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Messages - richardgurtler

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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)

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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

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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

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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)

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

Richard  :)

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

The Circular Ruins - Pathways

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

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


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

Richard


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Howard Givens & Madhavi Devi "Source Of Compassion" CD

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

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

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

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

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Steve Roach "Shadow Of Time" CD

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

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

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

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

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Bing Satellites "Extensions Of Reality" CDr

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

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

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

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

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


Alargo "Central Plateau" CD

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

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

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

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

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Michael Brückner "Muzikhala" 3xCDr

Wow, this wealthily packaged triplet looks to me as one of the most challenging releases Michael Brückner has ever self-released. You almost won't believe this is "only" a 3 pro CDr release with gorgeously designed 6-panel digipak with additional 6-page foldout insert featuring extensive liner notes about the history of "Muzikhala". A true visual bliss is delivered here, well-done, Michael!!! This triple album is out since the end of May 2016 in a limited first edition of 50 copies.

"Muzikhala" is taken from the Chichewa language, which is spoken in African countries Zambia and Malawi, and it means serenity. And that's exactly how this long immersing odyssey unfolds. Long-form "Muzikhala - Part 1 (The Aeronaut)", running to 78 minutes, sweeps the listener's ears with subtle cascades of warmly spacious washes, enriched here and there by assorted, delicately interacting cyber-biotic subtleties and intangibly poignant bass reflections. Gracefully ethereal choir-like blankets clandestinely sneak in and guard above, while translucent piano notes silently permeate as well. The journey relentlessly meanders from soothingly embracing horizons to splendidly majestic immenseness, from mildly ear-titillating mesmerizing vistas to illuminating, tribal-infused passages, from spiritedly ringing percolations to cybernetic vocoder obfuscations. The overall flow of this long composition is refreshingly colorful and masterfully reinforced by magnificently lithe arrangements. So no matter if sonorously engrossing or melodiously tranquilizing, this is certainly a really strong, tour de force ambient recording by Michael Brückner! Bravo!!!

The second disc, comprised of 5 longer tracks clocking from 12 to 22 minutes, starts with "Bem Betél", which precisely merges panoramic washes with crystallinely tinkling quietudes, then metamorphosing into more massive, yet transitory zones, before delving deeply into Middle East fragranced percussive terrains. Sensual rhythm-charged ethno perfumes meet exquisitely vellicate tapestries and sinuously riding solitudes. A blazing sonic elixir! "Reanimation (Zoom In)" dives straightly into ambiguously unfathomable depths, where rather flatlined driftscapes are fastidiously brightened by ephemeral gossamer fragments, gurgling dissonances, longing glimpses and bizarrely faunal peeps (maybe seagulls?), while afterwards evocatively balmier Berlin School layers inconspicuously emanate from the void and safely guide through a maze of paths. Another top-notcher although strongly contrasting against its predecessor. "Muzikhala - Part 2 (The City Planners)", the longest piece on this CD, incorporates twisted cosmic meridians coupled with stringed flickers. Then metamorphosing into rhythmed factory-driven labyrinth and again returning into more spatial zones, enthrallingly euphonious, yet augmented by an array of cyber-tech traceries. "The Vishnoor Incident" attracts with slightly sharper rhythms thrown into an subterranean grotto, while later transmogrifying into intenser, sequencer-propelled adventure. "Drowning", as indicated by its title, moves into calmer and deeper terrains albeit bridged with pervading sequences, ear-tickling droplets, yearning glimmers and cinematic climaxes. A really nice ending to this 77 and a half minutes long ride!

"Muzikhala - Part 3 (The Rift)" is a 76-minute composition masterfully winding through extensive variety of territories, ranging from amorphously droning to galactically rumbling, from cybernetically transcendental to serpentinely intriguing, from diaphanously elegant to effulgently galloping, from ethereally engulfing to enigmatically spellbinding. An all-inclusive cosmic odyssey fully blossoms here and exhibits Michael's tremendously creative potential within this particular, vintage-infused style of spacemusic. This third part splendidly wraps up the whole story!

