brown with cover photographs provided by Angus McNaughton, who is also the mastering engineer behind this recording. Additional credits go to P.W. Streekstra (recording, mixing), Mike McMinn (recording assistance) and Christopher John (band photography).

The album unfolds with the title 8-minute composition "Central Plateau", which delves deeply into gorgeously vast cinematic horizons, when meticulously coalescing soothingly introspective expansive meanders, delicately permeated here and there by gossamery fragments, with utterly poignant trumpet evocativeness, wandering from engrossingly wide-screen to queerly ephemeral. An equilibrium of embrace is in full bloom, what a beauty!!! A Hall of Fame composition and an ultimate balsam for my mind and body!!! Bravo, gentlemen, and more please!!! The next piece "Scratch It", which clocks to a 10-minute mark, is a quite distinctive cup of tea comparing to its predecessor. On this composition Kingsley Melhuish exhibits his unconventional approach to wind instrumentality, when bridging his minimal, yet flamboyantly colored experiments with intangibly hissing monochromatic solitaries and nuancing eerie layers riding above. There are all kinds of minimal barks and peeps, sort of "drive nuts" endeavors, but also slowly ascending, more massive dissonant curtains. If I am right, it's the pervasion of conch shells' calls and drones that add a truly transcendental feel to some passages of this bizarrely sculpted sonic mindscape. Although it's not mentioned on the sleeve, I have noticed this composition is dedicated to Philip Dadson, who was one of the prime creative souls on New Zealand's alternative scene as the leading figure behind From Scratch ensemble. "Actopia" runs over 17 and a half minutes and it's again a totally different story. Actually, it unfolds with longing poetic quietudes reinforced by gently fizzling blankets, persistent bass undulations and evocative quena glimpses and vestiges, but after about 5 minutes first chameleonic metamorphose appears and the track shifts into galloping synthetic downtempo paths magnified by trumpet whistles, shrills and filigrees. During 11th minute another transition follows and the composition glides back into serenely encircling drone sceneries embellished by tuba-like murmurs and elusive diaphanous chinks. The closing part mutates into more monolithic panoptic stratum amplified by primordial rumblings, percussive patterns and Suzuki Andes cravings (unique kind of flute/pan pipe/keyboard instrument), all clandestinely surrounded by phantasmal meridians. An adventurously enthralling conclusion indeed!!!

Yeah, the track selection on "Central Plateau" is a quite dazzling, it certainly showcases the potential of this crafted Kiwi duo, because Kingsley Melhuish and Alan Brown strikingly commingle their talents and distinguishably amalgamate acoustic virtuosity, both evocative and twisted, with balmy and wiggly electronic canvas. It's a pity the album clocks only to 35 and a half minutes, because its challenging arrangements, attractive packaging and a glass mastered format would deserve extra one or two tracks. In this case both protagonists would be able to demonstrate their undisputable artistry even more. However, this is my only complain. Otherwise, bravo, Kingsley & Alan, you can be really gratified for what you have achieved with this exciting debut release!!! This is the way to go, keep the fire burning!!!

Richard Gürtler (Jan 06, 2017, Bratislava, Slovakia)

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 33