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Messages - richardgurtler

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1


John Vorus "Foot Of The Crow" CDr

John Vorus, in North Carolina based didgeridoo player extraordinaire blew my mind about 11 years ago with his thrillingly submersible electro-acoustic odyssey "Transmuting Currents" released during 2006 on his own Ambient Distillery label. And visually it was as much transporting due to exquisitely executed packaging exhibiting custom made die cut fiberboard CD wallet with slip case and stunningly interacting matte and glossy prints. Even now, after many years, this is still one of the most beautiful artworks in my collection. I should mention "Transmuting Currents" album involved except few guests also Steve Roach, as a mixing engineer and also as a producer on two tracks. It's a pity it took more than 10 years before John Vorus made comeback with his next recording entitled "Foot Of The Crow". The album is out since September 2017 in digital formats, but also a very small CDr edition was released several months later, packaged in a 4-panel eco wallet and featuring photographs and layout by the artist himself.

Nearly 12 minutes long "Initiation", as displayed by its title, reveals the journey with subterraneanly sinuous drones and primordial tribal tapestries, while buzzing didge stratums are guarding above and carving eternal helixes. Primal beats continuously keep on rising and ebbing, towards the end the drumming tension evanesces through organically perplexing cavernous realms. On 10-minute "Raven Medicine" John Vorus is joined by percussionist River Guerguerian, who titillates the listener's ears with his intangibly meditative gongs and singing bowls. But the center stage is mostly dominated by harshly undulating waves of locomoting synthetic drums, except some soothingly enveloping passages permeated by hypogeally biotic traceries. The name of the next piece "Night Sounds" just speaks for itself with an array of relieving natural symphonies by its nocturnal dwellers. "Calabash" unfolds with slowly permeating didge-driven drone hums, which constantly expand into heavier, monolithic, yet multi-dimensionally awe-inspiring meridians. Tenebrously dense and immensely subterrestrial dronescaping, pure bliss, more please!!! Shorter "Seer" immediately unlocks the gates of magnificently transcendental oasis, guided by nebulously impalpable guest chants by Sage Sansone. On "Skeleton Land", which clocks to nearly 10-minute mark, persistent tribal grooves commingle with perpetually spiraling didge buzzes and mesmerizingly shamanic voice patterns. "Creatures Of The Backwater" carve thrillingly crepuscular sceneries, where vaguely distant tribals bridge with ambiguously twisted groans and gossamery organic subtleties. Linda Go gets vocal credit on this track as well as on previous "Skeleton Land". At 14:29 the longest piece on the album, "Unraveling Vortices", closes this staggeringly immersing ride with serpentinely infinite didgeridoo murmurs and rattles meticulously reinforced by intriguingly unfathomable and eerily engulfing overtone voice magic by Gwendolyn. Wow!

The sound quality still needs to be improved and this includes also some unwanted sound issues on the CDr version. But otherwise John Vorus is responsible for another truly masterful album, kudos to him as well as to his guests, "Foot Of The Crow" offers exceptionally mindscaping listening experience. Bravo, John!!! And I hope you will keep your Ambient Distillery busier, we are always thirsty!!! I am not sure if the CDr edition is still available, but you can always grab a digital version of this gem. "Foot Of The Crow" is highly recommended!!!

Richard Gürtler (Feb 16, 2019, Bratislava, Slovakia)

2


Forrest Fang "Following The Ether Sun" CD

Forrest Fang, a Chinese-American multi-instrumentalist par excellence, belongs undoubtedly to the world's most innovative electro-acoustic sound explorers. His phenomenal double album from June 2016, "The Sleepwalker's Ocean", still deeply resonates, but the time flies fast and this, in San Francisco Bay area based virtuoso, has released in the meantime another three masterful albums. First of them is "Following The Ether Sun" album, which was released February 2017 on Projekt, the CD is packaged in a 4-panel digipak featuring splendidly beautiful cover art by Kinga Britschgi, a graphic designer and digital artist from Idaho, who has already graced with her creative wizardry above mentioned "The Sleepwalker's Ocean" album. The credit list include Robert Rich as the mastering engineer and Sam Rosenthal taking care of additional graphic design. A very strong line-up indeed, more especially if you take into account also lengthy list of featured instruments from all over the globe, but that's nothing surprising for a maestro if this caliber.

