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Messages - richardgurtler

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1


Andrew Heath "The Silent Cartographer" CD

Although Andrew Heath's debut solo CD "The Silent Cartographer" was released two years ago, during July 2014, I wasn't aware of this, in the UK based sound alchemist until the end of April 2016. What a pity I didn't explore this crafted soundscaper much earlier! Out on UK's Disco Gecko Recordings, a label created in 1998 by Toby Marks of Banco de Gaia, the CD comes in a really beautiful 6-panel eco wallet featuring stunning cover painting by Andrew Heath's wife Zoë, surrounded by immersing photographs taken by the artist himself. What a beauty, kudos to all of you, guys, for such amazing cover art splendor!!! A CD like this is a collector's dream, that's for sure! Credit list includes also above mentioned Toby Marks, who is responsible for superior mastering work.

"The Silent Cartographer", a 13-minute title track, immediately delves deeply into the visual magic of the album with its microscopically detailed, crystalline clear rural field recordings and titillating found sounds of diverse squeaks, rumbles, twinkles..., while soothingly embracing washes clandestinely permeate, drift and meander above along with balmy piano vistas. Audiophile quality sound is another bonus here, a headphone listening is a true revelation!!! Additional intriguingly reverberating subtleties add a truly mindscaping dimension, occasional ear-piercing sample glimpses are absolutely unexpected too. The title couldn't have been chosen any better for this composition. After the visual bliss is time for the aural one!!! Bravo, Andrew!!! "This Twilight World" unfolds with enigmatic, nocturnally flatlined drone, gossamer chimes and ephemeral poetic piano. Stringed poignancy surreptitiously joins as well along with emerging atmospheric zones and percolating piano lyricism, always counterpointed with ear-tickling traceries. Still rather minimal, yet utterly detailed and magnificently enchanting composition. An aural paradise, a nearly 10 minutes long granular amalgamate at its most sophisticated and immersing!!! "Shoreline (Found Object)" shifts into more abstract level at the beginning, but soon transmuting into enveloping haze, where long-forgotten memories awake and continuously bathe the listener's ears with its beautifully contemplative minimalism, where nuancing heart-warming expressions are insistently imbued by soothingly engrossing stillness. Again meticulously balanced and emotionally-driven piece!!! Short "Paper Boat", which doesn't reach 3-minute mark, safely remains on the path of pleasantly evocative piano reveries. "Still Point" is announced by glitchy shimmers, while emanating drifts slowly expand into tranquilly surrounding horizons, precisely displayed by its title, together with delicately diaphanous location recollections and transient piano reflections. Exquisitely transporting listening experience, a true aural placidness!!! "The Poet’s Dream", a 10-minute closing composition, reveals with slightly more abstract feel, where flimsy noises, bleeps and tinkles are constantly commingled with serpentine drones. But then piano slowly awakes and steals the center stage with its emotive tapestries, confronted with crescendoing and diminuendoing meridians. This is a truly gorgeous lyrical conclusion, well-done, Andrew!!!

"The Silent Cartographer" album is filled with euphoniously rewarding delicateness, masterfully polished with filigreeing attention to every single detail. It's a very strong debut work, I won't even hesitate to use the word triumphant, because this, nearly 55 minutes long recording showcases exceptionally creative potential and distinguishably sensitive artistry of its sole protagonist. Once more, bravo, Andrew!!! By the way, the digital version of this album features additional two tracks, "Kleine Blume Irgendwo (A Homage To Joachim)", dedicated to Hans Joachim Roedelius, and "In Search Of Eden", clocking together to almost 32 minutes. It's a pity, at least one of these pieces didn't make it to the CD version, preferably, I would like to see them both on the CD in some slightly squeezed lengths. In any case, the name Andrew Heath is a big revelation for my ears!!! And last but not least, Andrew Heath has released in October 2015 follow-up album entitled "Flux", which is no short in aural and visual excellence of its predecessor.

Richard Gürtler (Aug 22, 2016, Bratislava, Slovakia)


2


Al Gromer Khan "Chakra Noir" CD

"Chakra Noir", the newest album by iconic German instrumentalist, sitarist and composer Al Gromer Khan is out since April 2016 on his Rasa Music label. Again packaged in rather simple, but elegant 4-panel digipak. After deep sonic meditations on "Day Of The Beloved", released at the beginning of 2016, the Maestro shifts his filigree soundsculpting into mesmerizingly illuminating and exceptionally textured transcultural sonic paradise. Enter these nectarous realms now!!!

5-minute "A Simple World With Flowers" reveals with ethereal chants of, I believe Al's wife Ute, supported by laid-back percussive downtempos, serpentine drones and sitar piquancy. A truly ear-tickling potpourri awaits here, which gorgeously interacts with its title. The next composition, "Degrees Of Tenderness", embodies placid, balmily enveloping jazzy influenced patterns with pellucid strings of sitar. Chirping subtleties along with intangible glimpses of bells paint contemplative images, then clandestinely metamorphosing into calmly evanescing monochromatic drone horizons. "Shedding Light" shifts into subtly enigmatic expanses, soothingly nuanced and guarded by elusive choirs, and reinforced by stringed poetic lyricism. The title track, "Chakra Noir", clocks to 5 and a half minutes, actually most of the compositions are hanging around 5 minutes in length. Mysterious zones are permeated by Ute's voice fragments, glistening rumbles, sitar curlicues, titillating chimes and ephemeral choirs. Pristine, crystalline, minimal, yet richly scented. "A Summer Tale" delves into more drifting sceneries counterpointed with translucently tantalizing sitar. Celestial choir-like washes and leisure, jazz-driven tempos sneak in as well. "Adya Shakti", with 3 minutes the shortest piece on "Chakra Noir", immediately attracts with gorgeously poignant acoustic guitar, meticulously embraced by gossamery halcyon zones and pervaded by expressive sitar transiency. Encircling beauty!!! "Tan & Maroon" keeps on evocative path, melting variety of strings like acoustic guitar, sitar, cello or viola..., ranging from enchantingly warm to sinuously weeping, with hypnotically sculpted percussive beats, temporary bell diaphanousness and glancing piano solitudes. Another sonic splendor!!! "Im Nu" blends masterfully assortment of heavenly choirs and voice fragments with intricately helixing undulations and mellowly insistent melodic patterns. Exquisitely ambrosial composition!!! "The Train And The Crow" returns to flamboyantly colored terrains, where thrillingly crafted and distinctively fragranced instrumentation, perfectly evoking an adventurous railway journey, cleverly melts with western-influenced ambient soundscaping. An utterly gorgeous piece, where South Asian perfumes spectacularly bridge with the Wild West magic of abandoned ghost towns. Wow, this was a truly unexpected sonic exploration!!! "Rose Of All My Days", as displayed by its title, remains in calmer, poetic territories, where occasional spicy sitar tapestries coalesce with captivatingly immersing laid-backness and airy cinematic blankets. Eloquent violin announces "The King's Companion", gentle strings emerge as well along with piano glimpses. Scenic passages inconspicuously awake too and commingle with beautifully tearful bowed strings, sensuous sitar embellishments and rattling traceries. Transmuting, cascading, meandering, drifting... "Into Blue", with 6:38 the longest piece on the album, closes this strikingly magnificent ride with euphorically colored texture, which moves surreptitiously through different twists and nuances, always fascinatingly perfumed with sitar, tabla or harmonica passages, and sporadic whispers, no matter if exotic or again with strikingly distinguishing infusion of the Southwestern heat haze. A virtuoso conclusion!!!

61-minute "Chakra Noir" is utterly extraordinary recording by Al Gromer Khan, showcasing on one side his traditional insignias with long lasting perfumes, but this time stirringly amalgamated with strikingly unique and blazingly imaginative arrangements shifting this album into a brand new level, where electro-acoustic brilliance melts with awe-inspiring invention. I believe this is another huge achievement in Al Gromer Khan's stellar musical career that spans five decades. A truly special listening adventure awaits when exploring "Chakra Noir", don't miss it!!!

Richard Gürtler (Aug 07, 2016, Bratislava, Slovakia)

3


Byron Metcalf "Shamanic Trance Dance" CD

Although almost one and a half years have passed since my visit of Byron Metcalf's “The Lair” studio in Prescott Valley, Arizona, the magic of this unique space still deeply resonates and all the great memories when experiencing extraordinaire musicianship of the shamanic powerhouse are alive. Excerpts from the upcoming album invade The Lair along with Byron's info about finding his new home with some big, at that time still secretly untitled label. August 1st 2015 reveals a bit of the mystery, when Byron Metcalf joins his forces with Sandra Ingerman, who is a world-renowned teacher of shamanism with 30 years of experience. "The Spirit Of Healing" CD is released, a shamanic journey music enhanced with Field Effect Audio Technology (FEAT), developed by Byron Metcalf to enter beyond the realms of ordinary reality. Released on Sounds True, a Colorado based label and multimedia publishing company. The next chapter released by Sounds True is "Shamanic Trance Dance", the first solo album by Byron Metcalf on this label. Released on May 1st 2016, two longtime kindred souls join this sonic adventure: Dashmesh Khalsa and Mark Seelig with their broadly fruitful contributions and several other guests deliver their creative insignias too. Packaged in a really gorgeous 6-panel CD wallet (cover image credit goes to "agsandrew"/Shutterstock) featuring extensive liner notes by Mitchell Clute, the producer at Sounds True, as well as by Byron Metcalf. Let's fire up the dance!!!

