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Messages - richardgurtler

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1


Nightskies "Between Darkness And Twilight / Zero Seconds" CDr

Nightskies is a relatively new project by Italian droneforger Arnaldo Tarsetti, who is rather known under the moniker Nightwind, where he utilizes his electric guitar, synth guitar and various effects. With Nightskies Arnaldo Tarsetti keeps safely on the dronescaping path, but this time delving deeper into electronic driven soundworlds. Based in Pollenza, the province of Macerata, Arnaldo Tarsetti is not only a highly crafted soundcarver, he has also a great eye for photography composition. You certainly might want to check out except his recordings also his strikingly gorgeous color or black & white photographs. So it's quite obvious "Between Darkness And Twilight / Zero Seconds" CDr comes with really catchy 4-page ribbed cardboard packaging featuring stunning cover photo taken by the artist himself. Recorded during January and February 2016 as a two separate albums, "Between Darkness And Twilight" with 7 tracks and 4-piece EP "Zero Seconds", it was released at the end of November 2016 in a limited edition of 30 copies on sympathetically supportive Italian microlabel BeTon run by kindred soul Antonio Benini. Kudos to both of you, Toni and Arnaldo, you have done a such wonderful work with this hidden jewel!!!

With all 11 compositions clocking between 6:18 and 7:11, the album is ignited by "Inconsistent Cosmic Matter" and the listener is immediately invited to enter thrillingly solitary realms, masterfully driven by monochromously engrossing drone stratums deliberately imbued by warmly graceful meridians, riding effortlessly above, while intangibly cinematic vistas percolate here and there. Wow, an utterly jaw-dropping listening spectacle is fully unfolded in absolute equilibrium with its title! So when a track entitled as "In The Darkness And The Frozen Solitude" invades my listening room, I am instantly diving into absolutely fascinating unfathomable depths carved by intensely humming monoliths persistently permeated by eerily surrounding, at times high-pitched calls. Subsidiary rumbling echoes emerge occasionally too. Bizarre oscillations insistently commingle with immensely desolate drifts, so no wonder this sonic spectacle is displayed as "Twisted In The Void". Intriguingly enigmatic "Delicate Vital Rhythm" reveals with flatlined drone, while impalpably nebulous machinery breaths are guarding above, while rising and ebbing balmier undercurrents sneak in. "Chaos And Turbolence" is maybe more relative, as the main gliding layer is deliberately amalgamated with subtly pulsing traceries and oracular fragments. Yet gradually expanding and voluminously engrossing. The gates to the transcendental Eden are unlocked... The title composition "Between Darkness And Twilight" only authenticates this, beyond the ordinary route. Spellbindingly immersing magmatic thickness is perpetually counterpointed with remotely sweeping cinematic glimpses. What a journey! "Silent Movements" shift the silence into absolutely staggering magnitudes, sonorously awe-inspiring and delightfully ear-blowing. Well, fairly except the unexpected outburst at the end that scares me to death with each new spin. "Zero Seconds" EP starts with the same titled piece, which glides into quieter static terrains, reinforced by massively nuanced plateaus with gossamery ephemeral filigrees throw in. "Chronon" is fueled by ambiguously hypogeal spirals, magnified by assorted glancing glimmers and tenebrous perplexes. A genuinely mind-blowing odyssey continues! "Metamorphosis" envelops the listener with gargantuan humming reverberations, which are meticulously softened by vaguely vibrating subterranean sheets, yet constantly perforated by frightening shrills. "Flow Motion" quickly augments into powerfully engulfing celestial immenseness, drifting, sinuating, crescendoing, enrapturing... Sheer monumental grace!!!

Frankly, 73--minute "Between Darkness And Twilight / Zero Seconds" is a breathtakingly phenomenal and profoundly focused, yet abundantly colored all-intensive drone recording, a top-notch collector's item, which needs to be explored and celebrated instantaneously and exhaustively! Welcome to the Drone Pantheon!!! And undeniably one of the biggest revelations for me as well! I will certainly keep an ear and eye on this gifted Italian drone maestro in the future. Bravo, Arnaldo Tarsetti, for this drone tour de force and keep on expanding your multi-talent!!! As far I am informed, copies of "Between Darkness And Twilight/Zero Seconds" are still available through Nightskies Bandcamp site or directly from BeTon label via Antonio Benini's Discogs account. And when focusing on further related drone sculptings, I strongly recommend also "Dronescapes" and "Dronescapes II" CD editions, each packaged in a window tin box with additional two circular booklets. These ones are out since January 2017 on another Italian label MariOrb. Arnaldo Tarsetti aka Nightskies offers a truly miraculous and infinitely magnificent listening experience, more please!!! And keep in mind, as mentioned already, there is also Nightwind...

Richard Gürtler (Jul 17, 2017, Bratislava, Slovakia)

2


Crows Labyrinth "Travels" CD

Dutch bass guitar dronescaper Theo Tol aka Crows Labyrinth has self-released his debut CD "Travels" already several years ago, back in January 2013, but I think his intriguingly engrossing sonic alchemy, when utilizing only bass guitar and various effects, definitely deserves to be experienced and praised. Simple, but elegantly immersing 4-panel digipak features cover art and design executed by the artist himself. Additional credit goes to Arian Prins, who did the mastering at Hydra Music Studio.

The opening "Frontier", which covers 10 and a half minutes, straightly dives into nebulously rumbling terrains, more disturbing than harmonious, yet stunningly transporting into subterraneanly perplexing sceneries. Subtly outbursting and eerily titillating metallic rawness is coupled with reverberating solitary meridians. Rather minimal, but strikingly encircling! "Influx", slightly shorter than it's predecessor, is relatively quieter, but still powerfully engulfing. Sculpted with hypogeally labyrinthine transcendental drones, which are bridged with mysteriously cascading blankets and deliberately reinforced by assorted intangible squeaks and mind-blowing vibrations. Massively tenebrous venture awaits here, undoubtedly a top-notch track!!! 6-minute "Gibberish" immediately transmute into weirdly spiraling realms, constantly permeated by various noisy scraps. So no wonder piece like this drives me almost nuts. This is also the only composition with few overdubs, otherwise the rest of the album is a pure improvisation. "Reverie", the longest cut on "Travels" getting over 11 minutes, is another rather hallucinogenic amalgamate, where disruptive stringed layers persistently commingle with ambiguously traversing echoes, while helixing humming drone infrequently arise as well. Delightfully dissonant sonic palette! "Stratagem" is for sure more, let's say polished with its accessible feel. Although still rambling through subterrestrially colored domains, the ride is augmented by variety of shimmering, skittering and dizzy traceries. A quite peculiar potpourri, exquisitely merging enigmatic undercurrents with lightly glimmering ornaments. "Below", which clocks to only 2-plus minutes, is the only solo bass performance, recorded separately apart from the rest of the album. Written more than 10 years ago, the piece focuses on sensitively luminous lyrical poignancy, while surrounded by distant velvety curtains of abandoned hissy quietudes, the only field recording used on "Travels". Disparately flavored, yet tenaciously following the trace. 7-minute "Heliograph" brings the album into its conclusion with calmly expansive and insistently embracing bass nuances masterfully coalesced with display of evocatively swirling and euphorically ear-tickling trimmings. A very strong one too!!!

