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Messages - richardgurtler

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1


Hollan Holmes "Prayer To The Energy" 2xCD

I still keep in mind the wintery day in January 2011, when an unknown artist named Hollan Holmes introduced his debut album "A Distant Light" on the pages of EMPortal, featuring stunning self-made cover artwork. Sure, also the fact Steve Roach was credited as the mastering engineer added some extra curiosity into my explorations, but since then I have been closely following this talented Texan soundsculptor and visual artist. Over the years Hollan Holmes has released another 5 solo albums plus one collaborative project Common Ground together with Californian duo Resonant Drift. The path taken with "A Distant Light", when the aural part was masterfully accompanied by exceptional visuals, still keeps on blossoming with each self-released album and obviously "Prayer To The Energy" is no exception. Even more this time, when Hollan Holmes comes with his most ambitious project, a double album supported by his own paintings. "Prayer To The Energy" is out since the beginning of February 2017 and it comes in a nice glossy 6-panel eco wallet designed by the artist himself. Fellow Texan soundscaper Chad Kettering is credited for his mastering skills, as he does since Hollan Holmes' second album "The Farthest Fringes". Known for juxtaposing ear-tickling Berlin School memories with grandiosely expansive landscapes, Hollan Holmes has decided this time for monumental double set to separate his hallmarking sonic canvas.

Disc one is ignited by 6-minute title composition "Prayer To The Energy" and what a kickoff it is!!! Persistently glistening sequences fire up the show, swiftly galloping and soon joined by another vigorously engrossing layer, while warmly scenic washes slowly sneak in and cascade through hauntingly captivating elevations. A top-notch introduction!!! "Insulated" (btw, inside the eco wallet there is a painting of a glass insulator) is more mid-paced, yet still enough shimmeringly animated with some catchy crescendos thrown in and auxiliary permeating intangible meridians. "Darkness And Light" moves smoothly into serenely embracing terrains, highlighted by heartwarming, nearly poetic sequencer patterns painting intensely evocative longing vistas. What a beauty!!! "Great Expectations" surprises with its gentle electric guitar rawness, surrounded by leisurely emerging metallic percussive subtleties on the back, along with percolating orchestral glimmers and guarded by remotely ethereal choirs, while additional, poignantly enchanting tapestries navigate the composition into its finale. Wow, this is a truly magnificent piece of ambience!!! "Lucid Dreams" shifts into intenser, yet utterly enveloping cinematic solitudes, but pulsing quietudes arise and relentlessly traverse across. Celestial choir-like drones are riding atop, but eternal pulses clandestinely metamorphose into headlining magnitudes, dazzlingly lonesome at times, yet splendidly engrossing, before reuniting again with etheric drifts. A pure sonic ambrosia is served here! "That Ephemeral Spark" keeps on the orbit, but soon the journey is stolen by distinguishing blend of sequencer-driven traceries, slightly tribal fragranced aeonian beats and evocatively helixing melodic curtains. Another strikingly attractive composition! "We Can Never Go Back" reveals with impalpably tinkling contemplative throbs, though the center stage is leaded by sparklingly absorbing sequences coupled with picturesque spirals and glancingly resurrected intensified undercurrents. Richly textured sonic euphoria! The closer "A Midwinter Night's Dream", by far the longest piece on disc one reaching 19 and a half minutes (all other tracks are clocking between 4:58 and 7:27), was originally recorded for Chuck Van Zyl's Star's End radio program "2015 Winter Solstice Special". The track employs delicately pulsing joyful sequences backed by stargazing blankets, occasionally augmented by synthetic-driven rippling glimmers. Sublimely sweeping deep sky psalm wraps up this absolutely exhilarating ride, prodigiously ebullient and tremendously absorbing, yet always securely wired to authentic Berlin School incandescences with significantly ingenious insignias thrown in. Yes, disc one is triumphant indeed!!!