Nearly 11 and a half minutes long "True Ground" reveals with a chant by Peruvian medicine man Fred Clarke Alvarez aka Pacha Paqariy, while Dashmesh Khalsa ignites his didgeridoo drone wizardry. But Byron Metcalf's volcanic tribal drumming and mesmerizingly immersing rattles quickly move to the center stage and fuel this truly mind-transporting listening experience. Mark Seelig's overtone voice magic inconspicuously sneaks in as well, hovers above, juxtaposes and amalgamates with medicine chants. A par excellence performance of every participant, bravo to all of you!!! No matter if connecting to these magnificently authentic shamanic worlds with your headphones on or through your speakers, the sound quality is a truly jaw-dropping, crystalline clear!!! What a journey!!! Sounds True is a "True Ground" for Byron Metcalf!!! The next track, "Portals Of Power", is again propelled by unmistakably passionate signatures by its main protagonist, while distant didge drones glide above. But around the second quarter Dashmesh adds his lively didge passage. Expansive atmospheric mindscapes emerge, slowly pinnacle, dissolve and then re-awake again, these might be created by Australian astralscaper Don Peyote. This is another exquisitely profound coalescence of primordial-driven singular heartbeats, cyber-trance-induced fragrances and gracefully intangible horizons. A massively intense aural meditation!!! "Remember To Breathe" incorporates slightly more moderate drumming, insistent didge barks, hypnotic breath tapestries and eternally helixing and buzzing electro grooves sculpted by another Arizonian Will Merkle. This time delving into more monochromatic depths, yet perpetually energizing your spirit!!! "Spirits Of The Roadman", with 9-plus minutes, the shortest piece on "Shamanic Trance Dance", shifts into cyber-organic terrains meticulously commingling hyper-active dreamtime traceries with blazing synthetic tempestuousness. Riveting display of drums and rattles with spellbindingly growling drone pipe and ephemeral ceremonial utters, all filled with infinitely high-spirited, infectiously tantalizing and strikingly galvanizing power! Don Peyote gets another credit on this composition for his atmospheric zones. 11-minute "Serpent Weaver" employs more tranquilizing tempo highlighted by tangibly relaxed, yet calmly crescendoing drums, opiating shakers, droning didgeridoo, enigmatic vocal glossolalias and ocarina glimpses. Then Mark Seelig fully unfolds his mastery showcasing the depth of the human voice, its multi-dimensional phenomenon with staggeringly transcendental magnitudes. Wow!!! This is another magnum opus, where all performing tribesmen deliver the very finest and quintessentially recognized musicianship. The gates to primordial trance drone Eden are unlocked!!! "Breaking Through" with 16 minutes the longest track reveals with buzzing didge drone enhanced by medicine chant by Chris O'Brien, who utilizes also ambiguously serpentine synths and transient ocarina terra vistas on this piece. But it's Byron's vibrantly heavy, tribal drum magic that quickly steps in and grabs this breathtakingly engulfing parade along with Mark's eerie overtone rituals. Sonic curanderos strike once more! Feel their passion, feel their energy!!! Although all previous compositions are absolutely triumphant, "Breaking Through" must be a crème de la crème of "Shamanic Trance Dance"! Yes, definitely!!!

No doubts here, the almost 71-minute "Shamanic Trance Dance" is a truly phenomenal work by Byron Metcalf, wealthily infused by 5 decades of his prolific music career covering an expansive diversity of styles and exquisitely supported by stunningly exuberant guest performances by longtime kindred spirits Dashmesh Khalsa and Mark Seelig and with the addition of other like-minded wizards. I am a really proud owner of this album. It's a milestone and obviously one of the pinnacles of 2016!!! Byron Metcalf is a genius of shamanic tribal-ambient soundforging!!! So I hope the connection between Sounds True and Byron Metcalf will bring in the future many more aural jewels like this one!!! And by the way, don't miss another brilliant recording by Byron Metcalf, a collaborative album with Norwegian ambient guitar ace Erik Wøllo, it's entitled "Earth Luminous" and it's out on Projekt since the end of April 2016. These are genuine gifts, thank you, Maestro!!!

Richard Gürtler (Aug 02, 2016, Bratislava, Slovakia)

4


Remco Helbers "On Some Road" CD

Wow!!! I simply can't start with any other words. What a well-hidden masterwork by an ambient guitar dronescaper Remco Helbers!!! This Dutchman is also known as one of the members of ambient/dhrupad/trance project Chalnat. This little gem of art was already self-released by Remco on physical CD back in 2002 (!!!) and it's a best example there is no justice in music industry!!! Certainly big shame on me for not exploring this jewel much sooner. Yeah, I still keep in mind when searching infos about Chalnat and discographies about each member popped up, but unfortunately in Dutch only, so I somehow didn't pay any deeper attention to them. Otherwise I would be able to get at least some hint on Remco Helbers', I believe, debut solo album. So I had to wait until Forrest Fang has brought this stunningly gorgeous album to the light some weeks ago (huge thanks, Forrest!!!). Some additional background info on this recording, the music was inspired by paintings of London-based abstract painter John Kimber, who met Remco Helbers during a Guitar-Craft course led by Robert Fripp in 1998. Each of the seven tracks is represented by a painting, all of them are printed on the 8-panel front insert. Except Remco Helbers and John Kimber, credit goes also to Sid Smith for the liner notes (he was an attendee of the same course). This music was firstly presented on the opening night of an exhibition of John Kimber's paintings in July 2001 at the Long Gallery at Lauderdale House in London. I should add that "On Some Road" album was digitally re-released in 2015 on Turmoil Music label.

Equipped with Chapman Grand Stick, bells, bowls and sampler, "On Some Road" journey unfolds with 7-minute "Urban Nightscape II". A truly gracious and warm dronescape magnified with filigree mindscaping flickerings invades, drifts and meanders through gorgeously expansive nocturnal vistas and glimpses. What a beauty!!! The listener is immediately bathed in an ultimate looped atmospheric elixir, a pure drone magic virtuosically executed by Remco Helbers!!! "A Kinder Blue IV" holds its magnificently embracing dimension, masterfully counterpointing balmy rises and ebbs with intangibly reverberating helixes. Euphoniously evocative, yet meticulously dissonant, certainly another superb composition!!! Its companion "A Kinder Blue II" safely keeps on billowing path, where it exquisitely merges insistently pinnacling cinematic horizons, elusive bell contemplations and peculiarly traversing tapestries. Immensely reflective dronendeavour!!! "Floating In Sequence II", with 3 and a half minutes minutes the shortest piece on the album, seems to be the most enigmatic composition so far, where circling stringed patterns continuously interplay with slowly emerging and expressively weeping panoramas, while remotely ethereal bells surreptitiously sneak in. On the contrary the following cut, "Cathedral I" clocks to 9-minute mark as the longest track "On Some Road". The title couldn't be chosen more precise, my listening room is invaded by gracefully immense washes, which are persistently permeated by hauntingly reverberant reminiscences. Sublimely monumental, yet splendid mindscapes are endlessly carved and commingle with abstract images revealed by sunlight filtered through stained glass windows. Another intense drone tour de force, bravo, Remco!!! "Obsession I" delves deeply into shadowy unfathomable depths, where undulating, rather monochromatic drone is relentlessly confronted with ear-tickling transcendental meridians. Oracular "Floating In Sequence II" is easily surpassed, a journey beyond the gates awaits here, enter now!!! The closing "Dragon III", another longer piece clocking to nearly 9 minutes, remains safely on the path guided by tenebrously sculpted scenario pervaded by intriguing resonances, occasionally augmented by cinematic climaxes and meditative glimmers. A very strong outro indeed!!!

This is an utterly jaw-dropping, over 49 minutes long listening exploration, I still can't believe... And I keep on wondering how could I miss such masterwork for many many years. But anyway, always better later than never!!! As I have found lately, this album received handful of very positive reviews during 2002, but unfortunately it still remains criminally unexposed. As informed by Remco, he still has boxes with this CD, which was a result of bad experiences with some distributors back in the days when he started with his label. So he quickly became disillusioned about this kind of business and because at the same time he was moving into his studies about stringed instruments of the Hindustani classical music like surbahar (bass sitar) and rudra veena, "On Some Road" CD is still a strongly undiscovered jewel. Yeah, the future offerings by Remco Helbers might sound quite different, but I don't mind, because he is an exceptionally gifted artist!!! I definitely will keep an ear out for his next soundsculptings. So it's quite obvious an epic "On Some Road" CD gets my highest recommendation!!!

Richard Gürtler (Jul 27, 2016, Bratislava, Slovakia)

5
Independent Music Reviews / My review of "Puja" CD by David Parsons
« on: July 11, 2016, 01:01:50 AM »


David Parsons "Puja" CD

One of the most respected doyens and original voices within the ambient drone scene returns in a jaw-dropping condition!!! That's "Puja" by New Zealander David Parsons, who has found his new home after three decades with Arizonian label Fortuna Records/Celestial Harmonies on sympathetic Swedish label gterma, where he debuted during 2013 with "Stupa" album. I have been always deeply fascinated by David Parsons ability to transform his long exploratory experiences into absolutely breathtaking sonic tapestries, meticulously transporting each listener into thrillingly enigmatic Middle and Far East realms. "Puja", which is in Hinduism a religious ritual, is certainly no exception!!! Released during March 2016 in standard jewel case with 8-panel front insert featuring photographs of Hindu and Buddhist rites by David's wife Kay Parsons as well as by gterma's driving force Johan Rehn, who is credited for additional design. As usual, the mastering duties were given to A.P aka Anders Peterson of GS Mastering & Post.