Albeit rather more experimental, puzzling and piercing at times to my by far more conservative drifting taste, the album proficiently keeps its strong authentic focus and concept throughout 53 minutes, where the listener is constantly confronted with challenging enigma-inducing tapestries. And that's what really counts on "Travels" for me, well-done, Theo!!! After exploring Remco Helbers' "On Some Road" CD one year ago, here comes another distinguishing hidden gem Made in The Netherlands!!! Even if "Travels" CD remains the only physical edition by Crows Labyrinth, don't hesitate to give a listen also to few digital tracks available via Bandcamp. "Consolation" 3-track EP is the last one released about one year ago.

Richard Gürtler (Jul 08, 2017, Bratislava, Slovakia)

3


Mathias Grassow "Kreuzblut" CD

The connection between German Drone Kaiser and multifariously focused GS Productions label keeps on blooming. "Kreuzblut", the lastest album by Mathias Grassow for this in Moscow based imprint is another proof of this and it follows previous releases on GSP such as "Opus Posthumum" (reissue from 2014), "Harmonia Mundi" (2014), "AeroAreA" (4CD, 2015), "Interstellar Gravity" (2016) and "Tranceformation" (EP, 2016). Out since December 2016 in a limited edition of 100 copies and housed in a 4-panel digipak, the album is graced by stunningly gorgeous abstract cover painting by Mathias Grassow and his wife Cornelia Kern. Really nice job on this one, folks!!! Actually, I think the painting itself would be even more transporting without that white framing and heading. But anyway, let's enter the Drone Eden!!!

"Prologue" is rather shorter piece running just slightly over 4 minutes and it ignites the trip with expansively static droneforging persistently amalgamated with intangibly cavernous and oracularly encircling pulses and drops. Long-form 62-minute title track "Kreuzblut" straightly dives into spellbindingly unfathomable sceneries bridging monochromously mindscaping stratums with eerily percolating arctic-charged desolations and remote machinery breaths on one side, while warmer cinematic, choir-infused meridians are constantly arising and guarding above along with ephemeral mesmerizing ponderous beat. Powerfully immersing drone tour de force is fully unfolded here to stimulate the synapses of all addicted connoisseurs of tenebrously driven drone phenomenons. Beyond the gates domains are securely achieved, exactly in the manner as it is ordinary for this German Maestro. His unmistakable sonic insignias are all over this all-intensive transcendental opus!!! Assorted solitary industrial shrills and cybernetic signals clandestinely keep on permeating, while the monolithic multi-dimensional infinite layers effortlessly soar through graceful plateaus, awe-inspiring solitudes and breathtaking magnitudes. Staggeringly mind-blowing listening delight, bravo and thank you, Mathias!!! 7-minute "Epilogue" closes the odyssey with less intenser soundscape, yet similarly flatlined, although painting perpetual spirals centered around insistently glimmering traces. Ambiguously impalpable groans are hanging above as well.

"Kreuzblut", recorded back in January 2011, is intriguingly fascinating and nebulously engrossing album offering a truly splendid journey into thrillingly bottomless depths of inner realms, the zones with all its mysteries and terra incognitas, where the Drone Shaman is tenaciously dwelling with his majestically stalwart, massively abundant and profoundly mind-bending dronesculptings since the second half of the 80's. Thus "Kreuzblut" is another superb album by Mathias Grassow!!! Oh, before I forget, credit for remastering duties goes, as usual, to 121. And when focusing on the most recent physical releases, you also might want to explore two other CDs with dusted off archived works on Swedish gterma label, "The Darklight Quest" (July 2016, featuring mostly recordings from 1998) and "The Nightquest Sessions" (November 2016, originally composed in 1994 and 1998).

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

4


Eternell "Children Of Infinity" CDr

Ludvig Cimbrelius, the sole sonic healer behind Eternell, is for sure better known for his other highly applauded project Purl, delicately focusing on soothingly hazy introspectiveness with mesmerizing dub techno tapestries thrown in and releasing mostly on renowned Canadian Silent Season label as well as lately also on rising Spanish imprint Archives. However, I was always fascinated by Ludvig's more embracing atmospheric quietudes revealed under Eternell moniker, so when "Children Of Infinity" has been announced on Eternell's Bandcamp site as a limited physical edition of 100 copies, I immediately raised my eyebrows! Self-released since March 17th, 2017, "Children Of Infinity" album comes in a really gorgeous glossy 4-panel digipak with artwork credits given to Russell Stephenson (front and back cover) and to Brian Young (inside art). Very nice job, gentlemen! Actually, both these visual artists are already credited on several other Eternell and Purl releases.

10-minute opener "Abode" straightly carries the listener into sonorously tranquilizing garden, where ethereally contemplative gongs are delightfully amalgamated with nuanced hissy drone reflections, monochromatic intangible expansions, meandering evocative blankets and stringed lyrical subtleties. What a beauty captures my listening room!!! Rasmus Alkestrand is listed as a co-writer and co-producer on this composition together with Ludvig Cimbrelius. "Corona", which is only slightly longer than its predecessor, delves deeply into thrillingly expressive nostalgic terrains, impeccably merging powerfully evocative driftscapes with impalpably remote heartbeat, utterly poignant choir-driven luminosity, elusive string titillations and glimpsing faunal balm with rainy shimmers. Pure magic, Ludvig Cimbrelius serves here infinite aural ambrosia to caress your inner realms!!! On "Moksha" Rasmus Alkestrand returns to the stage and creates together with Mr. Eternell another exquisitely immersing scenario, propelled by persistently droning flatlined immenseness, calmly reverberating and insistently engrossing, and counterpointed by evanescent organic filigrees. Eternell at the top of his deepest sonic meditations! But the vertex of a blissful listening splendor comes most likely with 15 and a half minutes long "Child Of Infinity", when utterly warm drizzling sceneries are meticulously invaded by perpetually billowing monumental vistas revealing breathtakingly expansive horizons. Auxiliary tinkling gossamery contemplations clandestinely sneak in along with ear-tickling emotional traceries. Yet this magnificently engulfing spectacle is sensationally reinforced by lissomly gliding chants guarding above. Wow, a jaw-droppingly absorbing harmony between all aural fragrances brings my equilibrium into absolute heaven. After "Corona" another ultimate Hall of Fame composition!!! Bravo, Ludvig!!! The next piece "Sister" keeps on the path with chanting blossoms, when Lovisa Cimbrelius joins Ludvig with her heavenly voice, I believe, according to the title, it's Ludvig's sister. The voice cushions gracefully commingle with heartwarmingly sublime magnitudes, soothingly riding across gorgeously evocative landscapes of dusted off memories. Marvelously balsamic track! "Puja", next longer piece covering more than 14 minutes, brings back again Rasmus Alkestrand. The composition wanders through enveloping piano, chants and flute infused reveries, delicately enhanced by stringed musings, both poetic and euphoric, and fading away calmly through the curtains of rain droplets. The closing 9-minute "Eden" is featured on this recording as a bonus, this piece was already released digitally during the summer of 2016 on "Portals" album. "Eden" serenely floats on the wings of elated imageries. where lower end subtleties are proficiently fused with spirited glimmers, vivid reminiscences and longing placidness.

Ludvig Cimbrelius excels as a virtuoso sonic meditator on 77-minute "Children Of Infinity", this masterfully crafted collection of tranquilizing auralscapes is constantly driven by his unmistakable insignias, where sublimity, warmth, intimacy and stillness coexist in a truly encircling harmony. "Children Of Infinity" masterpiece must be your everyday's medicine!!! If you still don't know the discography of this tremendously talented Swedish soundscaper, don't wait any second, because all Eternell and Purl physical albums, both glass mastered and pro CDr, are highly recommended!!! And for those, who prefer digital worlds, many other albums are available and not only as Eternell or Purl, but also as Alveol, Surr, Rust, Xpire or most recent Illuvia and Kokong (the last one together with above credited Rasmus Alkestrand).