"Muzikhala" 3xCDr is a real winner by Michael Brückner, both musically and visually!!! And kudos go also to Mathias Brüssel, who was already Michael's partner in crime on extensive "Ondes Intergalactiques". This time he is credited for his guest appearance (guitar, slide guitar, additional keyboards and drum programming) on three parts of "Muzikhala". Michael Brückner's composing flexibility is just amazing, but when it goes to my rather zealous die-hard ambient taste, then "Muzikhala" is definitely among my most esteemed recordings by this German soundexplorer. And "Muzikhala - Part 1 (The Aeronaut)" could be a magnum opus!!! Before I forget, for all those who prefer digital version of "Muzikhala", be prepared for extra 4 and a half hours (!!!) of recordings featuring mostly the original early versions. And that's a hell of a lot of space journeying!!! It's quite obvious for such prolific artist that several other albums have landed in the meantime like self-released "The Giant Illusion" (a double compilation), "Trois Briques" on SynGate or a live document by Tommy Betzler & Michael Brückner (featuring Sammy David and Fryderyk Jona) "Triplet" (CD+DVD), which is out now on Groove Unlimited. Join the odyssey now!!!

Richard Gürtler (Jan 05, 2017, Bratislava, Slovakia)

13


Duff Egan "The Future Of Man" 2xCD

I have been following this US drone aficionado based in Seattle for some time, but as a connoisseur of physical items, I was patiently waiting for the day when Duff Egan's soundscaping adventures will transmute into a glass mastered format. The first promising info reached my radar about one year ago, when album entitled "Sacra" was announced as the first part of upcoming three-pack of pressed CDs. Unfortunately, this promising project with stunningly looking artwork by kindred spirit Brian Bourassa didn't reach its fruitful pinnacle and "Sacra" remained only in its digital format, so I had to be again patient for some time. But fortunately the middle of summer 2016 led to the release of a 2CD entitled "The Future Of Man". And Brian Bourassa joins this spectacle again with his strikingly beautiful 2CD 4-panel digipak cover artwork. With a glass mastered format we have here a top-notch physical format. Not a very usual these days for an artist like Duff Egan, so you guys have my deep respect, well-done!!! And for this special purpose, although publishing digital releases for longer than two years, a new label Black Dingo Records was born. "The Future Of Man" 2CD is out since August 1st, 2016, and the credit list features also Brian Elgin of Sentient Sound Labs as the mastering engineer.

A nearly 41 minutes long opus "Silent Thunder" fires up this magnificently mindscaping journey. Steady drone magma invades and insistently nuance through desolate territories, while humming undercurrents persistently arise from unfathomable depths. Quietly elevating, clandestinely metamorphosing, monolithically hissing, transcendentally climaxing, engrossingly relieving, contemplatively evanescing... an all-inclusive dronescaping scenario introducing its sole protagonist at the very top of his mind-blowing soundforging!!! Welcome to The Garden of Drone by Duff Egan!!! "Endangered Quiet Beauty" clocks to almost 19-minute mark and shifts into gracefully monochromatic, ultra deep domains, soothingly magnifying, sonorously awe-inspiring and multidimensionally immersing. Hissy curtains persistently hang, while majestically undulating expansions serenely sneak in and ride atop throughout the second half. As much balmily relieving as dissonantly challenging! "The Quiet Path", as displayed by its title, is more "lighter", although still strongly flatlined, when drifting into buoyantly enigmatic nothingness. A quite short piece, when clocking to 4 minutes only, but a powerfully enrapturing conclusion of the first disc!