Divided into seven "Offerings", clocking between 8:35 and 16:24 in length, this utterly mysterious ride is ignited by "Offerings 1", the shortest, yet stunningly transporting transcendental journey through Indo-Gangetic Plains and Tibetan Plateau!!! Oracularly circling drones are continuously pervaded by mind-bending high-pitched clickety-clack vertexes, mesmerizingly intangible chant vistas and trance-infused throat-singing of Tibetan monks. Wow, a powerfully enrapturing listening experience awaits here as David Parsons activates all his strikingly immersing insignias and returns at the very top of his extraordinarily perfumed soundcarving wizardry, bravo, Maestro!!! "Offerings 2" moves into more contemplative terrains, where panoptic expanses, both enigmatic and embracing, are masterfully bridged with gathering of hypnotically helixing chants. "Offerings 3" safely glides through enthrallingly mindscaping sceneries, where variety of mediative bells melt with rumbling traceries, rain-charged location recordings and exquisitely monochromatic stratums. Unearthly chanting joins this spectacle as well for a trully spectacular travelogue. Another deeply fascinating soundscape reaching and entering the gates of spiritual serenity and mysterious beauty of some of the most remote monastic grounds. "Offerings 4" is driven by mind-expanding, eternally oscillating chants, which are firstly juxtaposed with elusively tinkling contemplations, then clandestinely transforming into balmily introspective realms counterpointed with additional display of male and female payerscaping horizons. Meandering, gliding, spiraling, reflecting, mindscaping..., a masterpiece!!! "Offerings 5", with 16 and a half minutes the longest endeavour on "Puja", shifts into utterly monochromatic landscapes, filled with nebulously towering drone circles. Around the middle of its length, infinite helixes are penetrated by tenaciously ear-tickling dissonant subtleties. Nearly 10-minute "Offerings 6" safely glides through magnificently dronescaping sceneries, brilliantly reinforced by a potpourri of metallic percussive enigmas, biotic glimmers and voice fragments. A drone tour de force, don't miss this thrillingly listening experience!!! 12 minute long closer "Offerings 7" is..., I won't beat about the bush, a grand finale taking its predecessor into even more mysterious level, by bridging buzzing expanses, tiding blankets, meditative meridians and mesmeric frog symphony, afterwards inconspicuously metamorphosing into warmly crescendoing and diminuendoing picturesque grasslands, holding unmistakable signatures of its crafted originator.

"Puja" is no one else but David Parsons!!! Since "Stupa" we have been waiting for more than two years, but the wait was certainly worth, because as mentioned in the opening sentences, David Parsons is back at the very top of his grippingly peculiar soundcarving. I don't know exactly David's age, but I guess he might be around 71 years old now, so I take my hat off to him for such wonderful, all-intensive 74-minute album!!! No matter if fading away and traversing colossal snow-capped peaks, majestic isolated monasteries, alpine forests, glacier fed rivers, pilgrimage sites, nomadic panoramas or sun-bathed green valleys, the journey is always monumentally immersing, breathtakingly authentic and fascinatingly ethnographic!!! Thank you, deep respect and keep on going, Maestro, we can't wait for your future, uniquely scented offerings!!! And huge kudos to Johan for taking this Grandmaster under gterma's wings few years ago!!!

Richard Gürtler (Jul 10, 2016, Bratislava, Slovakia)

6


Darren Rogers "Interstellar Love" CDr

This is my first contact with Darren Rogers' ambience, although he belongs to quite experienced soundscapers, to my knowledge he started his recording career during the second half of the 90's with the album "The Infinity Search". But it was "The Alternate Realms" CDr released on Hypnos Secret Sounds in 2007 that has brought more recognition to Darren Rogers' sonic journeys. This Texan artist is also known for his collaborations with Rigel Orionis' Jim Brenholts under the moniker Orion's Belt (Jim sadly passed away in 2009). Self-releasing through his own label Imagineer Records, "Interstellar Love" CDr is out since March 2016, packaged in a glossy 4-panel disc eco wallet and it's based on searching for the signs among the stars, for the love and true soulmate for eternity.

10-minute title track "Interstellar Love" ignites the odyssey with distant drone hums counterpointed with rather weirdly processed voices by Darren Rogers' wife Lynda. Expansive drifts sneak in as well, but during the 4th minute the journey is stolen by monstrously spacious drones, where panoramic warmness is masterfully spiced by permeating cyber-tech tides. Then smoothly transmuting into evocative stringed poignancy merged with arising, new age-driven dreamscapes. A very nice opening!!! "Wavering" is announced by gorgeously embracing duduk traceries coalesced with soothingly sweeping ethereal realms. As always, I am absolutely fascinated by this Armenian flute, which is, unfortunately, still quite rare within ambient soundsculpting (maybe except Paul Casper of Frore). Clandestinely emerging tribal patterns guard on the background of this immersing composition along with some phantasmal enhancements. But another chameleonic transition follows and the piece completely shifts into unfathomable depths of celestial nothingness perpetually propelled by choir-infused washes. Again rather mellow than perplexing. The next composition, "Carefree Dreams", as displayed by its title, safely glides and meanders through monumentally sublime zones, meticulously reinforced by orchestral vistas and intangibly tinkling ephemerons. Gracefully enrapturing!!! "Passion", with 10-plus minutes the longest piece on the album, delves deeply into magnificently oracular terrains, leaded by immense washes, capricious cybernetic signals and towering transcendental helixes, which over the course awake outlying tribal beats with oscillating and waving sharper tapestries and continuously metamorphose from euphorically animated scenario into divinely evanescing blankets. "Angelic Bells", with 2:45 the shortest piece on "Interstellar Love", keeps dwelling on peaceful paths, where seraphic choirs are conjugated by contemplative chimes. "The Love Inside" fastidiously merges and alternates celestial emptiness, stringed happiness, hissy reflections, cyber-biotic glimpses and sampled vocal serenity by, I believe, Francesca Genco, who is an esteemed voice maven (remember her intensely evocative vocals from Chad Kettering's "Pathways" masterwork?). A true sonic ambrosia awaits here!!! "Looking For The Stars" dives into undulating vintage influenced space domains, bonding jaw-dropping ethereal grandness with spiraling consonances, while titillating transient fragments are thrown in when fading away. A very suitable conclusion!!!

Over 51 minutes long "Interstellar Love" certainly belongs lately to the most accomplished deep space voyages with a rich potpourri of unpredictable transmutations, although to my abysmally tenebrous drone taste rather more romantic flavored than enigmatic, but that's quite obvious due to envisioned theme. However, you can be really proud of this album, Darren!!! I am also sending your way additional kudos for not abandoning the physical format with "Interstellar Love", please, keep on going!!! And by the way, most recently Darren Rogers has started an online Imagineer radio show promoting ambient/new age endeavours.

Richard Gürtler (Jul 03, 2016, Bratislava, Slovakia)

7


Bruno Sanfilippo "The Poet" CD

Argentinian virtuoso piano composer Bruno Sanfilippo, based in Barcelona, is back with his newest album "The Poet", this time the usual ad21 label, he used to co-run with Max Corbacho, is now replaced by 1631 Recordings. This is an emerging and blooming Swedish label, established in the summer of 2015 by Mattias Nilsson and David Wenngren. Yes, Bruno Sanfilippo has been releasing his music, since his move from Argentina to Spain in 2000, mostly through ad21, with some exceptions like Neuronium Records, Spotted Peccary Music or Hypnos Recordings. Back to "The Poet", on this album Bruno Sanfilippo joins his creative forces again with kindred performer souls like violinist Pere Bardagí, already known from "clarOscuro" CD (May 2014), and cellist Julián Kancepolski, introduced on "Inside Life" CD (February 2015). I really enjoy gorgeous drawings on the front and back cover of the 4-panel digipak, layout credit goes to Mattias Nilsson, although I don't know if he is also the artist behind these evocative drawings. If so, another kudos to him!!! I also should mention Ian Hawgood, who is the mastering expert behind "The Poet".

Profoundly weeping interplay of cello and violin strings reveal this intensely cinematic splendor. During the second third of title composition "The Poet", which clocks to 3 and a half minutes, Bruno Sanfilippo joins this pensive sadness with his sparse, yet utterly embracing piano expressions. A truly gorgeous symmetry between all participating artists immediately unfolds in all its intimate authenticity. "Before Nightfall" keeps on exhibiting the virtuosities of their protagonists, again rather minimal, eloquently evocative and lullingly calm at the same time, with piano and violin infused. "Silk Offering", only slightly longer than its predecessors, awakes long buried memories, where longing cello and violin coalesce with subtly permeating piano drama. Nuancing, crescendoing and evanescing through consistently immersing glimpses of stillness. What an exquisitely painted beauty!!! Short "Dead's Hope" reaches pinnacling magnitudes with its fanfarade-like orchestrals. "The Legend Of The Sailor" meticulously counterpoints richly poetic piano subtleties with sweepingly saturating tearful strings. A sonic equilibrium at its most engrossing!!! "An Omen" with its droning cello, hidden dramatic piquancy, ephemeral rumbles, peculiar strings and lachrymose traceries shifts into astonishingly ambiguous terrains, sculpted with awe-inspiring singularities. Bravo!!! The next composition, "The Book Without Words", returns quickly to enticingly poetic paths, where soothing piano blankets masterfully commingle with fully blossoming and impressively undulating textural orchestrations. A triumphantly intense listening experience and an epic chef-d'oeuvre!!! "Seventy Seven Years Later", with 5:17 the longest piece on the album, opens with tranquil piano lyricism, while evocative stringed textures smoothly join the stage and continuously keep on emerging, meandering and climaxing. Textural palette of this narrative composition is stunningly emotive, magnífico, señores!!! "Iron Horse" invites the listener into a deeply contemplative garden, where the still of surrounding sceneries blends with some, I believe, inside-the-piano technique, maybe hitting the strings with some mallet, maybe some manual muting of the strings as well... In any case, this piece is a very refreshing addition to already richly abundant wizardries on "The Poet". Well-done, Bruno!!! "The Four Keys" composition brings back Julián Kancepolski and Pere Bardagí with their powerful expressions, precisely melting sorrowful cello with scenically textured violin. On 2-minute, nostalgically entitled "Abandoned Carousel" excels again Bruno Sanfilippo with his minimal piano poignancy and guides the album into its soothingly enveloping conclusion.