Richard Gürtler (Jun 20, 2017, Bratislava, Slovakia)

5
Independent Music Reviews / My review of "Atmosphere" CDr by Warpness
« on: June 19, 2017, 05:09:07 AM »


Warpness "Atmosphere" CDr

Wow, what a surprise landed into my mailbox!!! Although I have noticed the pre-release info of this album at the end of March 2017, it quite unexpectedly graced my collection only one week later. With the official release date at April 21st, 2017, "Atmosphere" CDr is out on Tape The Sound in a nice 4-panel digipak designed by the artist himself. Oh, and who is hidden behind this project? Remember the name Tom Stċle Engebretsen? I have reviewed his fantastic album "Tralfamadore", released under Elrox Ambient Session moniker about one and a half years ago. And among other I also said this Norwegian soundcarver is living his dream. "Atmosphere" is certainly another proof of these words!!! I should add that Tape The Sound label is run Tom and his debut work as Warpness, entitled "One Note", is out since December 2016 on a cassette format. Actually, as far I know, this crafted Norwegian is also veiled behind another project Castana with one cassette release "Olvenion". So if you are a true tape aficionado, certainly don't miss these two releases, they both look really nice. Anyway, let's dive deeply into "Atmosphere", consisting of 9 untitled parts...

The shortest piece on the album, "Part 1", running over 2 and a half minutes, immediately transports the listener into spellbindingly ambiguous solitudes proficiently navigated by tenebrously sinuous drone, which is precisely bridged with assorted subterranean murmurs and intangible glimmers. A rather ephemeral intro, but powerfully immersing!!! "Part 2" shifts into slightly more active terrains, where mesmerizingly helixing monochromatic mindscapes are persistently coalesced with cyber-biotic traceries, inconspicuously pervading titillating reverberations and balmily contemplative glimpses. 6-minute "Part 3" safely keeps on magnificently enigmatic traces fronted by insistently spiraling cinematic drone, gliding through warmly introspective horizons and guarded by choir-infused meridians, while occasionally imbued by transient primordial mirages. A large dose of aural medicine is served here!!! "Part 4" intriguingly merges rather quiescent driftscape with a labyrinth of celestial calls and a fleeting glance of throbbing grooves. Solitary drone emerge from unfathomable depths and serenely shifts "Part 5" into immensely engrossing realms counterpointed by gossamer pulses, elusive resonations and trenchantly ascending ear-tickling hypogeal vistas. "Part 6" is guided by static, nearly transcendental spirals, which are soon percolated by reflectively tinkling and bouncing miniatures as well as by continuously crescendoing driftscapes with panoptic vertexes. The magic of hypnotically gripping droneforging is fully unfolded! "Part 7" in some ways resurrects a bit "The Earthlings Dome", one of many unforgettable sonic elixirs from "Tralfamadore" album. Twisted drone, spellbinding oscillations, buzzing undercurrents, vague bowed fragments, organic tapestries, ancient vestiges..., a truly delightful potpourri exhibiting peculiarly creative craftsmanship of Tom Stċle Engebretsen. Bravo!!! The splendor continues also throughout "Part 8", which amalgamates lower end droning specters with hissy particles, evocative undulations and industrialized subtleties. "Part 9", with 7 and a half minutes the longest track on the album, closes the journey with sonorously droning scenario, which is exquisitely enhanced by unbounded subterrestrial hummings, encircling shimmering chimes and awe-inspiringly magnified cascades. A very strong conclusion indeed!!!

47-minute "Atmosphere" is another triumphant work by Tom Stċle Engebretsen, this time acting as Warpness, which needs to be explored as soon as possible, just like his above mentioned, blazingly distinguishing "Tralfamadore" album published under project's name Elrox Ambient Session. This Norwegian artist certainly belongs to the long list of undiscovered ambient soundsculptors across the globe waiting for their voice to be heard and then praised. Don't be afraid of this venturous ride, because a fully rewarding listening experience awaits here!!! Tom Stċle Engebretsen absolutely deserves this chance as "Atmosphere" stands stalwartly side by side with sonic monuments of 2017!!!

Richard Gürtler (Jun 18, 2017, Bratislava, Slovakia)

6


dreamSTATE vs. Heiki "Stone Shore" CDr

More than 4 years have passed since the phenomenal collaboration "The North Shore" between renowned Canadian dronescapers dreamSTATE and their fellow Toronto based electronic veteran Heiki Sillaste, who is also the driving force behind Paper+Sound label. dreamSTATE's Scott M2 and Jamie Todd as well as Heiki Sillaste are the core members behind The Ambient Ping, a Toronto based creative community of audio artists, performers, musicians and visual artists, who will celebrate this summer already their 18th Anniversary. Of course I always keep an eye and ear on their activities and I was eagerly awaiting the follow-up to "The North Shore". Actually, as far I remember, the next chapter was tentatively entitled "The South Shore", however, it ended up as "Stone Shore" CDr EP format packaged in a standard jewel case with 2-page front insert ("Stone Shore" is available also on cassette). Released at the end of April 2017, at the very first point, when revealing "Stone Shore" I was quite disappointed as the track list consisted of 3 pieces only with running time around 22 minutes. But after inserting the CDr into my player, I was a bit confused as the index showed 5 tracks with total run time over 43 minutes. It obviously reached its pinnacle when the track number 4 followed with one minute of silence. Fortunately, the 5th track was a real one and as later informed by Heiki, it was a kind of hidden gift for all those who buy a physical edition of "Stone Shore". Thus the EP album, which was recorded live at Christ's Church Cathedral, Hamilton, Canada on May 10th, 2013, is now extended to a rather satisfactory length. But nice trick, guys!

8-plus minutes long "Strange Harbour" is announced by a soothing shoreline field recordings, which are soon joined by subterranean choir-infused drone cascades, calmly buzzing, at times nearly didge-like groaning dissonances, introspectively engrossing blankets, invading cinematic vistas and glimpsing cyber-tech gossamers. The track glides consistently through stunningly awe-inspiring crepuscular seacost sceneries, masterfully exhibiting picturesque vast realms of Georgian Bay. "Laurentide" clocks to nearly 6 minutes and it straightly dives into enigmatically weeping panoramic expanses bringing back the memories of freezing rugged solitaries of "The North Shore". But this time it glides even further and immerses the listener into a kind of sonic timelapse exquisitely evoking the glacial period, when the Laurentide Ice Sheet covered most of Canada with a massive sheet of ice. Tenebrously undulating epic dronscapes are carefully bridged with ambiguously rumbling undercurrents. Breathtakingly sonorous! 7-minute "Stoney Beach" returns into gorgeously scenic quietudes guided by the stoney shoreline, where infinitely mesmerizing nocturnal symphonies persistently commingle with embracing tranquilities of drifting panoramic stratums, subtly crescendoing patterns, intangibly lyrical pillows and perpetually ascending rattling meridians. Soothingly rewarding journey! Then transmuting through the silence into the veiled closing, 21 minutes long opus named "Secret Shore", a composition driven by intensified drone helixes, intriguingly reinforced by a gamut of warmly panoptic glimmers, mindscaping disruptive vertexes, intricate hypogean gleams and cyber-biotic elixirs. As much engrossing as disturbing aural climax to close this strikingly venturous dronebalm, bravo, gentlemen!!!