8 minutes long "The Suspension Of Time" unveils disc two with expansively gliding graceful washes, balmily encircling and awe-inspiringly evoking infinite spatial emptiness and loneliness. "Cloud World" shifts this serenely immersing odyssey into magnificently longing magnitudes, where Hollan Holmes masterfully merges imposingly multidimensional graciousness with perpetually pervading splendiferously ethereal choir-like drone layers and ephemeral transcendental dissonances. Pure aural bliss!!! "Cover Of Darkness", as indicated by its title, is swallowed by unfathomably spiraling enigmas, while inconspicuously emanating glimmers are guarding vast solitudes. And just the same with the composition, which is entitled "Sublime Stasis" and clocks over 9-minute mark. The listener is immediately bathed by heartwarmingly inviting, sonorously graceful and endlessly overwhelming horizons. The gates of sheer atmospheric beauty are unlocked!!! "Breathing" is driven by helically filigreeing subtleties, constantly overseen by tranquilly embracing and surreptitiously nuanced spellbinding drifts, sporadically reinforced by mildly magnifying movements. Nearly 20 minutes long ending track, "Cerro Torre", initially created for Star's End radio program "2016 Halloween Special", unfolds with desolate drone stratums fastidiously bridged with nebulously mindscaping vertexes, persistently delving into the deepest fissures of delightful drone Eden! Massively humming magmas join this splendor along with thrillingly jaw-dropping, choir-like charged cinematic sceneries, towards the end amalgamated with tumultuously outbursting organic apexes and titillatingly high-pitched dramatic sequencer glimpses. Wow, a truly breathtaking listening spectacle fully reveals its magic, as much adventurous and grandiose as majestically towering massif of Cerro Torre mountain in the Southern Patagonian Ice Field. An epic grand finale!!!

Well, after all above words it's quite obvious this monstrously challenging and all-inclusive tour de force double album by Hollan Holmes has quickly became a very strong competitor for The Best Album of 2017!!! But I think this is not surprising anymore to all those ambient connoisseurs who are already familiar with exceptional gift, creative potential and spectacular multi-craft of this Texan artist. Your self-taught mastery is so inspirational for many others, Hollan, you have my deep respect for each of your sonic and visual jewels!!! 122-minute "Prayer To The Energy" is simply another milestone!!!

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

2


Erik Wøllo and Byron Metcalf "Earth Luminous" CD

Two virtuosos, Norwegian ambient guitar ace Erik Wøllo and American aural curandero Byron Metcalf, join their forces for a truly essential splendor entitled "Earth Luminous". Out on Projekt since the end of April 2016, 4-panel digipak is graced by an aerial delight photographed by Ian Dutton (a husband of Shea Hovey, Projekt's maven) from his cockpit, while Sam Rosenthal did the graphic design. Erik Wøllo is credited also for mixing and mastering.

Nearly 9-minute "Days Of Magic" is ignited by ear-tickling crystalline tinkles and bubbles, which are precisely bridged with Erik Wøllo's heartwarmingly embracing washes, while Byron Metcalf soon reveals his gossamery fragranced udu and drum brilliance. Erik's velvety string subtleties clandestinely join the stage as well. A pure aural bliss awaits here and no matter if with your headphones on or through your speakers. This is an ultimate showcase of two phenomenal musicians exquisitely merging their spirited signatures, more please, gentlemen!!! And this spectacle obviously continues with "Light And Ground", when cyber-tech infused arrangements are exquisitely amalgamated with mesmerizing shaker medicine, vibrantly galloping tribal drums and vigorously infectious udu, while gladdening panoptic meanders are guarding above reinforced here and there by intangible glossolalias and organic signals. Abundantly flavored masterpiece!!! "Far Wandered" is as much propelled by the passion and the poignancy of both protagonists as its predecessor. Byron's hyper active and intensely hypnotic drums (frame and ceremonial) and shakers are meticulously juxtaposed by Erik's headlining Berlin School pulses and grippingly longing solitudes. Soul stirring elixir is served here in a large dose! "Valley Of Spheres" calms down the journey with a potpourri of translucent bleeps, udu and drum quietudes and evocative blankets, revealing charming laid-back downtempos. Beauty!!! "Distant Future" dives into more meditative terrains, driven by languid drumming accompanied by slightly cacophonous traceries, before inconspicuously transmuting through gently stringed tension into captivatingly nanced panoramic sceneries. "Diomedea" returns to vivaciously sublime, euphorically infused and spellbindingly celestial paths, while the next piece, the title composition "Earth Luminous" straightly shifts into sparklingly exuberant zones, masterfully navigated by Erik's cyber-biotic horizons counterpointed by shimmering strings and Byron's passionate drum wizardry. Auxiliary scenic meridians join this dazzlingly invigorating splectacle along with shamanic shaker opiates. A truly triumphant ethereal-cyber-trance-tribal magnificence displaying superiorly distinctive, yet impeccably commingled hallmarks of two like-minded and hugely experienced maestros. Certainly one of the album's ultimate pinnacles!!! The closing, 5-plus minutes long "Linked Stars" (all other tracks are clocking roughly between 7 and 9 minutes), is the only composition recorded live in the studio (at Byron's The Lair in September 2015). Poignantly evocative stringed tinkles bridged with enfolding curtains and contemplative bowls clandestinely metamorphose into gorgeously expansive and utterly engrossing serenities, gliding towards eternally sequestered rainy stillness. Exhaustively immersing outro!!!