Being a sound architect since 1991, when debuting with "Sons Of The Light" album, Bruno Sanfilippo certainly belongs to the most multifarious composers within ambient and modern classical driven styles. And hugely talented, potential and consistent as well, because with his piano sculptings, on which he focuses since 2007, when returning to his roots, he constantly enriches the scene with his emotive insignias, no matter if solo or coupled with creative contributions of his kindred spirits. Few months ago, when exploring 40-minute "The Poet" for the first time, I wrote this album might be Bruno Sanfilippo's magnum opus. After many spinnings, I still fully stand behind my words!!! Sure, as an aficionado of electronic charged ambient soundscaping, I will always miss gems like "Urbs", "Subliminal Pulse", "Auralspace", "InTRO", "Indalo" (with Max Corbacho) and many others, but who knows, maybe some electronic driven ventures will be resurrected one day. However, jewel like "The Poet" deserves to be experienced, cherished and celebrated!!! Hats off to Bruno Sanfilippo and his guests, Julián Kancepolski and Pere Bardagí, muchas gracias!!! And last but not least, huge thanks also to 1631 Recordings for inviting this crafted composer to their growing roster!!!

Richard Gürtler (Jun 26, 2016, Bratislava, Slovakia)

8
Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: June 19, 2016, 09:55:22 PM »
Forrest: Thanks for the tips.  I really enjoyed Fellirium - Mermaids. Two of the tracks in particular (Ghost in the Water and Dreaming Fish) are outstanding.

Yeah, ΠΑΝΘΕΟΝ label is highly recommended, Tim & Aloe are doing amazing work!!! And btw, you can find my review of "Mermaids" here on Hypnos forum, just go to Independent Music Reviews.  :)

Richard

9


Julio Di Benedetto "A Tide Pool Of Memories" CD

After "Original Light", released in May 2015, here comes another very impressive recording by Floridian soundsculptor Julio Di Benedetto. Actually, this album is out already since December 2012 in digital format, but its physical edition came out only during December 2015 on Julio's own Digital Voices label. As far I remember, the digipak design for "A Tide Pool Of Memories" was presented for the first time more than one year ago on Julio's Ello site and I was immediately really excited about its physical edition. The 4-panel digipak looks very elegant and the release comes in a limited edition of 300 copies. The artist himself, as a proficient photographer, takes care of gorgeously immersing cover images and design, while 12k's Taylor Deupree gets credit for his mastering skills. By the way, when focusing on Julio's art photography (he studied photography in London during the first half of the 80's), don't hesitate to check out his Zenfolio account exhibiting his "Chasing Clouds" and "Driftwood" collections. But now, let's delve deeply into "A Tide Pool Of Memories"...

Divided in 9 untitled chapters, the first part, with 7:39 the second longest track on the album, unfolds with delightfully embracing dronescape, floating and traversing through magnificently enigmatic paths, where darker steady sinuations meticulously amalgamate with solitary cyber-tech glimpses. A top-notch opening!!! It seamlessly transmutes into the second piece, the shortest one clocking just over 4-minute mark, which spreads into more, cinematically intensified texture, again precisely pairing monolithic stratum with counterpointing ephemeral twinkles, ranging from glisteningly ear-tickling through intriguingly fizzling to contemplatively yearning. Another beauty!!! Mesmerizingly mindscaping spirals clandestinely announce the next part, where sweepingly ethereal expanses persistently commingle with engrossingly undulating reflections. Aural and visual parts splendidly coalesce!!! The next, fourth chapter, keeps its introspective depth, this time masterfully permeated by tenebrous textural patterns, warm vistas, dissonant subtleties and all reinforced by perpetual hissy hypnotics. Part five delves deeply into monochromatic-driven drone scenario, although exquisitely augmented with enthrallingly tiding amplifications and painting splendiferously sonorous images. Wow, the drone consonance at its most magical!!! Section six moves into more soothing terrains, yet still gracefully powerful and symphoniously spacious and illuminated with ambiguously rumbling fragments. Another very strong one!!! The next track incorporates again more textured motifs, but it safely rides across the scenic banks of profound evocativeness, masterfully merging poetic meanders with intangibly delicate and titillatingly fragile traceries. A gorgeously rewarding soundscape awaits here!!! And this enrapturing journey continues also through chapter # 8, which later inconspicuously metamorphoses into more immense panoramic mood guarded by strikingly sumptuous heavenly drifts. What a beauty!!! 11-plus minutes long piece, 9th part, closes this intensely engulfing opus with graceful, yet profoundly ambiguous texture, gliding, elevating and surreptitiously transforming from precisely intensified conundrums to majestically climaxing vast sceneries magnified by warmly blossoming hues. An epic finale!!!

Another superb work by Julio Di Benedetto loaded with his stalwartly distinctive soundsculpting insignias. "A Tide Pool Of Memories" offers 60 minutes of fully authentic recollection of personal events, intriguingly augmented also by missing track titles. Its sole protagonist virtuosically bridges on nine different chapters nebulous passages with balmier horizons. Awesome album, bravo, Julio!!! And two other digital albums, "The Sense Of Being There" (August 2012) and "Pathway To Pelada" (September 2012), still remain unreleased on physical format, so I really hope one day they will end up on a well-deserved glass mastered format. I definitely stay tuned for more by this accomplished kaleidoscaper from The Treasure Coast!!!

Richard Gürtler (Jun 19, 2016, Bratislava, Slovakia)

10


Stormloop "Into The Void" CD

As far I remember "Into The Void", the newest album by Stormloop, was scheduled on Uk's ...txt recordings for a quite long time. Actually, I even keep in mind messages dated one year ago with different cover image and title for this album, but the time has brought some changes. Out since April 2016 in limited edition of 100 copies, the album comes in standard jewel case with transparent tray revealing immersing crepuscular front cover image and additional attractive sleeve design by Nick Edell. If I am right, over two and a half years have passed since Stormloop's last physical CDr release "Arctic Conditions". During 2014 two digital albums were published, "Distant Star" and "Cluster", and the same year saw also the release of five albums on USB stick, in November on ...txt recordings. So here we go with the brand new sonic experience created during the autumn and winter months of 2014-2015 by Kevin Spence, the sole protagonist behind Stormloop based in Leeds.

And the journey unfolds in a jaw-dropping manner when "Deep Into The Dark", the longest piece on album, completely steals my listening room with utterly graceful atmospheric splendor. A prodigiously expansive washes magnificently glide and nuance through ethereal realms, while consonant hissy meridians inconspicuously permeate throughout. 11 minutes of eternally spellbinding and tranquilly transporting soundmagic Made In Stormloop!!! If I am correct, "Deep Into The Dark" originally supposed to be the title of the album. But anyway, my ears and soul are entirely submerged by infinite aural bliss, this must be Stormloop at its most sublime, more please!!! "Another Drift" keeps firmly in gorgeously nebulous terrains, yet this time meticulously imbued by captivatingly poetic glimpses, ephemerally helical climaxes and mesmerizingly gossamer organic subtleties. "To A Light" floats through serenely embracing poignancy, exquisitely bridging deeply evocative images with persistently ear-tickling diaphanousness. "Night Ride" incorporates splendidly spacious drone tides, again impressively balsamic and carefully counterpointed with delicate helixes of nocturnal cyber-biotic musings. "When Need Of Sleep" moves into sorrowful soundfields, much sparser, yet strongly reverberating with occasional gleams of subtle culminations. The next track, "Clouds Pass Over The Moon", returns into intenser paths with rising and ebbing texture coalesced with intangibly rustling reminiscences. "Goodbye PS", the shortest piece on "Into The Void", as indicated by its title, has a really charming nostalgic current flowing and waving through it with evanescent seashore recollections. Brief, but grippingly emotive!!! "Out Of The Dark", another from the line-up of longer tracks, which clocks to 7 and a half minutes, transmutes after translucently chiming intro into powerfully sweeping and tenaciously insistent drone stratum. Voluminously fascinating flow of magmatic tapestries awaits here!!! Scenic rainy sounds announce "Into The Dawn", which afterwards clandestinely commingle with yearningly enrapturing quietudes and coexist in eternal harmony with invigoratingly expansive drone horizons. A sheer atmospheric elixir is served here!!! "Omega", an 8-minute closing composition delves deeply into tenebrously colored sceneries, where stunningly enveloping multi-dimensional undulations continuously intermingle with perpetually crescendoing and diminuendoing transcendental layers. A truly mind-bending listening exploration!!!

Most likely I could imagine slightly cleaner sound quality when diving deeply "Into The Void" with my headphones on, but on the contrary I believe its sibilant surroundings go hand in hand with its rewardingly enigmatic authenticity. Almost 65 minutes of top-notch, ambiguously infused soundcarving exhibiting all audible signatures of Stormloop, that's "Into The Void" in a nutshell. A must-have for all connoisseurs of nebulously enveloping sonic canvas!!! A note for all those ordering a physical copy directly from Kevin Spence, a limited edition of 15 copies with additional art card in holographic packaging is available, so don't miss another visual insignia by Stormloop, because this crafted drifter is also known for his attractive hand-made, now out of print self-releases.

Richard Gürtler (May 30, 2016, Bratislava, Slovakia)

11


Perceptual Defence "Time Lines" 2xCDr

Perceptual Defence is a pseudonym of a Swiss-Italian sound constructor and psychotherapist Gabriele Quirici, who is based in Rome. As an owner of rather broad discography, during the last few years he releases his albums through German SynGate Records and its sublabel Luna. While looking back, the first self-released albums have been released at the beginning of this millennium, these are mostly soundtracks created for various Musictherapy Groups and Butoh Dance Performances. However, as mentioned by Gabriele Qurici, his first official album, "Sounds From Space" was released in 2004 on Gianluigi Gasparetti/Oophoi's label Umbra. Known as a frequent collaborator, the list includes fellow soundscapers such as Oophoi, Tau Ceti, L.E.M., Syndromeda..., "Time Lines" double album is no exception. Actually, firstly this album was planned as a solo release, but after shaping the first personal "Time Lines", Gabriele has decided to invite his kindred musical souls to participate on the second half of this ambitious recording. Out since February 2015 on SynGate, the album is packaged in a standard double jewel case with 4-panel front cover including additional 4-page insert, while the inside of the back tray card features poetry by Annemarie Borg, one of the guests on "Time Lines". Digital art credit goes to Kevin O'Neill, while SynGate's Kilian Schloemp-Uelhoff is credited for additional design.