Sure, I will always missing the longer story of "The North Shore" as well as its glass mastered format packaged in an attractive 4-panel digipak with additional signed art cards, however, "Stone Shore" is another powerful drone tour de force focusing on the magic of coastal sceneries of The Great Lakes and Georgian Bay, a truly ethereal environment serving the deepest inspiration for Scott M2, Jamie Todd and Heiki Sillaste. Explore "Stone Shore" now!!! And in case you are not familiar yet with "The North Shore", grab a copy of this one too!!! As mentioned by Heiki, two follow-up collaborative albums are in the works, so I will definitely stay tuned! And when focusing on the most recent solo releases, dreamSTATE has a new "DRoNE DAY" CDr out since May 22nd, 2017, on their own e-SPACE Editions. The album was recorded live on the first National Drone Day on May 10th, 2014 at Array Space in Toronto. Since then, Drone Day became a celebration of drone, experimental, and ambient music, and is celebrated annually in May. Regarding Heiki Sillaste's latest projects, he has compiled the latest "Quiet Drones 8" compilation, featuring 7 various projects from Canada, marking the 50th release for Paper+Sound label.

Richard Gürtler (Jun 11, 2017, Bratislava, Slovakia)

7


Keosz "Be Left To Oneself" CD

Keosz is for me one of the biggest discoveries during the last few years and certainly the most unexpected. Erik Osvald, the sole protagonist behind Keosz, comes from my homecountry Slovakia (the town of Dubnica nad Váhom) and he has released his debut CD "Be Left To Oneself" on renowned Cryo Chamber label more than one year ago, but he was quite safely escaping my radar for many months to come. Shame on me for this!!! Fortunately, I am very thankful to Emil/Strom Noir for his hint on this talented dronecarver. Yeah, along with Strom Noir, this is another acclaimed soundsculptor coming from a country where drone ambient scene is basically non-existent, so it's always a truly exiting moment when I can focus on a recording made by a Slovak soundscaper. Based on two previous digital albums "Sollicitus" and "Insecure", "Be Left To Oneself" is out since April 2016 in a 6-panel digipak with stunning artwork created by the artist himself.

Exceptionally immersing journey is ignited by the opening 6-minute title track "Be Left To Oneself", which straightly drifts into massively embracing and ambiguously colored drone landscapes, bridging tenebrously nuanced dense layers with constantly permeating epic vistas. A very strong beginning!!! "Occurred" keeps tightly on intense traces, it even culminates the droning scenario, where helixing deep bass meridians persistently commingle with intangibly rawer glimpses and awe-inspiring cinematic expanses. The gates to the Drone Eden are unlocked, enter now!!! "Forfeited", the longest track on the album covering nearly 7 minutes, shifts clandestinely into calmer, cyber-tech infused terrains, illuminated during the unfolding passage by solitary pulses, then slowly metamorphosing into powerfully immense stratums, where emerging panoptic undulations alternate with multi-dimensional monochromatic monoliths, all exquisitely guarded by mesmerizingly elusive industrial oscillations. Another aural bliss by Keosz awaits here! This guy rules!!! Bravo, Erik!!! "Forlorn", the shortest cut on the CD, moves back to grandiosely atmospheric poignancy, powered by gracefully weeping spirals and introspectively engrossing hums, while sacred choirs and contemplative tinkles are occasionally riding atop. "Traitor" reveals with spiraling intensity exquisitely amalgamated with fascinatingly crescendoing and profoundly longing, nearly orchestral hymnic horizons. An all-inclusive drone elixir is served here!!! "Insecure" dives deeply into abysmally pensive sceneries, where infinite hissy coils relentlessly coalesce with evanescent voice-like mirages and ear-tickling high-pitched glimmers. Wow, this must be Keosz at his most transcendental!!! Lowest end drones safely navigate "Clearance" through breathtakingly climaxing and thrillingly enigmatic plateaus, while "Low Down" glides through unfathomably infused oracular realms, propelled by breathing machineries wrapped by steam and reinforced by remote chants (bringing back my DCD memories...). The closing track, "Before The End", is carried by balmy rain and organic sounds, which are carefully bridged with serene cascades of rawer quietudes and ambrosial evocativeness. A tranquilly dissonant conclusion!

Man, I am so proud of the talent of Erik Osvald, who is not only an extremely gifted dronescaper and visual artist, but he has a very good eye as a photographer too. And keep in mind, this is not the last sound magic by Keosz!!! Since April 19th, 2017, his second album for Cryo Chamber entitled "Ava" is out and it even shifts Keosz into another, artistically magnificent level, which deserves to be immediately explored and praised!!! And when focusing on Erik's soundsculpting wizardry, certainly don't miss also his other sonic endeavors, more beat-driven, available in digital formats through his own Bandcamp page. In any case, 49 minutes long "Be Left To Oneself" is a really outstanding debut album by Keosz, hats off to you, Erik, keep on droning and keep on unfolding your multi-talent!!! No mistakes allowed on my side this time, so I will always keep a focused ear to the ground!!! And by the way, this guy doesn't even know many of my ambient heroes as his main influences rather come from the videogame soundtracks sector, so the more I am delighted by his inherent sonic visions!!! And last but not least, kudos to Simon Heath of Cryo Chamber, who gets the mastering credit, for exploring Erik's dronescaping potential!!!

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

8
Independent Music Reviews / My review of "Boira" CDr by Landru
« on: June 04, 2017, 03:44:37 AM »


Landru "Boira" CDr

Patxi Hernández aka Landru has crossed my radar for the first time during the spring of 2012, not only as one of the driving forces behind Spanish label Altera Orbe, together with another fellow soundscaping countryman Ran Kirlian, but also as a creator of very impressive debut CDr "Neurotransmitters" (released in November 2011). In the meantime Landru has released several other notable solo albums available on CDr format like "Fimbria", "Scotoma", "Facets" and a collaborative project "Waterfront" with above mentioned labelmate Ran Kirlian. Some of them I have reviewed throughout 2012 and 2013. Although, I believe, Altera Orbe is on hiatus now, both artists still continue on releasing their own music, particularly Landru has a new album "Boira" out since June 2016 on his newly formed label Lepysma, even if the CDr edition was released as a limited edition few months later. "Boira", which means fog in Catalan language, comes in a standard jewel case with immersing black and white 4-page front insert.

Nearly 7-minute long "Dormant State", the shortest one on "Boira", ignites the venture with subterraneanly labyrinthine drone cascades, which are delicately reinforced by assorted, translucently cyber-tech swirls and smashes or ambiguously cavernous pulses and bleeps. Auxiliary warmer cinematic vignettes clandestinely permeate across engulfing hypogeal sceneries. A very strong opening! "The Water Cycle", stretching to 11 minutes, merges richly biotic and mesmerizingly transporting location recordings with constantly circling longing undulations, while intangibly noisier bangs are persistently guarding above. The next piece, "Hydroscopic Particles", only slightly shorter than its predecessor, straightly shifts into sonorously dronescaping Eden, where magnificently multi-dimensional monochromatic monoliths are meticulously coalesced with perpetually helixing primal rumbles and intriguingly traverse through awe-inspiringly panoptic vistas. A towering dronezones at its climax!!! "Evolving Landscape" delves into more future-tech-driven terrains highlighted by polished crystalline bleeps and oddities, and surrounded by balmily expanding and tranquilly nuanced cinematic horizons. Another big one!!! "From A Certain Height" masterfully blends nebulously engrossing choir-infused solitudes with subtly vibrating and intricately high-tech grooves. As much engrossing as electrifying, an aural elixir is served here! "Quiescense" reveals with soaring enigmatic drifts, roaming through perplexing altitudes and backed by remotely elusive throbs and eerily glancing groans and squeaks. The closing 20-plus minutes long title opus "Boira" dives deeply into grandiosely unfathomable depths, navigated by gracefully celestial and spellbindingly humming drone stratums and oracularly illuminated by extraterrestrial signals. And then inconspicuously crescendoing through jaw-droppingly transporting meridians. Massively mysterious finale fully reveals all its magic!!! Bravo, Landru!!!