In a nutshell, over 63-minute "Earth Luminous" is a fully blooming sonic palette loaded with two exceptionally gifted musicianships and superb sound quality delivers a truly rewarding listening experience. "Earth Luminous" is undoubtedly a milestone and one of the highlights of 2016 indeed, bravo, Erik and Byron!!! But be prepared for more, because only 5 months later after this collaboration Byron Metcalf has released his another opus entitled "Inner Rhythm Meditations" featuring lushly vital contributions by Erik Wøllo and Peter Phippen. And since March 2017 we glorify another Projekt's release, this time Erik Wøllo's monumental "Different Spaces" 2CD. Explore, enjoy and celebrate all these sonic gifts!!!

Richard Gürtler (Apr 15, 2017, Bratislava, Slovakia)

3


Max Corbacho "Future Terrain" CD

One of my dreams came true!!! Yeah, definitely as this long-form piece was originally released during the spring of 2015 as a digital download only, in shorter 58-minute version. As far I remember, it was just before "Splendid Labyrinths" CD was officially introduced. "Future Terrain" has immediately received a lot of positive feedbacks from many drone ambient connoisseurs across the globe, so when Max Corbacho made the deal with Vitaly Savisko, the driving force behind Moscow based enthusiastic GS Productions label, no wonder I was one of the happiest guys on the planet, eagerly awaiting a glass mastered edition of this dronescaping gem!!! Released January 10th, 2017 in a limited edition of 100 copies, the CD comes in a really elegant matte 6-panel digipak featuring original cover image rendering by 3D artist Lee Griggs with additional image treatment, cover design and layout by visual artist Michael Rodriguez Pletz, who has already worked with Max Corbacho on "Splendid Labyrinths" cover. The mastering duties are handled by Ian Hawgood.

With pressing the play button on my CD player, I am immediately carried away into awe-inspiringly immense sceneries fastidiously displayed by ultra immersing cover images. Thrillingly unfathomable free-floating drifts are meticulously magnified with gargantuan humming magmas. Utterly expansive amorphous horizons persistently keep on billowing and transmuting from desolately magnificent into heavenly multidimensional graciousness, while spellbindingly monochromous drone gurgles constantly reawake, permeate, cascade and climax through ear-bending transcendental glimpses. Cinematic magnitudes inconspicuously pervade across and join this exquisitely staggering and disastrously thick drone scenario. Shifting from gracefully monumental "Ars Lucis" majesty to intensely abysscaping "The Ocean Inside" zones, from tremendously engrossing "Splendid Labyrinths" enigmas to breathtakingly monolithic "Future Terrain" meridians. An all-inclusive heavyweight aural spectacle unfolds all its atmospheric magic here, masterfully amalgamating perpetually enveloping spheres of spatial solitariness and mysterious infiniteness with vigorously crescendoing ear-blowing reverberations and spectacularly helixing, yet sweepingly panoramic vistas, here and there intriguingly augmented by glancing monstrous calmness. Yes, 74-minute "Future Terrain" precisely explores some of the most essential symmetries between profoundly embracing endless spaciousness and prodigiously tenebrous zones.