The first half of "Time Lines", entitled "Personal Time Lines" and collected between 2010-2014, unfolds with nearly 9-minute "Dreaming Time", where enigmatic washes are counterpointed with invigoratingly pulsing sequences and mesmerizing cyber-biotic traceries. Extra euphorically tinkling enhancements sneak in towards the end, while distant longing blanket consistently rides atop. A very strong intro!!! The next, equally long piece "Time Travelers", is announced by droning overture, but soon the center stage is invaded by vigorously sequenced cascades and climaxes, intensely commingling high-spirited time-lapses with quieter introspective glimpses. The title track, "Time Lines", reveals with cavernous echoes, which are quickly perforated by expansive dronescapes. Then glimmering sequencer arrangements join the foreground and persistently hypnotize the ears along with glancing sonic pungency, while panoramic, yet serpentinely intriguing drifts guard above. "Meditative Times", with 12:43 the longest piece on "Time Lines", amalgamates liquid sounds with soothingly emerging sequencer patterns. Perpetually titillating pulses are safely backed by expressive sinuousness, but the journey is almost overrun by auxiliary cyber-tech intensifications. "Hypnotic Lines" is an 8-plus minutes long composition transporting the listener into futuristic sequencer-driven Eden, where nearly ear-piercing, briskly bubbling sequences relentlessly arise, percolate, shimmer, fascinate, culminate and evanesce. An aural bliss awaits here, bravo, Gabriele!!! "Walking Time" returns into more relieving terrains, sculpted with endless spirals of joyful flickerings, mesmeric chitters and airy melodic nostalgia. Heavenly choirs clandestinely join this tranquilizing laid-backness before seamlessly transmuting into insistently magnifying helixes. "Child Time" immediately attracts with its elated structure of commingling synth sparkles and celebrates the birth of Gabriele's second daughter Irene. "The Circular Sound (Healing Time)" Gabriele dedicates to Camilla, his little patient, who has finally found after many years of therapy his strength to live. It's utterly gorgeous, euphorically charged piece meticulously bridging blissfully ricocheting sequences with warmly embracing horizons. What a beauty!!! "Saluto Ad Una Persona Importante (Sad Time)" was composed at April 13th, 2013, at a sad afternoon, one day after the passing of Gabriele's cousin Gianluigi "Gigi" Gasparetti. Ambiguous dronefields are masterfully coupled with exquisitely eloquent tapestries, it's a gracefully drifting and grippingly obfuscated composition!!! Gigi/Oophoi was always Gabriele's spirited musical mentor and this composition is a truly embracing tribute to this unforgettable Lord of unfathomable drones. Molte grazie, Gabriele!!!

"Friends Time Lines", the second half of the double set, reveals with "Inner Space Time", on which Perceptual Defence is joined by Syndromeda, a Belgian solo project by Danny Budts, who has already collaborated with Gabriele Quirici on two SynGate/Luna albums "Fear Of The Emptiness Space" (2014) and "Wormhole" (2015). Deeper drones are soon pervaded by sharply oscillating electronics with some rawer elements thrown in, all together blended with ethereal meridians. Additional high-piched crescendos ascend as well. A quite mindscaping beginning!!! The next guest joining the line-up is Dutchman John Valk Heslinga aka Waveman, who is, except being a synth player, probably better known as a host of EM radioshow. "Friends Time" is the title of a 9-minute piece blending perpetually winding intangible hypnotics with guiding cathedral flavored arpeggios. On "Metaphysical Time" Gerd Weyhing, a German progressive rock and ambient guitarist steps to the stage and adds his quite experimental, weirdly nuanced and piercingly buzzing electric guitar riffs to Perceptual Defence's insistently sparkling synth peripheries. This piece really drives my ears nuts!!! And this rather bizarre journey continues also through "Ricochet Time Lines", a track hosting another guest from The Netherlands, René van der Wouden, who acts under the moniker of Rewo. More minimal, slightly cavernous timbres melt with coiled hallucinogenic signals. This alloy inconspicuously transforms during the closing quarter into warmly sweeping panoramas percolated by yearning sequences. "Subway Time To Castro Pretorio Station", featuring Ian Keely aka Kilian Schloemp-Uelhoff, the boss of SynGate, unfolds, as predicted, with urban subway sounds, which are soon substituted by calmly revealing hidden oscillations, while glimpses of eccentric fragments appear here and there. Piero Monachello from Italy, who acts as Alluste, adds his soundscaping talent to "Silence Time", the second longest composition on "Time Lines". On the overture more mysterious, when commingling expansive vistas with translucently filigree tinkles, but later this scenario is infiltrated by tranquilly illuminating rhythm paragons. This one rules, bravissimo!!! Sylvain Mazars, the French sole protagonist behind Pharamond, ventures together with Perceptual Defence into infinite spatial emptiness entitled "Cosmic Time", where unfathomable drones pair with poetic, flute-like passages, before fresh electro cadence steal the show, with some 1970s synth evolution thrown in. On 11-plus minutes long "Rainy Time" prolific German soundsculptor Michael Brückner enters the scene, where meandering and tiding sequences are blended with gorgeously memorable rural sceneries, filled with showery authenticity, rapturous breeze and glorious euphoria. Certainly one of the pinnacles on "Time Lines"!!! On "Reflection Time" Enrico Cosimi, known as Tau Ceti, Gabriele's companion on Umbra/Penumbra labels, takes the spot and together deliver perplexingly droning and weepingly waving spectacle reinforced by elusively hypnotic rhythm currents occasionally augmented by cyber-biotic ephemerons. Another top-notch synergistic performance!!! This flamboyant journey is closed with "Moments Frail", on which Perceptual Defence is joined by French (with Swedish background) artist Annemarie Borg, the founder of Antara Project based in London. An exquisitely celestial odyssey guided by Annemarie's graceful choirs and spoken poetry fortified by intermittent cyber-tech subtleties crafted by Perceptual Defence brings this accomplished project into its finale. Enthrallingly balsamic conclusion!!!

"Time Lines" double album offers 153 minutes of emotionally driven and abundantly flavored collection of personal and shared, mostly touching moments. A quite massive gathering of like-minded spirits with soundforging talent showcasing variety of distinguishing insignias. Sure, quite broad array of styles is explored, especially on the second disc, but that's quite obvious due to its wide line-up of diversified guests, although still linked to its principal creator. When turning to the most recent activities, a third collaborative album between Perceptual Defence and Syndromeda is on the way, "The End Of The Universe" should be out on SynGate, the release date is still unknown. And the latest news also speaks about a double live solo album entitled "Life Lights In The Shadow", this one is scheduled on Dutch label Databloem. So stay tuned!!!

Richard Gürtler (May 28, 2016, Bratislava, Slovakia)


12


Michael Brückner "Antiferromagnet" CDr

As I have mentioned several months ago, when focusing on Michael Brückner's "Eleventh Sun" CDr, this German sound designer is known for his flamboyantly extensive discography with many well hidden gems. And I think that's the case with "Antiferromagnet", an album, which was recorded mostly during one day in 2003 and then revisited and given the final touches in 2006, before self-released by the artist at the same year. I believe it's not easy to find out a lot of background info on this rare recording and as far I know, this album is one of those which are not featured on Michael Brückner's Bandcamp site. Well, I am quite sure Michael will reconsider this, because it certainly deserves to be explored by a wider audience. Although I think the album can be ordered on request via Bandcamp as a digital download or as a physical CDr edition. "Antiferromagnet" comes with a 4-panel front insert and is packaged in standard jewel case. Visually rather more ambiguously inconspicuous, connected to the theme, but it really matters what's "inside".

The album, comprised of 13 rather shorter pieces clocking between 2:39 and 7:10, unfolds with "Terbsee", a strikingly enigmatic composition merging mostly distant, sinuously reverberating, gauzy rumblings and tinkling lyrical passages. Seamless transition into "Pharn" follows and the listener remains in quite unique, mesmerizingly flavored zones reinforced by abstrusely hallucinogenic oscillations. "Avatiano" incorporates weirdly meandering patterns, permeated here and there by wrinkled surges and ear-piercing pinnacles. Otherwise the track clandestinely glides into serenely enrapturing horizons efficiently counterpointed with tenser transitions. "Haun Toshu" brings back the mind-expanding meridians experienced on "Pharn" and shifts them into bizarrely sculpted realms of tumultuousness. "Epók" marks an escape into relatively quieter terrains, yet occasionally percolated by titillatingly high-pitched tides and other mildly twinkling subtleties. "Dish" delves deeper into oracularly infused fields highlighted by foregrounding tinkling gradation backed by surreptitious drone sinuousness, while ephemeral puzzling fragments sporadically emerge. "Nekkan", the longest track on "Antiferromagnet", keeps firmly on the path of intensely immersing nebulousness, where warmly enthralling epic motifs, at times almost cinematic, are perforated by radiating pungent glimpses and strangely obfuscated helixes. All exhaustively guarded by wistful hissy drifting stratum. More please!!! "Kailas" is as much mysterious with its unfathomably dronescaping amorphousness exquisitely amalgamated with glimmeringly ear-bending cyber-tech ventures and sharply jangling eruptions. Another powerfully intriguing scenario!!! Weirdly weeping cello-like arrangements announce "Ozession", but soon freakily crescendoing sonic escapades steal the center stage, then during the second half rather calmly evanescing, although still pervaded by subtly irregular climaxes. "Deep String", as indicated by its title, mingles poignantly obscure stringed tapestries with solitary fragments and elusive clinks. Rather minimal throughout, except few magnifying culminations towards the end. "Ympho" remains in shadowy terrains, where mournful resonations commingle with gliding scenic expanses. Shorter "Tjachariva" displays a palette of metallic-charged rumbling undulations, before metamorphosing into the closing "Home", which is comprised of intensely droning monochromatic layers juxtaposed with cyber-tech glances, delicately mindscaping chinks and serpentinely encircling magnitudes. Undoubtedly a very strong conclusion!!!