Landru offers with "Boira" 75 minutes of prodigiously tenebrous atmozones exquisitely augmented by a diversity of cybernetic, futuristic or primordial-charged curiosities, no matter if shimmering, pellucid, granular or puzzling. Undoubtedly "Boira" is another very strong recording by Landru, so don't hesitate to explore this crafted Spaniard, because he really deserves much more attention than he gets. Landru's discography features several well hidden gems and your support would be greatly appreciated with many rewards awaiting!!! Patxi, muchas gracias and keep on creating!!!

Richard Gürtler (May 31, 2017, Bratislava, Slovakia)

9


Byron Metcalf "Inner Rhythm Meditations" CD

When looking back at the year 2016, this was undoubtedly an enormously triumphant and strikingly fruitful period of time for shamanic par excellence drummer Byron Metcalf. Firstly, just within a few days, two phenomenal albums "Earth Luminous" and "Shamanic Trance Dance" were released, the first one as a collaborative project with Norwegian ambient guitar virtuoso Erik Wĝllo on Projekt, while the other one "Shamanic Trance Dance" on Sounds True features several kindred spirits from across the globe as guests. Both these albums certainly belong to the pinnacles of 2016, but the story is still not complete... "Inner Rhythm Meditations" CD, released on Sounds True at October 1st, 2016, in an attractive 6-panel eco wallet with extensive liner notes, resurrects once again the synergistic spirit with Erik Wĝllo and the team is completed by a Grammy Award and Native American Music Award nominee, a world flute wizard Peter Phippen from Wisconsin. What a line-up!!! The additional credits go to Sounds True producer, Mitchell Clute, to Liv Khalsa at Invincible Recording for his mastering experiences and to David M. Schrader for cover image.

The opening piece, wonderfully entitled "Garden Of The Peaceful Warrior", which clocks over 10 minutes, unfolds with quietly expansive washes by Erik Wĝllo, which are propelled by sublime drumming, both heavier and gauzy, by Byron Metcalf and Peter Phippen's gorgeously evocative flute calls. The trio immediately sets their creative insignias into absolute equilibrium and the listener enters a truly magnificent sonic Eden, where he/she is welcomed by a large dose of aural ambrosia. Pure beauty!!! "As Clouds Dance" is only several seconds shorter than its predecessor, keeps tightly on the path, but this time more translucent udu beats steal the center stage, although always commingling with bulkier frame drums, while hissy desolations are clandestinely glancing on the horizon. Weeping blankets slowly emerge and permeate across along with gently shimmering pulses. Ear-tickling gossamer, yet razor sharp groovy gallops join the spectacle as well and persistently interact with drum/udu magic and utterly engrossing and warmly panoramic elevations. The track title is exquisitely displayed by the passionate musicianship!!! Erik's lushly lyrical strings announce "Patterns Of Awareness", but the percussive vibrancy by Byron soon levels the score along with Peter's poignant bansuri narrations. A quite laid-back, yet intensely magnified and insistently absorbing ride awaits here, bravo, gentlemen!!! "A Perfect Place" delves into quieter terra incognita sceneries, reinforced by cavernously crystalline echoes of udu, pungently galvanizing drums, ethereally embracing E-bow magic, emotive stringed vistas and hauntingly enveloping shakuhachi cushions. A genuine magic by three sonic curanderos in full bloom!!! "The Awakened Heart", covering 11 and a half minutes, shifts the splendor into another, spellbindingly fascinating altitude when masterfully merging engulfing panoptic reflections, healing flute serenities, intangibly pulsing cinematic motifs and vigorously high-spirited drumming. The driving mixture of ponderously punching drums and pellucid udu balm is just breathtakingly immersing and it meticulously completes this splendiferous composition. It's strongly evident, Byron Metcalf, Erik Wĝllo and Peter Phippen deliver here the very top of their celebrated artistries, beyond question, "The Awakened Heart" is a Hall Of Fame performance!!! The longest piece, 15-minute "Presence Of Longing", closes this awe-inspiring, 65 minutes long journey with meditatively repetitive deep bass drum beat carefully bridged with cascading epic quietudes, introspectively embracing flute curtains and transient breezy strings. A sonorously contemplative outro!

"Inner Rhythm Meditations" album is another giant sonic installment sculpted by Byron Metcalf and graced by thrillingly gifted contributions by like-minded spirits Erik Wĝllo and Peter Phippen. And the sound quality is top-notch too! Thank you, Maestros, for such virtuosic dream team brilliance, congratulations and deep respect for this milestone!!! So it's quite obvious recording like this gets one of my nominations for Best Album of 2016, while "Earth Luminous" and "Shamanic Trance Dance" are already included! And regarding Byron's connection to Sounds True, a 6CD program based on his Shaman's Heart Meditation Series is in the works for a release during the spring of 2018.

Richard Gürtler (May 29, 2017, Bratislava, Slovakia)

10
Excellent album. Been playing it frequently on Spotify past few weeks. First time I have heard this lads music. Impressed.

And don't miss also "Reflection Of Time" and "Eternity" albums, they are highly recommended too!!!

Richard :)

11
I love this album and still enjoy playing the shorter original version as well.

Yeah, Seren, the original version is absolutely magnificent as well!!!

Richard :)

12
Great review Richard , of a beautiful album. One of Steve's best imho.

On my playlist for later today  8)

Thanks a lot, thirdsystem, for your kind words, I really appreciate that!!! Keep on enjoying "The Passing"!!!

Richard :)

13


John Lyell "Planetary Artifacts" CD

A self-released album "Planetary Artifacts" is a 4th solo recording by US ambient soundscaper John Lyell, who is now based in New Mexico. Prior to these albums, he has released two collaborative CDs with Brent A. Reiland. Three years after the release of his previous album, a deep space monument "Reflection Of Time", the newest odyssey "Planetary Artifacts" is out since February 20th, 2017 in a 4-panel digipak featuring immersing horizons designed by the artist himself. The album was created at John Lyell's Light Year Studio, while residing in Minneapolis.

"Arrival", which clocks to nearly 4-minute mark, is the shortest piece on the album and it straightly drifts into warmly tranquil and helically enveloping expansive sceneries masterfully reinforced by rattling cybernetic disruptions, bleeping meridians, epic drone glimpses and ephemeral silent vistas. Short, but very effective! "Traversing The Portal" shifts immediately into galloping, sequencer-powered zones juxtaposed with glancing angelic weeps, temporarily blowing wind-like tapestries and transient remote rumbles. This distinguishing alchemy keeps on exhibiting also during the next piece, "The Visitors", where laid-back elusive cyber-tech pulses relentlessly commingle with ambiguously engrossing lamentations and occasionally outbursting machinery subtleties. "Red Shift 2" is propelled by persistently undulating and mesmerizingly enigmatic motif, here and there amalgamated with emerging panoptic blankets, clattering echoed mirages, sneaking phantasmal breaths and balmy ethereal pillows. Rather minimal in its structure, yet always hauntingly magnetizing journey awaits here!!! The next composition, "Echoes Of A Distant Past", with 8 and a half minutes the longest one on the album, glides effortlessly through euphoniously grandiose realms, exquisitely merging monochromatic immenseness with enthrallingly introspective panoramas, soothingly divine illuminations, contemplatively embracing solitudes and intriguingly traversing fragments. What a beauty, definitely one of the highlights!!! The title track "Planetary Artifacts" delves deeply into oracularly colored terrains, where quiescently tenebrous drone coalesces with hypogeally gossamer impulses, fleeting cinematic reflections, and clandestinely ascending and boisterously titillating glimmers. Another top-notch sonic escapade!!! "Adrift In Time" is navigated by rippling extraterrestrial drone desolations and fueled by strangely oscillating currents. "Another World" keeps on the orbit, where interminably meandering and eerily languorous quietudes connect with anomalously arising stellar beacons and fugitively ringing fractals. The closing track, "Searching For A Moment", is impelled by meditatively reverberating murmurs, which are constantly perforated by peeking flickers and desultory ear-piercing whines.