A 10-plus minutes long "Urban Wilderness", no surprisingly, delves deeply into rawer, richly layered terrains with monstrous intensifications reaching spellbinding meridians and then dissolving into encircling stillness. The inferno of magmatic hums awaits here! The next one, "Natures Symphony In Decline", keeps on the path of devastatingly monumental drone cascades. Staggering heavy-weight vertexes, which knock on the gates of The Drone Pantheon, continuously alternate with diminuendoing plateaus. Another ear-blower!!! 21-minute "Your Personal Quest For Quiet" straightly dives into jaw-dropping subterranean sceneries of terra incognita, where perpetually gurgling stratums painstakingly amalgamate with intriguingly nuanced gargantuan drone-walls and ear-tickling, otherworldly disruptive vistas. An oasis of splendiferously transcendental droneforging is fully unveiled! The closing track, nearly 19 and a half minutes long "Spirit Echoes", incorporates slowly expanding and inconspicuously sneaking, but rigid reverberations reinforced by harshly rumbling transitions, while solitary reflections are gracefully guarding above. An epic finale!!!

120-minute "The Future Of Man" 2CD is without any doubt a superb release, both aurally and visually, and a must-have for all purveyors of profoundly complex, deliberately executed, massively immersing, subterrestrially nebulous, yet eargasmically chromatic dronecarving. Definitely stay tuned and keep an ear on fastly emerging discography of Duff Egan and his Black Dingo Records, where he features most recently also other cognate souls like Castleview, Bernard Reeb or Louigi Verona. It's quite evident, Duff Egan is a highly crafted and prolific soundsculptor, who is quickly becoming an US dronescaping powerhouse.

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

14
Everything and Nothing / Re: Season's Greetings
« on: December 26, 2016, 05:14:21 AM »
I am wishing to everyone a wonderful holiday season and a prosperous new year!!!

With friendly greetings, Richard  :)


15


Hoshin "Path Of Dissolutions" CD

My ventures into nebulously engrossing dark ambient domains are rather rare, but as we know there is no rule without exception, so why not to dive occasionally into these fascinating terrains. Without any doubt, "Path Of Dissolutions" is the right time for encountering these magnificent realms. I didn't have any idea about Hoshin, nor about its creative mastermind, a Belgian soundsculptor Xavier "Hoshin" Heindrichs until his debut "Path Of Dissolutions" was announced on US dark ambient authority Cryo Chamber. Out since September 13th, 2016 in ambiguously inviting 6-panel digipak designed by Cryo Chamber's driving force Simon Heath, who is also handling the mastering duties. I remember clearly the day when the CD was officially introduced on Bandcamp, it left me breathless right away and I immediately rushed to contact the sole protagonist behind Hoshin.

The journey unfolds with "Tender Deadlocks", which quickly grabs my attention with immersing interactions between urban sounds and various rumblings with strong subterranean feel, while expansive washes slowly emerge and permeate across labyrinthine subtleties. A truly precise amalgamation of enigmatic location recordings and majestically sweeping panoramic sinuousness. A top-notch introduction of Hoshin's soundworlds! The next piece "Souvenir From The Sacred" incorporates more dark ambient fragrances, when coalescing some transient industrial strikes with organic elixirs and assortment of voices ranging from public to praying. But the show is again later stolen by sneaking warm atmozones meticulously counterpointed by embracing, delicately detailed rainy quietudes. A 6-plus minutes of true sonic ambrosia is served here! Rumbles ascending from unfathomable depths announce "Drop Out The Fruitless", while drifting solitudes quietly commingle. Mysteriously intriguing cavernous spices are precisely equalized with increasing graceful panoptic washes. My ears are bathed in massively immersing beauty, more please!!! "Lone" is seeking for oracular vestiges, where slowly crescendoing drone stratum bridges with perplexing helixes, breathing machineries and ear-tickling metallic scraps, while intangible groove ephemerons continuously resurface across utterly breathtaking horizons. Enter now magically awe-inspiring solitudes!!! On "The All Is Aflame" contemplatively echoed wood crackling in a fire amalgamates with mesmerizingly spiraling ominous magnitudes and remote grumbles. But this fascinatingly hypogeous splendor is inconspicuously pervaded by persistently elevating evocative layers. Another big one! No doubt here, with pieces such as "Drop Out The Fruitless", "Lone" or "The All Is Aflame" Hoshin is knocking on the gates of Ambient Hall of Fame! Bravo, Xavier!!! Monochromatic drifts on "Dissolving Steps" shift the journey into jaw-dropping solitary realms, before fastidiously blending with hissy shoreline reminiscences and then clandestinely transmuting into warmly inviting cinematic panoramas titillatingly reinforced by puzzling fragments and elusive rumbles. Mysteriously desolate hums reveal "Ruins In Focus", while arising washes calmly guard above and neutralize slightly harsher, yet perpetually mesmeric spirals. Towards the end transmogrifying into transcendental territories, where also the closing "How It All Ended" dwells. Distant thunder hums are invaded by amplifying subterranean magmatic layers, but the center stage is almost engulfed by meandering majestic blankets, masterfully counterpointing with monumental murmuring undercurrents. Yeah, a truly grandiose conclusion!