"On The Edge Of A Moment", clocking past seven and a half minutes mark, immediately ignites this extraordinarily rewarding collection with luxuriantly fragranced kaleidoscope of many spirited acoustic instruments, ranging from lushly euphoric violin to narrative strings, from glimmering bell titillations to remotely galloping rumbles. Mesmerizingly enveloping and distinguishably scented, a pure aural bliss!!! "Midnight Rain" takes the listener into soothingly immersing expanses gently permeated by shimmeringly evocative quietudes, what a beauty! Subterranean drones announce "Chiaroscuro", meditatively flickering tinkles commingle with cinematically nuanced layers and intangibly glancing gossamer organics. During the second half exotically stringed ear-tickling subtleties steal the forefront. Tranquil elixir! "The Last Technicolor Dream" unfolds with abysmal meridians, which soon metamorphose through ambiguously serpentine echoes to blossomingly dazzling fusion of tribal and world music infused rhythms. Exhilaratedly engrossing! "Hinterlands" keeps on the path of richly perfumed palette, where flamboyantly multi-cultural and venturesomely textured sonorousness meticulously amalgamates with bizarrely fascinating laid-back downtempos. Yes, all these are exquisite signatures exhibiting highly accomplished musicianship, Forrest Fang at the very top of his ingenuity! "Receding Pool" glides into balmily engulfing realms, illuminated by halcyon piano glimpses and precisely interacts with its title. A charming piece! "A River In Retrograde" remains orbiting through ethereal expanses for some time, but then swiftly transmutes back into enchantingly expressive and magnificently piquant domains owned by Forrest Fang. 17-plus minutes long epic "Left Of The Sky" closes this remarkable album with serenely drifting stratums, reinforced by diaphanously tinkling embroideries and vague transcendental fragments.

73-minute "Following The Ether Sun" album is another outstanding release by Forrest Fang. His consistence in delivering gems filled with his trademarking multifarious ingredients is just amazing, and as always, each of these journeyings is magically transporting for each dedicated listener. "Following The Ether Sun" is no exception! And don't miss also the next album "Scenes From A Ghost Train", which was released exactly one year ago as well as the newest one entitled "The Fata Morgana Dream", the official street date for this one on Projekt is February 8th 2019, so keep on exploring!!!

Richard Gürtler (Feb 03, 2019, Bratislava, Slovakia)

3
Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: February 09, 2019, 11:27:44 AM »
Diving through Forrest's new album while thinking I really miss his voice here in the forum.

Now listeneing "Her fading image" ....

Yeah, Forrest's newest "The Fata Morgana Dream" CD is on heavy spin since yesterday, when my order arrived from Projekt's European webstore. Another big one from the Master, bravo, Forrest!!!

Richard

4


Frore & Shane Morris "Eclipse" CD

In April 2015, Paul Casper alias Frore and Shane Morris released on Spotted Peccary their first collaborative milestone entitled "Blood Moon", which certainly belonged to the highlights of 2015. Two and a half years later, both these hugely talented and crafted US soundcarvers returned again, this time with "Eclipse". Out since November 17th 2017, again on respected Spotted Peccary label, the CD comes in a 4-panel disc eco wallet, it's mastered by Ben Cox of Lotuspike fame and designed by Daniel Pipitone.

Nearly 9-minute "Anima" reveals this thrillingly rewarding journey with masterful blend of vivaciously galloping percussive tapestries, primarily driven by hypnotic frame drum mastery, and radiantly charged cyber-shamanic vistas, while intangible didge calls are hovering above. A top-notch, all-inclusive overture precisely displayed by its title! Primordial acoustic reflections on "Calling Down The Sun" soothingly commingle with balmily drifting expanses, before gradually metamorphosing into artificially infused tribal splendor. Mesmerically languish, yet engrossingly piquant. Another magnificent blend of primitive acoustics and state of the art electronics, bravo, gentlemen!!! "Feather And Claw" attracts with its gently cadenced percussive guiding juxtaposed with enveloping flute narrations. "Stone Arch", as indicated by its name, shifts into gracefully panoptic grandness, where hidden dramatic nuances continuously commingle with glimpsing meditative quietudes. "Shadow Medicine" is propelled by laid-back high-tech grooves with persistently glistening scenario, guarded by above gliding ethereal flute moans. "Nomadic Dreaming", at 10:47 the longest piece on "Eclipse", immediately carves eternally helixing futuristic images, lushly blossoming, profoundly spellbinding, electrifyingly kaleidoscaping and exquisitely opiating, what a magnum opus!!! A headphone listening quickly unlocks the gates to the cyber-tribal paradise, obviously a Hall of Fame performance is exhibited here, hats off to Paul Casper & Shane Morris!!! The next track, "Changing Seasons", meticulously merges primeval didge and flute drones, growls and murmurs with steadfastly exhilarating percussive ambrosias, while delightfully longing and sweepingly awe-inspiring panoramic time-lapses are riding atop. Wow, I am blown away again by such creatively spirited insignias, this composition without doubt deserves just the same praised spot as its predecessor. So another standing ovation for both gifted protagonists!!! "A Lonely Path" is carried through subterraneanly monochromatic drones into stunningly sonorous ancient landscapes, where abundantly organic subtleties inconspicuously permeate along with prodigiously engulfing woodwind curlicues. Splendid conclusion indeed!