After triumphant albums like already mentioned "Reflection Of Time" and in 2012 released "Eternity", John Lyell returns again with a very fascinating and manifoldly spiced, 53 minutes long sonic adventure. A quite intricate, intense and peculiar soundcarving awaits here for each dedicated connoisseur of deep space ambience. Well-done, John!!! The mastering knobs, as usual, were controlled by Robert Rich at his Soundscape Studio. Focused headphone listening of "Planetary Artifacts" is undoubtedly fully rewarding!!!

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

14


Sequentia Legenda "Extended" 2xCDr

Sequentia Legenda is a pseudonym of Berlin School connoisseur Laurent Schieber, who resides near Mulhouse, France. I already have been reviewing his debut, self-released CDr album "Blue Dream" from the end of 2014. In the meantime, about one year later, during November 2015, Sequentia Legenda's second official album "Amira" came out. In September 2016 the third album "Extended" was released by the artist himself, who is joined on this double set by a German drummer Tommy Betzler, whose name I have noticed for the first time on SynGate's release "Two", as a companion of Michael Brückner, but this experienced drummer is known also as a founding member of German Krautrock band P'Cock as well as for his guest performance on Klaus Schulze's bonus DVD from 2005 (part of the reissue of "Dig It" album on Revisited Records) on a track entitled "Linzer Stahlsinfonie", recorded during Ars Electronica 1980 in Linz, Austria. As indicated by its title, "Extended" double album reveals reshaped versions of some pieces from "Blue Dream" and "Amira" with Tommy Betzler's vital drum contributions on two tracks. The release comes in a catchy 6-panel glossy digipak featuring additional 8-page booklet with extensive liner notes to each composition. The design of this booklet is superb, it precisely displays invigoratingly transporting aural odyssey. Mastering credits goes to Chris Dion from Quantum Music.

The first disc unfolds with soothingly emerging, 28 and a half minutes long "The Approach", announced by a distant wind and seashore harmonies, which soon metamorphose into panoptic washes, celestially expansive, with clandestinely permeating sequences. "The Approach", in its slightly shorter version, can be heard on "Blue Dream", but this time Tommy Betzler's diverse drum parts add a quite piquant fragrances to the overall mood of this strongly captivating piece, delightfully guarded by choir-driven cushions. The next piece, 20-minute "Into The Sequence" is, I believe, a brand new composition, which exhibits Laurent Schieber's virtuosity in spaciously immense soundsculpting, masterfully merging colossally monochromatic drifts with gossamery mesmerizing glimmers and continually ascending melodic laid-back vignettes. And serenely progressing through brisker elevations, luminously charged and enchantingly enveloping. Another very strong track! "Somewhere", clocking over 23-minute mark, is an extended version of the closing composition on "Amira" album. The base is quite similar to previous pieces, when more flatlined ethereal blankets are persistently counterpointed by elusively helixing and outbursting high-tech traceries, this time reinforced by intangibly arising drum subtleties by Tommy Betzler. Then again shifting through more animated passages and then subsequently dissolving through closing tranquil terrains.

The second part consists of 3 tracks as well, all hanging between 22 and 25 minutes. "Vibrations" fires up the spectacle with its extended version. As far I remember, shorter edition of this composition was my fave piece on "Blue Dream" album. Persistently shimmering ear-tickling sequences exquisitely commingle with sublimely sweeping horizons and remotely percolating and oscillating cybernetic glimpses. Although without any significant modifications when comparing to the original version, it's still a truly triumphant piece paying monumental tribute to Berlin School legends. Bravo, Laurent!!! "Solitudes Lunaires" merges gracefully panoramic and introspectively nuanced choir-like drones with diaphanously pulsing and hypnotically synthetic tapestries, perpetually galloping, while gently swirling titillating chinks hanging in the distance emerge here and there. Gliding occasionally through ephemerally crescendoing cinematic vistas and transiently accelerating transitions. The final track "Au Revoir" was originally released at the end of June, 2015 in shorter version, although it glanced briefly already on "Blue Dream" album, now it's resurrected and stretched to 22 minutes. Drifting heavenly choirs constantly juxtapose with insistent sequencer arrangements, some remain subtle, while others quietly sneak and steal the center stage with its stirringly unwrapped mid-paced intensity. "Au Revoir" is Sequentia Legenda's aural rendezvous with all those deeply missed. A very strong conclusion indeed!!!

"Extended" double album, covering over 143 minutes, is another enormously strong sonic installment by Sequentia Legenda, who constantly focuses his artistic creativity and passion on the Berlin School movement. Hats off to Laurent Schieber and also to Tommy Betzler for his guest performance!!! Sure, as already mentioned in my previous review of "Blue Dream", I will always crave for more drifting poignancy or for rather shorter, more diverse sequencer- and emotion-propelled endeavors, but that's just a question of my taste. Otherwise, Sequentia Legenda really excels in this particular style of radiantly immersing space electronica. And keep in mind, a new album "Ethereal" as well as few collaborative projects are in the works.

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

15
Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: May 22, 2017, 01:35:01 PM »
Thanks for your inspiration Andy :

I just bought "Winter Calm" by Jeff Pearce. My first album that I listen from him, it is simply wonderful.
While listening I have read a blog on his website where he talks about his experience at Ambicon 2013.

Jeff's complete discography is an ultimate must-have!!! Just play "No Matter How Far" from "With Evening Above" and I bet you you will get goosebumps on your arms just like me. What a virtuosity!!! Actually, there is also a video on YouTube with this track (its shorter version) along with "Snowfall", taken during 2015 ZoneMusicReporter Award Show. These are some of the most powerful soundscapes I have ever heard in my life!!! And of course Jeff's comments are additional bonus.



Enjoy!!! :)

Richard 

16


Steve Roach "The Passing" CD

"The Passing" was initially released as a surprise gift by Steve Roach on his birthday at February 16th, 2017 as "name your price" digital download , but fortunately also a limited CD version was immediately announced. 4-panel digipak edition, limited to 300 copies with immersing cover image by Sam Rosenthal, followed in the middle of March and it's quite obvious I couldn't miss another long-form epic carved by one of the truest masters of this format. Although recorded during a five-day period prior to above mentioned Steve's birthday, the origins of this composition go back to the second half of the 90's when "Dreaming... Now, Then: A Retrospective 1982 - 1997" 2CD compilation was released on Celestial Harmonies. And there can be celebrated among many other essentials also a piece entitled "The Passing Time", a 12-minute unreleased archive track from 1997, which closes the second disc and presents Steve Roach at the most majestic vertex of his aural profoundness. Now this utterly poignant delight has been reshaped and expanded to a fully engrossing one hour of emotional exquisiteness. The mastering credit, as usual, goes to kindred wizard Howard Givens.