53 and a half minutes long "Path Of Dissolutions" album, where each track clocks between 5:27 and 7:25, showcases an absolutely sophisticated soundcarving by its creator, where every detail is polished to perfection and the balance between eerie and enrapturing passages is exquisitely accomplished in order to reach an ultimate equilibrium. Although I am not a dark ambient aficionado and expert, I feel this album gains a quite unique position in Cryo Chamber's roster with its splendiferously enigmatic, yet by far more ambient colored spirit. So who knows, maybe this will be a turning point and I will be visiting their discography more often. So kudos to Simon Heath/Cryo Chamber for unveiling the talent of this Belgian!!! This is undoubtedly a really sensational and triumphant premiere by Hoshin!!! Xavier, you can be really proud of "Path Of Dissolutions" CD!!! And by the way, I am very grateful for the pralines as well, so I definitely stay tuned for more...

Richard Gürtler (Dec 18, 2016, Bratislava, Slovakia)

16
It seems you have little experience with modulars, for example Suzanne Ciani can sound musical with modulars, the norm is randomness. APK looks like he possess musical experience, but I don't want to insist in this subject. Like I said it's just a personal opinion, and maybe even you a few years from now will agree that it could be better. I just don't understand why some people sell themselves as the best thing since sliced bread, with no room for improvement, your work should talk by itself words are just words.

ĉlfə, I have no idea who you are, but anyway, I own every single physical release by Anthony Paul Kerby and trust me, his discography is quite extensive, just the same with Julio Di Benedetto's releases and I don't remember these guys were ever selling their music "as the best thing since sliced bread". You can be sure APK's work talks by itself, and just the same with Julio's albums, although his discography is much smaller. ĉlfə, maybe you should introduce yourself first and maybe share some links about your soundsculptings if there are any. And btw, what kind of equipment did you use when exploring "Falling Into Place"? I am just wondering, because you have mentioned you had to raise the volume to the max. I didn't notice any related problems during deep listening sessions via speakers or headphones. As you said, words are just words, so please throw some links for some exquisite soundscaping. Sorry, if I am a bit offensive, but enough is enough and I simply couldn't resist. All the best!!!

Richard  ;)

17


Jeff Pearce "Follow The River Home" CD

An iconic ambient guitar soundscaper Jeff Pearce returns after two years with his newest album "Follow The River Home". Self-released via his Jeff Pearce Music during June 2016, the album comes in a catchy 4-panel digipak with gorgeously immersing images and graphic design by Rainer Gembalczyk, who already worked with Jeff Pearce on his previous "With Evening Above" CD. Additional credit goes to Jeff's daughter Thalia for her nice photography featured on a CD tray.