Yeah, I am still a fan who knows a rather small part of Michael Brückner's massive discography, but "Antiferromagnet" has fastly became one of my fave recordings by this German soundforger. It continues to grow on me with every new exploration as the album continuously exposes a handful of peculiar soundcarvings. And what really counts on a 63-minute long "Antiferromagnet" is the strong "scientific" focus, relentlessly propelled by magnificently labyrinthine arrangements!!! Sure, to my taste quite bizarre at times, even nearly driving me insane at some moments, but always grippingly venturesome and distinctively engrossing. Well-accomplished, Michael!!!

Richard Gürtler (May 14, 2016, Bratislava, Slovakia)

13


Steve Roach "Live In Tucson - Pinnacle Moments" CD

Two live sets by Steve Roach at Tucson's Galactic Center from February 13th & 14th, 2015, still deeply resonate and "Live In Tucson - Pinnacle Moments" CD exquisitely documents these unforgettable performances. 4 tracks are taken from Saturday, 14th, while the closing piece was recorded live one day earlier. Graced by stunningly crepuscular golden desert photograph by Kati Astraeir, with additional design by Projekt's Sam Rosenthal, live recording credit goes to Kelly David and mastering wizardry is provided by Howard Givens in Spotted Peccary Studios. The CD was released exactly at one year Anniversary on Steve's Timeroom Editions and is available in limited edition of 300 4-panel digipak copies.

"The Desert Eternal" secures immediate transition with its utterly evocative distant, heavenly cries-like strings bridged with balmily mesmerizing nocturnal musings, while remotely gliding serenity is clandestinely permeated by translucent, yet intangibly immersing artificial beats. Silhouettes of majestic giant saguaros are masterfully revealed, this is undoubtedly Steve Roach at the very top of his innate desert soundcarving. The magic of this wilderness is captured in absolutely authentic way that can be only Steve Roach!!! In the middle the piece metamorphoses into intensely nuanced and tiding panoramic scenario just like the invading, awe-inspiringly cloudscaping spectacle over The Sonoran Desert. I am again sitting in the front row and living the dream!!! 17 and a half minutes of profoundly scenic aural bliss, meticulously symbolizing the American Southwest!!! Triumphantly entitled 8-minute "Endorphin Dreamtime" dives straightly into vigorously glistening terrains fronted by flamboyantly kinetic sequences, which persistently carve emotively spellbinding helixes, while massively expansive undulations are graciously guarding above. Another highly exhilarating performance!!! "Going - Gone", with 20:33 the longest track, masterfully bridges airy laid-back grooves with gossamer cyber-tech traceries, rumbling primordial subtleties and bizarrely meandering blankets. Over the course ancient ocarina sneaks in, coalesces with additional, intriguingly nebulous tribal artifacts and melts with high-tech sound alchemy, which later shifts into powerfully animated and sinuously outbursting state-of-the-art pulsing adventure counterpointed with weirdly emerging primeval groans. A thrillingly audacious venture to the forefront of phenomenal soundmagic, virtuosically amalgamating ethnographic-driven patterns with hyper-modern trance-inducing shamanic soundsculpting. A truly thunderous listening experience!!! "Skeleton Passage" clocks to 13 and a half minute mark and as indicated by its title, the journey transports the listener into euphoric sonic domains, where perpetually hypnotic sequences paint sharp curves and spirals, while magnificently yearning solitudes inconspicuously pervade along the way and ride atop in delightful symmetry with forefronting, bouncingly mindscaping momentum of sequencer syntaxes. This stellar soundforging seamlessly moves to the closing part, 14-plus minutes long piece "Spiral Passage". High-cadenced cybernetic transmissions lead the center stage, where abundant array of mesmerizingly spiraling, shimmeringly radiant and insistently ear-tickling synthetic emotions is precisely backed by warmly sweeping desert vistas. The ears of each devoted listener are perpetually bathed in infinitely blossoming and constantly progressing vibes of cyberscaping trance ambient meditations. What a jaw-dropping epic meridian!!! I still clearly remember one night, when journeying and falling asleep with this CD in my discman. Already gone during "The Desert Eternal", but then randomly reawaken in the middle of "Spiral Passage" and it was like re-entering the aural Eden at The Galactic Center. An ultimate pinnacle moment!!!

Sure, I could easily imagine in this live selection also "Today", one of my undisputable faves by the Master or the part, when par excellence didgeridoo performer Dashmesh Khalsa joined Steve on the stage during the Friday's show, but then this must have been released as a double album. However, this all-inclusive CD awakes all the aural memories from both these exceptionally breathtaking nights. So huge kudos to Steve Roach and all involved for releasing "Live In Tucson - Pinnacle Moments", to me, this live album will be always a very special as a truly essential part of the journey, when I was living the dream!!! As mentioned already, this is a limited edition of 300 copies, so make sure to grab your own copy and no matter, if you were among the crowd at February 13th & 14th, 2015 or not. Together with "Alive In The Vortex" 2CD (Vortex Dome Immersion concerts in Los Angeles, October 25th & 26th, 2013) these live recordings exquisitely demonstrate the spirit and power of the live moment, when the Master connects with his kindred spirits in the audience and shares his eternally creative bravura. And as always, the exploratory odyssey still continues through exploding studio work, so stay tuned!!! We can be all really grateful for such talent, consistency and visionary!!! Thank you so much, Steve!!!

Richard Gürtler (May 01, 2016, Bratislava, Slovakia)

14
Independent Music Reviews / My review of "Hinterland" CDr by Aperus
« on: April 26, 2016, 04:38:06 AM »


Aperus "Hinterland" CDr

Except releasing three years ago a collaborative album "Ecotone" with James Johnson, one of the monumental pinnacles of 2013, Brian McWilliams, the driving force behind Aperus (and Remanence), was quite busy during the last few years with focusing on reissuing, remastering and repackaging older gems like "Tumbleweed Obfuscated By Camera Failure", reissued April 2013, and "Lamkhyer" as Remanence, which was resurrected during March 2015. "Hinterland", originally released in 2004 as a 5-track mini album, keeps on the path of this strategy. The 2004 edition was packaged in a slim jewel case featuring additional photographs taken from Chaco Canyon, New Mexico, as data files. Personally, I have never been a big fan of slim jewel cases, without a spine, and I prefer much more physical visuals included within the release than those on my screen, so I have been very excited since the very beginning, when Brian has announced a reissue of "Hinterland". According to the extensive project updates via Brian's own Geophonic Records' blog, the reworking of "Hinterland" visuals and audio, was a quite in-depth task. Out since January 20th, 2016 as a pro CDr (duplicated at plant), I am now holding in my hands a truly gorgeous release packaged in 5" x 7" plastic sleeve with an attractive double sided gatefold cover and six 4" x 6" black & white photos taken by the artist at above mentioned Chaco Canyon. Undoubtedly, this is another collector's item from Geophonic Records (previously mPATH Records)!!! I should also mention that "Hinterland" features two additional guests on few tracks, John Phipps (who is a full member with Brian on Remanence project) and Carolyn Koebel. Although still as a mini-album, this edition is extended to 7 pieces and it gets over 36 minutes in length.

Remastered long version of "Magnetism" unfolds this inspiring journey with poetically lyrical piano soothingly backed by ethereal choir-like drones, while mesmerizingly rattling gossamer quietudes are counterpointed with nebulously ephemeral voice fragments. What a poignantly charged beauty!!! I keep in mind slightly shorter version of "Magnetism" on another stunningly packaged album, "Tumbleweed Obfuscated By Camera Failure" (released in 2003 and reissued 10 years later). Experimental mix of "Earth & Clay", as indicated by its title, incorporates an array of primordial-infused percussive elements coupled with bassline patterns and balmily encircling rattles (by Carolyn Koebel). Rather shorter, yet powerfully immersing venture into the sacred ancestral homelands of Pueblo people. Original version of "Echo Canyon" (remastered) delves deeply into warmly expansive and gracefully infinite drone sinuousness, enriched by assorted primal rumbles ranging from intangible to ear-tickling, remote groans and ambiguous breaths. Another exquisitely expressive composition precisely displayed by its name and meticulously bridging ancient enigmas with modern timbres. Additional keyboard and guitar credit goes to John Phipps, so kudos to both kindred spirits!!! Shorter "Kaskaskia Canyon", which appears in its remastered edition, invites the listener through its balsamic subterranean cacophony into magnificently sculpted hypogean sceneries. Remastered alternate version of "Vanishing Terrain", the longest piece on "Hinterland" clocking nearly to 12-minute mark, remains in breathtakingly cavernous realms, where warmly yearning washes insistently tide and delicately amalgamate with titillating clatters, wheezing tapestries and humming perplexes. All together meticulously carving the exuberant riches of these fascinating domains. A true sonic elixir!!! Demo version of the title track "Hinterland" leaves subterranean terrains and moves into tranquilly floating and serpentining soundfields carefully counterpointed with brightly tingling primordial percussions, while additional, more elusive tribal canvas are hanging above. The listener is guided through the vast areas of spectacularly eloquent desert solitudes, an infinite aural immersion awaits here!!! Shorter, reprised version of "All Good Things" closes this journey with slightly weirder batch of bass motifs, primal artifacts (Carolyn Koebel gets credit for rattles), synth helixes and crepuscular musings. When comparing to the version on "Tumbleweed Obfuscated By Camera Failure", this time the rumbling and metallic elements are less palpable. Still a very suitable outro!!!

"Hinterland" is another highly polished, re-evaluated and all-intensive journey through the ancient landscapes of the American Southwest, on which Brian McWilliams again brings its visual expression into absolute harmony with its aural authenticity. Don't miss this awe-inspiring exploration and tribute to the heritage of the Chacoan culture!!! I keep on repeating, to me, both projects, Aperus and Remanence, are some of the best kept secrets within prehistoric-driven ambient scene. "Hinterland" is a collector's dream!!! As mentioned by the artist, this release marks a clear line between the past and the future, so he can now focus on recording a new material. I will definitely keep an ear to the ground, because Brian McWilliams really deserves it!!!