Unmistakable audible insignias of Max Corbacho are relentlessly glimmering through this powerfully transporting journey, exhibiting some of the most nebulous, lower end graced domains this Spaniard has ever carved during his stellar, nearly 20 years long recording career. Balmily colossal realms are virtuosically juxtaposed by sonorously devastating stratums, enter now "Future Terrain"!!! Huge thanks to Max & Vitaly for this physical edition!!! So guys, and what about "Deep Time"...? Oh, and not to forget, Max Corbacho has just announced two days ago the release of long awaited "Nocturnes" album, no release date is set yet, but the album is at the pressing plant already, so definitely keep an ear to the ground!!! Max Corbacho is one of the undisputable masters of the deepest sonic meditations!!! And by the way, since November 2016, there is available also extended digital version of legendary "Indalo" collaborative album, now credited to Max Corbacho only, with additional two tracks, each clocking to 20 minutes.

Richard Gürtler (Apr 09, 2017, Bratislava, Slovakia)

4


Steve Brand "The Path Of The Heart" CDr

Kansan soundsculptor Steve Brand has released during 2016 on physical format 6 albums, two of them were brand new recordings "The Path Of The Heart" (May) and "Leaving The Hive" (September), while the rest were 4 reissues released during November, "The Great Hoop", "Our True Nature", "The Track Of The Full Moon On Water" and "Because We Were Once Covered In Gold". Each of these albums comes in a limited edition (50 or 25 copies for a new album, reissues have 10 copies run) as 5"x7" bi-fold booklet featuring additional signed art card. "The Path Of The Heart" is released on relaxedMachinery and according to the liner notes, it started in early 2014 as the result of several live improvisations in Steve Brand's studio.

8-minute "Changing With The Light" unfolds the album with soothingly introspective solitudes, fastidiously reinforced by poignant piano quietudes, ranging from sparsely poetic to intensely glimpsing, and guarded by intangibly humming drone. Utterly embracing serenities grace my listening room! "At The Speed Of Thought" clocks to 17-plus minutes and delves into more dense terrains, moving across sinuous paths counterpointed with pinnacling silence. Unforeseen, eerily erupting climaxes, sacredly monumental, steal the center stage occasionally, then evanescing through the cacophony of Near East-fragranced traceries. The title composition, "The Path Of The Heart", only slightly shorter than its predecessor, shifts into undulating, warmly expansive panoramic magnitudes, again intriguingly coalesced with towering stillness and ear-tickling heartwarming reverberations."The Crucible Of Heart" meticulously merges evocatively billowing stratums, desolately immense hums and enthrallingly silent vistas. Another deeply reflective spectacle fully revealing exquisite sonic insignias of its sole protagonist, this must be Steve Brand at his most pensive! The shortest, 5 minutes long "Flowing Through The Heart Of Everything" dives straightly into organic-driven sceneries, juxtaposing distinguishably ear-bending serpentine perplexes with mesmeric nocturnal symphonies. "Let It All Fall Away", the longest 20-minute piece closes the ride with intenser, cyber-tech infused enigmas, magnified by breathtaking overtone meridians by shamanic performer Mark Seelig, who later utilizes also his ingeniously primordial bansuri wizardry. Mind-blowing transcendental Eden unlocks its gates and the listener enters strikingly magical domains carved by two exceptionally gifted sound curanderos!!! What a milestone, a grand finale to already remarkable recording!!!

"The Path Of The Heart" CDr is another brilliant sonic installment by Steve Brand and essential proof of his genius for "beyond the gates" ambience. A must-have album with fully rewarding, 78 minutes long listening explorations, so hats off to Steve Brand!!! And kudos to Mark Seelig for his significant guest input!!! Last but not least, stay tuned for more by Steve Brand, as a trilogy "Near Series: Silence/Otherness/Threshold" is scheduled for a release during 2017 with contributions by kindred spirits Mark Seelig and åpne sinn. The journey continues...

Richard Gürtler (Mar 30, 2017, Bratislava, Slovakia)

5
Forum Member Projects News and Promotion / Re: Jaja news
« on: April 01, 2017, 08:00:08 AM »
Wow, what a great news, Jaja, I definitely stay tuned for 3CDr edition, I can't miss it!!! My order will follow soon. All the best and keep on stargazing!!! :)

Richard

6
Richard: Thank you for sharing your wonderful review here. Yes, I plan CD releases of Through the belt of Orion, Beyond the horizon & my upcoming album.  :)

Wow, what a great news, Jaja, I definitely stay tuned for physical editions!!! :)

Richard

7
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)

8
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

9
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

10
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

11
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

12


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)


13
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

14
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

15


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)

16


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)

17
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

18
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

19
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)

20
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

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