4-minute "Under Summer Stars" immediately sets warmly evocative atmosphere with its earmarking, pristinely ear-tickling stringed melodies exquisitely coupled with soothingly free-floating nocturnal washes guarding above. Balmily relaxing intro! "Downstream I" straightly shifts into deeper atmospheric terrains, masterfully sweeping, evanescing and emerging through gracefully panoptic cloudscapes, delicately reinforced by silent glimpses. Strikingly beautiful and splendidly majestic composition exhibiting distinctive soundsculpting elixirs by its creative genius. Bravo, Jeff!!! "Outpost" goes back to more glistening sceneries highlighted by lushly traversing stringed droplets, continuously delighting the listener's ears, while expansive drifts clandestinely awake, permeate across and amorphously counterpoint with persistently spirited gossamer strings. A headphone listening is fully rewarding in this case! Nearly 5 minutes long "Snowfall" introduces Jeff Pearce at the very top of his ingeniousness, when bridging his lyrically colorful and shimmeringly euphonious string insignias with intriguingly flamboyant and blazingly emotional full-bodied post-rock piquancy. Wow, a truly jaw-dropping transmutation awaits here! It's a pity the track isn't longer a bit as this aural splendor passes rather quickly, but otherwise it's an absolute masterpiece meticulously coalescing dreamy stringed magic with rock-infused vigorousness!!! A tour de force effort indeed!!! The next piece, "Downstream II", which clocks over 9-minute mark, returns quickly into warmly grandiose panoramic realms hauntingly coupled with richly euphoric strings. The second third calms down and rides on the wings of ethereal tranquilness before inconspicuously vanishing through mesmerizingly sculpted helixes. Another pinnacle!!! An epic 20-minute composition "Gathering Stars" glides peacefully through heartwarming, yet subtly mindscaping domains, stunningly infinite and intensely enveloping. The listener is constantly overwhelmed by magnificently opaque, powerfully magnifying and thrillingly chameleonic tides. As presented by the artist in the liner notes, this track is made from two live recordings, one from Jeff Pearce's performance at the Gatherings Concert Series in Philadelphia, PA, on October 11th, 2014, while the second one was recorded one day later during a live-to-air performance at famous Star’s End Radio at WXPN studios. This multi-layered wide-screen masterpiece showcases Jeff Pearce at the ultimate peak of his deepest aural meditations!!! The closing composition "Follow The River Home", its title is inspired by Jeff's younger daughter Fiona, incorporates a truly gorgeous, titillatingly sonorous stringed narration, its symmetry with atmospheric blankets hanging above is absolutely gratifying, a true nectar to soothe your body and mind!!!

53-minute "Follow The River Home" CD is another triumphant recording by Jeff Pearce, who is one of the most gifted soundsculptors I know. It's beyond my understanding what he is able to create with his electric guitar and additional effects. I still deeply treasure memories of the day sometime in 1998 when Jeff's "Vestiges" CD arrived into my mailbox after reading a glowing review of his music in Wind and Wire magazine (thank you so much, Bill, you were my hero!!!). Yeah, these were the good old days when sending an airmail letter with a well-hidden USD cash was a quite standard way to obtain your fave CD. That was my first contact with Jeff and his breathtakingly beautiful soundcarving, since then 18 years have passed and I am still as much amazed as I was in 1998. "Follow The River Home" is a superb album and we all must be really grateful for such artistic excellence!!!

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

18


Robert Rich "What We Left Behind" CD

16 months after "Filaments", a spectacular odyssey through fascinating space expanses, one of the undisputable ambient innovators returns with another jewel. On "What We Left Behind" CD, as displayed by its title, Robert Rich transforms his dreams about the Mother Earth when the humankind is gone, with a crow as a spirit guide, into an exquisitely sophisticated soundsculptures, showcasing his continuous musical virtuosity. Out since May 2016 on Robert's Soundscape Productions, the CD comes, as usual, in a really gorgeous 6-panel digipak masterly designed by a frequent collaborator John Bergin exhibiting stunning cover art by Ibizan painter Romanie Sanchez, who has already contributed her amazing art to two collaborative releases by Alio Die & Paralled Worlds "Circo Divino" and "Elusive Metaphor". So with such visual power it's quite obvious the first big points are awarded already, but this is nothing new when it goes to Robert Rich's CDs. Nowadays, when many physical items are released in reduced quality, we must be really grateful for such consistent artful bliss. Bravo, Romanie, John & Robert!!!