Droning sonic insignias, invading my listening room with reverberating infinity, are persistently propelled by spirally ascending reflections. Warmly evocative meridians clandestinely permeate across and join this meticulously layered multi-dimensional stratum. Around the 18th minute soulfully voluminous vistas steal the spectacle before serenely dissolving into sweepingly breathtaking horizons. The aural magic of Steve Roach once again fully reveals all its ambrosial hallmarks and I am delving deeply into his atmospheric oasis I have been always exhaustively fascinated with. When heading towards the 30th minute mark, slightly calmer glimpses arise, however still abundantly expansive with awe-inspiring climaxes. Then again quietly metamorphosing towards balmier landscapes counterpointed with amorphously lithe gracefulness that can't be anyone else but The Master. Yet auxiliary apexes continuously emerge with ear-bending intensity, but then, while approaching approximately the 48th minute, the composition starts its halcyon move to full blossom and it reaches its ingenious pinnacle, when transmuting through gorgeously heartwarming mirages into absolutely blissful all-embracing sonic euphoria. And it happens again and again with each spin, I am drifting through the emotionally magnified sonic Eden into the resonant silence with goosebumps on my arms...

Recorded in the remembrance of lost loved ones, "The Passing" dives into the most intense, yet nectarously sumptuous, harmoniously gratifying and luminously eulogistic zones of heart-rending contemplations ever sculpted by Steve Roach. After nebulously subterrestrial monument "Fade To Gray", released only several weeks earlier, the listener experiences here another opus in the Master's dedication to the long-form magnificence. As far I know, only few copies are left with no re-prints in the future, so if you are still craving for the physical version, don't wait any second, once "The Passing" CD is gone, it's gone just like it happened to other milestone "Invisible"! Also don't forget to explore also "Painting In The Dark" and "Spiral Revelation", both CDs were released at New Year's Eve 2016 together with "Fade To Gray". And the next colossal chapter "Long Thoughts" is coming this summer!!!

Richard Gürtler (May 17, 2017, Bratislava, Slovakia)

17


The Circular Ruins "Pathways" 2xCD

"Pathways" double CD album was recorded during 2015-2016 and released during December 2016 together with another 9 double sets by various other artists on the Dutch Databloem label to celebrate their 15th anniversary. It's packaged in a rather simple, but very elegant glossy 4-panel digifile, featuring cover image by Anthony Paul Kerby, the artist himself, who acts as The Circular Ruins (and also as Nunc Stans, Lammergeyer, Fiction And Poetics or together with Robert Davies as The Winterhouse) and who is also known as the mastermind behind the dataObscura label, based in London, Southern Ontario, Canada. It's quite obvious The Circular Ruins was one of the selected artists, because Anthony Paul Kerby used to run dataObscura side by side with Dennis Knopper's Databloem until the beginning of 2008, when they decided to go their separate ways. And The Circular Ruins' debut "Realm Of Possibility", released in 2002, was the second official release by Databloem ("Collection 1: Opening" by various artists was the inaugural release by this label). If I count correctly, during the last 15 years, between "Realm Of Possibility" and "Pathways" The Circular Ruins project has released another 19 solo and collaborative albums, mostly on dataObscura.

The first disc fires up with the title track "Pathways", which at 4:22 is also the shortest one on the first part of the set. It immediately attracts with an array of translucently polished pulses and bleeps backed by subterranean echoes and mildly expansive blankets. I would call this hypogean cybertronica at its most delicate!!! On the contrary, the 15-minute "Walking Away" is the longest composition on this disc and it shifts into more tranquil and immense realms, where warmly gliding and gorgeously nuanced placid horizons are fastidiously bridged with persistently swirling gauzy signals, while additional weirdly twisted granular subtleties clandestinely percolate across. Attentive headphone listening is a real treat here! "Gain Turn To Loss" drifts into enigmatic terrains permeated by transient contemplative tinkles and auxiliary longing curtains. The next piece, "Satisfaction Of Knowing", merges winding ruminative cinematic landscapes with intangibly ascending distant fragments. "Morning Fields", another longer composition reaching 10-plus minutes, keeps on the path of poignant introspectiveness, quietly cascading and counterpointed by impalpable sequences, glimpsing remote cyber-biotic trimmings and ephemeral urban environments. Monochromatic drone announces "Let Them Speak", but picturesque motif along with exotic fragranced strings, titillating clinks, buzzing transitions and elusively peculiar vocoder-charged chants sneak in. A truly exceptional aural splendor by this Anglo-Canadian wizard!!! "Obscure Destiny" closes the first part with sadly enveloping circles, where gently eclectic outbursts commingle with a variety of transitory microscopic ornaments and sinuating reflections.

"When All This Was Real" opens with ear-tickling flute calls, but soon weeping bowed strings steal the center stage with pensively expressive undulations, ringing contemplations and gossamer chinks. 10-minute "Vanishing Shore" delves deeply into nebulously colored terrains, where calmly droning horizons commingle with seashore euphonies, quietly crescending vistas, and pellucidly microscopic scraps. "Into Distance" is navigated by humming flatlined drone desolations, here and there perforated by subterranean ambiguousness, industrial ephemerons and cyber-biotic solitudes. Shorter "A Curious Memory" quickly metamorphoses from hissy yearning passages into subterrestrially galloping sceneries. "Multiple Destinations", the longest piece on the second disc, covering 11 and a half minutes, grippingly keeps on exploring labyrinthine underground territories, driven by static mysterious vibes, ghostly squeaks, organic traces and intricately ascending meridians. A genius loci awaits you, enter now for fully rewarding listening experience!!! "Wait And See" veers into sorrowfully-driven graceful drone expanses counterpointed by a potpourri of elusive undercurrents such as assorted shrilly fragments, contemplative clinks, longing shimmers and eerie groans. As much magnificently sweeping as delicately sophisticated! "Captive" completes this amazing journey with spaciously drifting texture magnified by hissy infusions and spiraling percolations before unforeseen transmogrification into oscillating drone scenario pervaded by exaggerating magnitudes and surging dissonances. Throughout the second half hovering grooves join the stage along with curving climaxes and boisterous thunder vistas with cybernetic vanishments. Wow, this is a truly jaw-dropping, 9 and a half minutes long, sonic chameleon!!! Bravo APK!!!

"Pathways" double album is an all-intensive, 114 minutes long creative accomplishment by The Circular Ruins, which certainly requires a deeply dedicated ear, but as soon the total immersion is achieved, the magic is fully unfolded and Anthony Paul Kerby perpetually delivers his infinite mastery in embellishing his soundscapes with earmarking crystalline curiosities. I won't hesitate to say "Pathways" is another milestone in applauded discography by Anthony Paul Kerby aka The Circular Ruins, and obviously one of the pinnacles of 2016, but keep in mind, this guy is active also with his other, above mentioned projects, which I highly recommend as well!!! Thank you, APK/The Circular Ruins!!! And last but not least, kudos to Dennis Knopper of Databloem for releasing this sonic jewel!!!