Richard Gürtler (Apr 25, 2016, Bratislava, Slovakia)

15


The Winterhouse "Slow Awakening" CDr

Anthony Paul Kerby (APK), the sole creator behind The Circular Ruins, Nunc Stans, Lammergeyer and most recently also Fictions And Poetics, and Robert Davies are the leading sound architects and unmistakable stalwarts on the roster of DataObscura, a Southern Ontario, Canada, based label. As The Winterhouse they have recorded since 2007. "Slow Awakening" is their sixth chapter, released July 15th, 2015 in DataObscura's usual slim poly case packaging concept with a full wrap-around insert, printed on both sides, with a spine.

The 13-plus minutes long "Following The Path" unfolds with ultra monochromatic stratum serenely counterpointed with abundant biotic field recordings and hissy blankets. Additional balmy meandering layers and remote urban voices sneak in along with enigmatically echoed and gossamer tinkling subtleties. Magically immersing quietudes are fully blooming in utterly enrapturing symmetry between the two creative forces behind The Winterhouse. This awesome piece culminates with expressive bowed strings-infused epilogue. Bravo, gentlemen!!! "The Lake Isle" clocks to 10 minutes and is again richly detailed on the background, while the multi-dimensional drone scenario tranquilly undulates. Subtle high-tech fragments permeate as well, but warmer, sweeping panoramas sustain on the foreground, merged with ephemeral nostalgic piano glimpses. Masterfully displaying, I believe, Robert Davies' panoptic droning expanses and APK's flamboyantly ear-tickling embellishments. Another strong one!!! Only slightly longer than its predecessor, the title composition "Slow Awakening" delves deeply into quiescently droning sceneries, which are commingled with nocturnally-charged musings and gently crescendoing poetic sinuousness. Mildly spiraling dissonant mindscapes join the spectacle as well. Towards the end evanescing through subterranean rumbling paths. "We Don't Know", at 14:26 the longest track on "Slow Awakening", opens with cyber-tech pulsing patterns, persistent forest calls, oracularly futuristic groans and whispers. This already exuberantly spiced texture is reinforced by intangibly lyrical piano traceries. On the top of that occasional, insistently high-pitched plateaus invade as well. A bizarrely sculpted venture indeed!!! The closing composition "Nocturnal Memories" is announced by rather rawer sibilating and humming drones bridged with evocative shoreline vistas. Titillating environmental filigrees soon steal the center stage along with ambiguously hypogeous gurgles and impalpably unathomable voices illuminate this thrillingly adventurous odyssey. A truly peaking finale awaits here, so grab your headphones now and enter these fascinatingly fragranced sonic realms!!!

At one hour "Slow Awakening" is certainly another big one from The Winterhouse duo. A top notch merging of creative insignias of two highly crafted sonic architects, who constantly prove their exceptionally accomplished artistries. "Slow Awakening" is another hallmark recording with many rewards, so don't hesitate to join this utterly transporting journey!!! It's quite obvious, Anthony Paul Kerby's and Robert Davies' most recent collaborative soundcarving gets my highest recommendation, just the same as with all their previous synergic efforts. And as usual, both artists keep busy with their newest solo projects, APK's Nunc Stans "Elementa" CDr is out since February 2016, while Robert Davies has released his latest "River's Edge" album only three weeks ago. All available via APK's DataObscura, so go out and explore these hidden gems!!!

Richard Gürtler (Apr 02, 2016, Bratislava, Slovakia)

16
Independent Music Reviews / My review of "Mermaids" CDr by Fellirium
« on: March 29, 2016, 11:30:14 AM »


Fellirium "Mermaids" CDr

Russian painter of sonic canvas, Andrey Vasilyev, based in Moscow, who is known under the moniker Fellirium, is not an unknown name among the ambient netlabels community. Releasing his music since 2007, Fellirium's discography features over 25 album and EP titles, mostly available via Russian netlabel Liminal Records. Since December 22nd, 2015 we can celebrate together with Andrey his debut "Mermaids" on physical format published by highly applauded ΠΑΝΘΕΟΝ label (from Yaroslavl, Russia). This passionate and caring label is known for their stunningly gorgeous hand-crafted artful packagings (CDr and cassette limited editions). Fellirium's "Mermaids" CDr is no exception, 4-panel packaging is covered by fabric with hand-painted cover with additional promo card and little insert with hand-made mermaid scales and hand-written poetry in Russian by Valeria Kosternaya, I believe she is acting as Aloe, and together with Tim Six, the driving force behind ΠΑΝΘΕΟΝ, she is responsible for all the visual magic showcased by this label. An immediate visual bliss is guaranteed, a true piece of art!!! Holding in my hands such beauty always reminds me the reasons why I have never ventured into the digital worlds. And by the way, at the same day as "Mermaids" CDr were released another two titles, Spiraľ Vremeni & Ugasanie "In The Aftersounds Of Echo" CDr (officially presented in Russian as Спираль Времени & Угасание "В Отзвуках Эха") and Furthers "Pineal Dreamer" CDr, all three presented as "Winter Solstice Batch" wrapped in sackcloth with additional inserts. The whole batch is highly recommended indeed!!! Back to "Mermaids", for additional inside artwork is credited also Andrey Vasilyev.

I dive deeply into a jaw-dropping subterranean domain, where I face "Ghost In The Water". This longest, 10-minute composition reveals with contemplatively rattling shells and mildly tinkling nuances. Breathy calls permeate through utterly tranquil poignancy coalesced with sweeping quietudes of rainsticks and remote enigmatic groans glance above along with profoundly evocative stringed vistas. My ears are endlessly bathed in an epitome of atmospheric elixir, bravo, Andrey!!! The next piece, "Slow Currents", exhibits mysterious drone reverberations, introspective electric guitar and persistent, slenderly biotic-charged clickety-clacks. Strangely ambiguous soundscape, well-done!!! "Beneath The Surface" gracefully glides through magnificently sculpted underwater sceneries, where immense sea expanses are exquisitely commingled with oracularly gurgling fragments and solitary wheezes. Ethereal choir-like drones effortlessly float and undulate with awe-inspiring grace, while weeping dissonant traceries rise, meander, ebb and counterpoint with impalpably gossamer strings. Awesomely intricate, yet strikingly beautiful composition!!! "Dreaming Fish" unfolds with the glimpse of poetic strings, but soon expansively invading washes steal the show along with fruitful palette of shells, bells and rainsticks. Perplexing breaths, whispers and cries are surreptitiously hanging above and whining strings emanate from brumous horizons. Towards the end the circle completes with ephemerally resurrecting poetic images. Masterfully submerging!!! On "Hidden Pond" distant drone sinuousness harmoniously amalgamates with cavernously enrapturing array of organic rumbles and trimmings, while tranquilly moving semi-acoustic strings sneak in along with soothingly ascending lonely e-bow evocations. A gracefully introspective opus!!! "Silent Cry", with 6:24 the shortest track on "Mermaids", closes this delightful voyage with abundant, yet delicate display of translucently tinkling and rattling primordial artifacts bridged with serenely sailing and fluttering drones, surrounded by nostalgic hissy blankets. A very suitable ending!!!

"Mermaids" album clocks only over 46 and a half minutes, I could easily imagine few more tracks, however, Andrey Vasilyev divulges on this masterpiece all his soundsculpting talent, potential and sensitivity. Every detail is precisely shaped and polished. Once again, bravo, Andrey, bravo, Fellirium!!! This physical edition is well-deserved and you can be really proud of it, hats off to you for "Mermaids"!!! On my side, I am a really gratified owner of this little gem of art!!! And of course huge kudos go also to Tim & Aloe of ΠΑΝΘΕΟΝ for their splendidly inspiring visual artistry, you guys are doing a truly amazing job!!! Большое спасибо!!! According to the label's info, only last few copies of "Mermaids" are left, so it is for the complete "Winter Solstice Batch", so you should act rather quickly before these beauties are gone. Trust me, "Mermaids" album is an essential must-have!!!

Richard Gürtler (Mar 28, 2016, Bratislava, Slovakia)

17


Aestrata "Submental Vol. 3" CDr

"Submental" series continue with a brand new chapter, after Nautic Depths' "Vol. 1" (2012) and Wintersilence's "Vol. 2" (2014), here comes newest installment, "Vol. 3" by Aestrata, an enigmatic project by German droneforger Tomas Weiss, the sole protagonist behind El culto and its sub-labels, who has already released under Aestrata pseudonym in November 2012 acclaimed album "Beyond The Veil". As usual for these series, the album is packaged in a simple cardboard sleeve without any additional background info. I can only add the album is out since March 11th, 2016 on El culto's Submental label and it's limited, if I am right, to 75 pre-orders. In any case, only counts the drone magic what's hidden inside, I stay calm and deeply focused, so let's ignite the journey!!!

"Submental Vol. 3" is one long-form piece clocking just over 52-minute mark. Steady drone emerges out of the misty sceneries and persistently glides towards the infinite realms. Multifariously drifting textures, ranging from intangibly celestial to vaporously ear-tickling, clandestinely join this heavily flatlined spectacle. Quietly elevating and sublimely magnifying until reaching the first climaxing plateau around the 8th minute. Monstrously monochromatic stratum insistently grows and during 11th minute it metamorphoses into a truly jaw-dropping, transcendentally enrapturing scenario. Additional ephemeral cyber-tech traceries and organic glimpses sneak in and help to unlock the gates of breathtakingly enigmatic nothingness. We are approaching 20th minute and this incredibly mind-blowing monolithic bliss is constantly towering, its thickness is devastatingly monumental. A pure drone eargasm awaits here!!! Intriguing nuances surreptitiously permeate along with gracefully undulating expansions and announce subtly diminuendoing transitions, although still massively magmatic. After 32nd minute high-pitched dissonant subtleties counterpoint with enveloping heavy-weight dronewalls and safely navigate the listener into magnificently abyssal domains. Powerfully insistent in the search of the next ecstatic vertex, this is a truly ear-bending listening experience!!! Another 10 minutes of this disastrous dronescape are gone and I am still in total alert. Impalpable urban rumbles emanate from majestically nebulous terrains and guide the composition into embracing stillness, yet only transient, because unfathomable hums briskly arise and exquisitely coalesce with warmly floating and ebbing cinematic blankets for the closing 5 minutes of this staggeringly immersing journey. Balmily relieving outro!!!