"Profligate Earth" unfolds with authentic trademarking insignias, it simply can't be anyone else but Robert Rich! Filigree organic sounds masterfully amalgamate with nebulous blankets and intangibly subtle rhythm motifs, while guarded by abstractions of Chari Chuang's voice (remember Chari Chuang's virtuosic performance on "Medicine Box"?). A very pleasant intro with top-notch sound quality again delivered! Signature flute work returns (after absence on "Filaments" album) and announces "Raku" and commingles with gentle primordial rumblings, gossamer tribal patterns and captivating biotic quietudes. Richly enigmatic composition! "Voice Of Rust" keeps on its primal path, when merging yearning flute with languishingly rumbling artifacts. "Soft Rains Fall" excels with tremendous lap steel guitar artistry, when melting earmarking ethereal choir nuances with balmy beats, while soothing atmospheric blankets are riding atop. This is Robert Rich at the very top of his immersing soundmagic!!! Shorter "Rhizome" dwells in perplexingly primordial terrains. "Transpiration" is awakened by weirdly enrapturing sound fragments of child-like voice, but soon the center stage is stolen by utterly evocative flute, a truly genuine hallmark, which is meticulously bridged with monochromatic drone, phantasmal helixes and magnetizing tribal drumming. Over 5 minutes of pure aural ecstasy awaits here, a Hall of Fame track!!! The next composition, "Corvid Collections", melts mysterious flute motifs, subterranean drum patterns and contemplative tinkles. "Aerial On Warm Seas", with 9:08 the longest piece on the album, is driven by magnificently melancholic lap steel cries, which later metamorphose into powerfully intense, nearly transcendental stratums and then evanescing through bizarrely colored phantasmagoric sceneries back to weeping loneliness. This is a fully rewarding venture into unmistakable sonic domains demonstrating uniquely distinctive artistry of its sole protagonist. Hats off to you, Robert!!! "Never Hunger" reveals with deep drumming, longing flute and grieving lap steel guitar. Credited on last two tracks is Robert's Californian kindred spirit Forrest Fang for used abstractions of his performance on cümbüş (a Turkish stringed instrument). "After Us" dives into unfathomable depths with its static drone, distant hums and diaphanously rustling embellishments. 6-minute title track "What We Left Behind" incorporates pulsing laid-back rhythms coupled with calmly sweeping expansive washes and strikingly poignant lap steel vistas. Beauty!!! "Meeting Face To Face" starts serenely with slightly exotic fragranced strings, which conjugate with panoptic angelic lap steel choirs and warmly cinematic horizons. A truly gorgeous conclusion!

Robert Rich is known for his perfection and consistency and "What We Left Behind" is a perfect example of his superiorly creative musicianship. A quite colorful 62-minute recording, which showcases all essential insignias of this Californian. They are fully blossoming and wealthily infused by 3 and a half decades of his stellar recording career. Thank you, Maestro!!! "What We Left Behind" is another true piece of art by Robert Rich, which will delight your eyes and ears!!! And by the way, since yesterday the newest CD by Robert Rich entitled "Vestiges" is available for order. A new album after 7 months? Wow, that's a quite unusual for this sonic explorer. I can't wait!!!

Richard Gürtler (Nov 18, 2016, Bratislava, Slovakia)

19
Remco Helbers is a highly recommended artist!!! If you are located within Haarlem, The Netherlands during January 2017, definitely don't miss his performance!!! Few months ago I have reviewed his epic "On Some Road" CD released back in 2002,  which unfortunately still remains criminally unexposed. Here is the link for digital version of "On Some Road", but if you prefer physical copy like me, don't hesitate to contact Remco.

https://remcohelbers.bandcamp.com/album/on-some-road-re-release

And here is his newest digital album "Watermusic" released two months ago. I really hope this one will end up on CD format one day.

https://remcohelbers.bandcamp.com/album/watermusic

Enjoy!!! :)