Richard Gürtler (May 11, 2017, Bratislava, Slovakia)

18


Closing The Eternity "Forever And A Day" CD

Muzyka Voln, a division of Zhelezobeton label and distribution based in Saint Petersburg, Russia, has resurrected on this CD album older recordings of the Russian Drone Tsar 121, who records under the moniker Closing The Eternity. Released at the end of 2016 in strikingly engrossing 6-panel digisleeve and graced by breathtakingly panoramic coastal photographs by A.V. (Arseniy Vinovarov), the album comes in a limited edition of 300 hand numbered copies. According to the info, the album was recorded during March 2004, mixed in October 2007 and mastered in February 2008. Yeah, those familiar with this highly respected drone project know that Closing The Eternity has released since 2001 around 13 solo and collaborative/split projects on various labels, mostly based in Russia like Infinite Fog, ΠΑΝΘΕΟΝ, Aquarellist, Fight Muzik, Radiodrone, Operator Produkzion or in Czech Republic based Epidemie Records. Recordings such as "Northern Nights Ambience", "Superstring Paradigma", "Kosmodrones" or both untitled collaborations with Mathias Grassow undoubtedly belong to The Drone Pantheon, so when "Forever And A Day" has landed on my radar's screen, immediate action was taken!

It's quite obvious the aural part levels the visual bliss as soon the first dronecarved spirals emerge out of the tideland's haze. Propelled by infinitely tiding organics, nebulously immersing drone stratum relentlessly glides, traverses and expands into gargantually crescendoing epic meridians. The title composition, "Forever And A Day", covering nearly 28 minutes, transports the listener way beyond the gates of ordinary, directly to jaw-droppingly barren coastal sceneries, meticulously reinforced by magnificently transcendental dronescaping reverberations bridged with gracefully enrapturing panoptic reflections. An awesome listening experience!!! Shorter, only 8 and a half minutes long "In The Back Of Beyond" delves even deeper into abyssal domains, merging devastatingly humming magmas with mind-bending immense solitariness. Monochromously monolithic layer constantly dives into breathtakingly metamorphosing depths, where disastrously ear-puncturing outbursts coexist with delightfully unfathomable enigmas. Thrillingly intense drone tour de force showcasing Closing The Eternity at the very top of his craft!!! The closing "Alongside The Infinity" is another long-form piece, this one clocks over 25-minute mark, and it shifts into relatively calmer terrains permeated by spectacularly intangible crepuscular illuminations, yet intricately tenebrous, although perpetually infused by noisier seashore breaths. But stupendously pinnacling manifold surges, intermittently guarded by remote, grandiosely longing vistas, steal the forefront and insistently engulf the listener. At some moments climaxing drone inferno, but for the bigger part rather quieter, yet tremendously powerful and quintessentially mindscaping. What a drone odyssey to wrap up this immense aural exhilaration!!!

Wow, not bad for a recording hidden for almost ten years after its mastering... Fortunately, there is no "Best before" on such everlasting drone wizardry. "Forever And A Day" is without doubt abundantly staggering indigenous escapade by one of the most creative forces within the profoundly fascinating and exuberantly piquant conceptual droneforging. Bravo, 121/Closing The Eternity!!! And of course kudos to Muzyka Voln, for keeping glass mastered format alive along with visually stunning digisleeves, this is the home of several other exceptional drone purveyors like Creation VI & Uhushuhu, Neznamo, Exit In Grey or Kshatriy. An ultimate must-have exploration for all drone connoisseurs awaits here!!!

Richard Gürtler (May 08, 2017, Bratislava, Slovakia)

19


SiJ & Textere Oris "Reflections Under The Sky" CD

In Sevastopol, Crimea based applauded dronesculptor Vladislav "Vlad" Sikach, who is acting as SiJ has joined his forces with Textere Oris, a project of Ilya Fursov with domicile in Moscow. To be honest, I don't know too much about Textere Oris' previous releases except the fact Ilya Fursov has already teamed with Vlad Sikach on one of the tracks on his digital album "Plĉntágose", which was released during 2015 on relaxedMachinery gang. However, when "Reflections Under The Sky" CD was announced during February 2016 on US dark ambient eminence Cryo Chamber, my eyebrows were immediately raised!!! Sure, it took longer time before I was able to explore one of Vlad's personal copies, but the more I am enjoying it now, it was well worth the wait!!!

Immersing visuals on 6-panel digipak (I didn't find any artwork credit on it) are quickly equalized by the opening motifs of 4-minute "Near The Dam", when cavernously glimpsing granulars are carefully bridged with traversing stringed poignancy, introspectively colored hissy organics, longing serpentine choir-like drones and spiraling deep bass solitudes. Massively embracing intro, well-done, gentlemen!!! Then follows 9 and a half minute long "Behind The Window", which keeps the trace of lower end desolations, while incredibly exquisite weeping chants are masterfully counterpointed by squeaking perplexes, balmy rainy quietudes, ephemeral rumbles, rawer subtleties and warmly cinematic layers. Splendidly transporting magic is fully unfolded, more please!!! "Lost" dives into slightly sharper, industrial-spiced terrains, although persistently softened by chirping symphonies and guarded by sacral choirs. Arising and permeating beats try to steal the center stage, but they remain ambiguously intangible, while additional voice samples, machinery wheezes and phantasmal helixes are riding atop. You simply can't go wrong with such peculiarly carved sonic endeavour! Yearning curtains, tiny vinyl crackles and transient mild grumbles announce the next track, "In The Rain", which slowly shifts into poignantly evocative realms, soothingly resurrecting long buried memories. Gently fizzling outbursts and sneaking eerie flickers color these contemplatively embracing sceneries. Hushing blankets of "First Snow", the longest piece on the album clocking to 9:38 mark, are soon joined by mysterious gongs and ghostly sinuous choirs and spiraling moans, meticulously painting vistas of encircling snow storm loneliness, occasionally imbued by pensive minimal piano glimpses, whistling trinkets and titillating gossamer clinks. Another enormously engrossing beauty!!! "Ortuo", at 3:22 the shortest track, is rather calmer blend of twisted obscure drones, diaphanous glitches, nocturnal harmonies, warmer expansions and odd ephemerons. Only slightly longer "The End" closes this journey with immense scenic drones amalgamated with insistently expressive radio transmission voice samples in Russian, bleeping, nearly Morse code-like fragments and brief meditative chimes.

44 and a half minutes long "Reflections Under The Sky" album quite effectively merges authentic sonic signatures of both participating protagonists, who more or less utilize same instrumentation (synths, field recordings, percussions), with few extras on Vlad Sikach's side (noises, guitar, voice, toy piano), while Ilya Fursov gets further credit for mixing and mastering duties. The listener experiences several truly outstanding compositions, each track is carefully detailed and the album safely hangs in profoundly intriguing fissures between ambient and dark ambient soundcarving. SiJ has already confirmed many times his reputation among renowned drone ambient aficionados and for Textere Oris this is a very gratifying introduction on a glass mastered format. Kudos to Simon Heath/Cryo Chamber as well!!! And by the way, don't miss on Cryo Chamber also SiJ's newest solo album "The Time Machine", released during February 2017, which features among guests also Textere Oris on one track!!! And that's still not enough, since the end of March 2017 is out SiJ & Item Caligo "Queer Reminiscence" collaboration on Swedish Reverse Alignment label, who have previously released other two albums by SiJ, "Vale Of Forgotten Sounds" and "The Lost World".

Richard Gürtler (Apr 29, 2017, Bratislava, Slovakia)

20
Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Recent music purchases
« on: April 30, 2017, 03:58:52 AM »
Between Interval - The Edge of a Fairy Tale . Had the download for years but just purchased the CD as it is sooo good. . Atmospheric themes from another world. Class. He also has a new release out - Legacy - which I have heard on Spotify . Urgent list !!!!

Yeah, can't agree more, "Legacy" is definitely urgent, another big one from this Swedish ex-wunderkind!!! Each album by Between Interval is highly recommended!!!

Richard  ;)

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