"Submental Vol. 3" is without any doubts a great example of how multi-dimensional can be the dronesculpting adventure at its most monochromatic. I have no idea how many copies are left, so you better act quickly, before you miss this sonorously transcendental gem!!! Bravo, Aestrata!!! And by the way, first 50 pre-orders featured also additional 26-minute download entitled "Sonosphere", which delves deeply into mesmerizingly reverberating quietudes, shifting from inconspicuously silent through helically mindscaping to quiescently evanescing. Enter now The Drone Eden!!!

Richard Gürtler (Mar 26, 2016, Bratislava, Slovakia)

18


Sequentia Legenda "Blue Dream" CDr

French sound sculptor Laurent Schieber, based in the suburbs of Mulhouse, is better known under his artistic name Sequentia Legenda, a project heavily dedicated to vintage Berlin School Music and inspired by the iconic Klaus Schulze. "Blue Dream" is Sequentia Legenda's debut album, which is out since the end of 2014 as a self-release packaged in catchy matte 6-panel digipak. Designed by Laurent Schieber himself and mastered by Olivier Briand.

The album is comprised of three longer compositions, among them the opening piece "Fly Over Me" is the longest one clocking over 33 minutes. Although not indexed, the track is divided in another 10 pieces, mostly rather shorter with the exception of the unfolding part, 10 and a half minutes "The First Contact" and "Overhead", which reaches 7 and a half minutes in length. "The First Contact" is invaded by gracefully floating washes, strongly cinematic with utterly sumptuous and amorphously enrapturing yearning feel, and meticulously counterpointed with sublimely permeating sequencer sparkles, mesmerizingly persistent. Shorter "Approach (intro)" will later appear in its 22-minute version as a second main composition. The sequencing pace is getting slightly faster and energetic, while celestial choirs insistently guard above. The texture seamlessly floats between shorter sub-pieces, where sequencer arrangements move from briskly glittering to more, relatively soothing, then again shifting into up-paced, warmly inviting elevations. After about 20 minutes and 6 sub-tracks we enter another longer part, already mentioned "Overhead", which keeps on the path of immensely heartwarming vistas bridged with abundantly luminous melodies. Flying on the wings of this spellbinding scenario we clandestinely approach the closing part "The Return" and wrap-up the first composition, "Fly Over Me". Distant seashore winds announce "The Approach". This time the journey continues without any sub-passages. Again slowly revealing with serene, yet monumental washes, while the multi-dimensional sequencers gently fire up its engines. Some really captivating transitions emerge along the way when shifting to the next gear, although rather subtly diverse. But still these soft metamorphoses are utterly transporting, ranging from electrifyingly dynamic to panoramically spectacular. Imposing!!! The closing 15-minute "Vibrations" slows down a bit, when the sequencing patterns twinkle in a really gorgeous symmetry with free-gliding washes. An infinite equilibrium of magnificence between splendidly spacious drifting nostalgia and fascinatingly pulsing subtleties, here and there reinforced by additional cyber-tech glimpses. A top-notch conclusion and a magnum opus to my ears as well!!!

70-minute "Blue Dream" is undoubtedly a really triumphant debut album by Sequentia Legenda, bravo, Laurent!!! I would say even sensational, but on the long run I would prefer more varied arrangements, maybe some extra slower, more enigmatic sinuousness or cybernetic-infused ventures would bring more brilliancy to this already ambitiously accomplished and significantly invigorating recording. And while remaining in artist's shoes, maybe with the next release I would take the route with less promotional hype printed on the digipak's artwork, because I think Sequentia Legenda's music is strong enough and it "speaks" for itself even without this extra campaign. Sometimes less is more. Leave this for flyers and press packages. If you are a connoisseur of Berlin School-driven electronica, this is an ultimate must-have album awaking all the high-spirited magic of this classic style. Sequentia Legenda has released in the meantime another album entitled "Amira", this one is out since the end of November 2015. And the third recording, tentatively named "Extended", is scheduled for the release around September 2016 as a double album featuring a guest participation by German drummer Tommy Betzler, who most recently worked with Michael Brückner on their "Two" collaboration. So don't let Sequentia Legenda to slip under your radar screen!!!

Richard Gürtler (Mar 25, 2016, Bratislava, Slovakia)

19
Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: David Parsons - Puja
« on: March 25, 2016, 06:21:04 AM »
Experiencing "Puja"... A thrillingly transcendental journey through Indo-Gangetic Plains and Tibetan Plateau awaits here!!! David Parsons returns at the very top of his extraordinary wizardry, bravo, Maestro!!! Still in the middle of the pilgrimage, but it sounds already as a very strong competitor for Best of 2016. Thank you, David, thank you, Johan/gterma!!!

Richard

20


Kloob "Solid Foundations" CDr

I have seriously noticed this Spanish project for the first time at the beginning of March 2015, few weeks after his debut album "Deep Emotional Phases" premiered on relaxedMachinery (released February 13th). Actually, I also remember Kloob's name among with other upcoming artists from conversation with rM's Geoff Small, while hanging at the Congress Pub just one day before its release date. Then, few weeks later I recall asking the sole protagonist Daniel Ferreira Stumpf aka Dani "Kloob", who is based in Barcelona, about the physical format of "Deep Emotional Phases", but this powerful debut remains available in digital format only. Fortunately, one year passed and Kloob returns, again on spirited rM gang, with his second installment entitled "Solid Foundations". Out since February 19th, 2016, the newest album is even available in physical CDr format, released few weeks later in limited edition of 30 copies and packaged in standard jewel case with 4-panel front insert. Good move, Dani!!! Graced by photo and design artistry by rM's Steve Brand while mastering duties are handled by another giant, Dani's Catalan fellow soundscaper Max Corbacho.

Ultra deep spiraling drone announce "Mystical Intuition", which clocks to nearly 9-minute mark. Immense layers of panoramic evocativeness with wistful piano glimpses join the forefront along with emerging and waning distant cyber-tech rumbles, ranging from vaporous to ear-tickling. At times intangibly nuanced drifts are continuously magnified and persistently metamorphose into heavily towering magmatic outbursts. Wear your headphones or give some extra warm-up to your speakers, in any case, this is a truly awesome intro!!! 7 and a half minutes long "Magnetismo" insistently rides on the wings of profoundly unfathomable drone scenario with soothingly emanating swirls and shimmers. Relentlessly drifting through fascinatingly amorphous zones constantly reinforced by ambiguous traceries before evanescing into closing ethereal realms. 6-plus minutes "Deep Mantra", as indicates its title, straightly dives into magnificently oracular terrains, sculpted with gently tinkling pattern, unfolding expansive sheet and enigmatically impalpable choir-like drone, shifting the listener into thrillingly transcendental Tibetan Plateau. A drone tour de force awaits here, bravo, Dani!!! "Devastado" immediately attracts with its tremendously cascading outline, again intricately abyssal, monstrously humming and spellbindingly subterranean, where glimmering organic fragments perpetually illuminate these jaw-dropping depths. The track title precisely interacts with its soundforging, this must be Kloob at his most abysscaping!!! "Alien Spaceships Arrival", with 11:26 the longest piece on "Solid Foundations" delves deeply into monumentally expansive realms enhanced by titillating cyber-biotic embellishments. Sinuously floating stratum smoothly crescendoes, blossoms, culminates and explodes with ear-bending intensity, then ebbing into relatively softer sceneries with razor sharp pads guarded by celestial drone choirs before shifting and reaching another climaxing magnitudes, where vigorously crystalline sequences steal the center stage and mutate into laid-back infused soundfields, yet powerfully kinetic although consistently counterpointed with heavenly quietudes. Another amazingly flamboyant sonic splendor!!! "Sedante", only slightly shorter than its predecessor, no surprisingly moves into more contemplative vistas leaded by tranquilly dronescaping texture, tenaciously encircling, spiced by elusive cybernetic molecules and exquisitely revealing fascinating spatial emptiness. "Seeking A Spirit Guide" is another composition getting over 10-minute mark and it firmly holds on the path of intensified multi-dimensional panoramic gracefulness, where utterly immense soundwalls coalesce with nuanced heavenly choirs and clinking subtleties. Drifting, soaring, oscillating, elevating and diminishing. "Inevitable", with 5-plus minutes the shortest track on the album, swiftly moves into animated terrains, where slightly rawer, endlessly quick-paced neuronic passages melt with dimly tinkling glimpses and transiently bizarre oddments and together paint mesmerizingly helixing mindscapes. "Sky Watcher" closes this spectacularly adventurous journey with more relieving structure, which floats from intangibly dissonant through monochromatic to warmly inviting, where gracious horizons unveil all its sweeping magic.

Richly flavored, yet significantly enigmatic 74-minute "Solid Foundations" is a very strong album by Kloob, exhibiting a wide array of soundsculpting talent of its creator. This Spaniard certainly deserves his spot on fruitfully growing relaxedMachinery roster and as a huge aficionado of physical formats, I am really glad Dani has decided for a small CDr run. Great job and keep on venturing, Dani!!! Without any doubts, Kloob is a very vital addition to Spanish ambient scene represented by names such as Bruno Sanfilippo, Max Corbacho, Ran Kirlian, Landru or Joxan Ruiz.

Richard Gürtler (Mar 20, 2016, Bratislava, Slovakia)

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