Richard




20
Independent Music Reviews / My review of "5 Textures" CD by Simon Lomax
« on: November 14, 2016, 11:04:45 AM »


Simon Lomax "5 Textures" CD

Simon Lomax, in UK based guitar soundcarver is active since the end of the 90's, when he debuted under the pseudonym Maitreya with album "From The Mothership" (1999). On his own Council Of Nine label another two Maitreya releases followed, "Telluric Waves" (2003) and ".74" (2004). Then after longer break, lasting over 8 years, when mostly working as one of the main creators on co-developing the Music Skills System, a music teaching methodology, Simon Lomax again returned to composing and releasing his dronescaping muses through Council Of Nine. This time under his name, the year 2013 saw a CD album "Zone Of Cold", followed by "A Glimmer Of Memory" in 2014 on UK's ...txt label. The most recent album on glass mastered format is "5 Textures" on Council Of Nine, which is out, if I am right, since February 2015. Minimalistic elusive artwork, which is one of the earmarks of each album by Simon Lomax, masterfully displays the atmosphere. I must add that Simon Lomax is also involved in composing music for various TV shows and independent films. So when taking into account all above facts, I have no idea why it took me long time before I have explored this enormously gifted virtuoso. My radars simply didn't work properly in this case, shame on me!!! As far I remember, it was eTripper's review several months ago somewhere on Amazon (thanks, man!!!), which turned me into this composer and since then I am deeply fascinated by truly unique atmospheres Simon Lomax is able to forge with his processed guitar manipulations. "5 Textures" is undoubtedly the best example exhibiting all of his ingenious insignias!!!

"If There's Such A Thing As Nothing" unwraps in a truly jaw-dropping way when revealing with slowly emerging monochromatic, yet multi-dimensional desolations, thrillingly mindscaping, which are soon joined by exquisitely evocative meridians, harmoniously enrapturing and intriguingly ear-piercing. Heavy drone hums join this sonic splendor as well and guarantee a superb workout for your speakers. A pure 8 and a half minutes long aural bliss awaits here, certainly an Ambient Hall of Fame composition, bravo Simon!!! "Waiting For Sunrise" remains on utterly immersing path and incorporates some really captivating crepuscular patterns persistently illuminated by gently spiraling traceries and clandestinely glimpsing piano reflections. Flickering lyrical subtleties meticulously amalgamate with spellbinding hazy solitariness. What a beauty!!! "Sometimes I Disappear", with 9:35 the longest piece on "5 Textures", is announced by enigmatic high-pitched siren, which is soon invaded and counterpointed with euphoniously expansive horizons. Hissy tides inconspicuously sneak in and relentlessly commingle with engrossingly nuanced poignancy. This is another emotional powerhouse rewarding the listener's ear! "An Echo, Unseen" shifts into ambiguously ethereal domains, where ghost-like choirs perpetually coalesce with intensely mind-bending reverberations and intricately fragmented reminiscences. Obviously another phenomenal track in this set! "To Find Stillness In The Waiting" unfolds with interplay of nebulously piquant crescendos and diminuendos, embracing piano blankets and lachrymose bowed strings. A sonic equilibrium masterfully dusting off long forgotten memories. Well-done, Simon!!! Although entitled as "5 Textures", the journey continues with additional closing composition "3 Hours Of Night (The 6th Texture)", which delves into slightly rawer stringed terrains, although again virtuosically reinforced by intensified serenities.

Simon Lomax is for me one of the biggest revelations during the last few years and I am still asking myself how could I miss such creative genius for many years? Well, the more I am delighted now when exploring all these exceptional aural realms. "5 Textures" album is an absolute must-have for each connoisseur of sophisticatedly inventive guitar dronesculpting. The album clocks only over 41-minute mark and that's the only weak point here, because Simon Lomax stands safely shoulder to shoulder with the giants of the genre. That's how gifted is this guy, so don't make the same mistake I did!!! Except above mentioned 6 albums, don't hesitate to explore also digital only release "An Ember Glows", which documents live-to-air performance of Simon Lomax on legendary Star’s End Radio in November 22nd 2015 on WXPN in Philadelphia. And last but not least, a new recording is now in the works, so this time I will definitely keep an ear to the ground!!!

Richard Gürtler (Nov 13, 2016, Bratislava, Slovakia)

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