What to add? Paul Casper has already confirmed his enormous talent in the past and his "Last Place Of Wonder" album released six months prior to "Eclipse", as his 7th solo album (if I am counting right...), is a true sonic monument. So it is with Shane Morris, who has proved his artistic brilliance for example on "Inspired Evolution" trilogy with Mystified (aka Thomas Park) released during 2012-2014 on Lotuspike/Spotted Peccary. Thus when you bridge two ingenious forces like these, you simply can't go wrong, 70-minute "Eclipse" is another remarkable album, as much triumphant as was ""Blood Moon"!!! And keep in mind, the sound quality is again superb!

Richard Gürtler (Feb 02, 2019, Bratislava, Slovakia)

5


Steve Roach "Painting In The Dark" CD

"Painting In The Dark" CD, released on Timeroom Editions on December 31st, 2016, is that kind of album, which keeps on growing on me with every new listen. Two years have passed already and now I feel I want to express some of my feelings about this masterwork. Recorded at the Timehouse and Eagles Nest, Baja Arizona, the splendid cover art is delivered by Steve Matson, who has already contributed his immersing moving abstract paintings to other Steve's works such as "Fade To Gray", "The Delicate Forever" or "The Delicate Beyond". As usual, the mastering is controlled by Howard Givens, while additional credit for graphic design goes to Sam Rosenthal.

Almost 18-minute epic "Threshold" ignites this monstrously transporting journey with mesmerizingly flowing and ebbing drone stratums, continuously gliding into an awe-inspiring vertexes of rather monochromous, yet abundantly blossoming sonorousness. Eternal horizons unlock its gates, the verge is crossed and gracefully expansive magic is fully unfolded. Pure aural elixir is served here! The following piece "I See Now" carves perpetually helixing imageries, piquantly twisted and intensely interacting with vigorously transcendental visuals. Aural alchemies and optical canvas reach ultimate equilibrium! "Painting At The Edge" tranquilly drifts into the deepest ends of magnificently sweeping celestial realms, where utterly infinite warmness persistently commingle with delicately nuanced glimpsing meridians and intangibly permeating ephemeral fragments. The track title of this opus couldn't fit more precisely! "Orbit Of Memory" is another amazing composition masterfully displaying its name. Constantly moving spirals quietly bridge with inconspicuously percolating cinematic vistas and glimmeringly evanescing stillness. With balmily dronescaping, prodigiously expanding, meticulously undulating and exquisitely entitled "Rapt In Moonlight" I am again entering the sonic Eden, what a beauty!!! Although I don't like to use any comparisons in my reviews, this masterpiece really sounds like a virtual join effort featuring two iconic Masters of deep atmospheric bliss, Steve Roach and Max Corbacho. It's a pity this composition is not longer than a 6 and a half minutes. But anyway, bravo, Steve!!! 13-minute closer "Phosphene View" incorporates some intriguingly distinctive sounds, guarding in vague distances, yet titillatingly engulfing, and carefully reinforcing immensely soaring scenario.

Steve Roach keeps vital all his creative wizardry, propelled on 74-minute "Painting In The Dark" by magnificent essences of eonian driftscaping. These sonic meditations allow each listener to connect deeply to the oasis, where the Master shares his nocturnally spirited insignias of sheer atmospheric splendor. "Painting In The Dark" offers a massively enveloping and thrillingly resonating listening experience, obviously a must-have album!!!

Richard Gürtler (Jan 22, 2019, Bratislava, Slovakia)

6
Independent Music Reviews / Re: My review of "Winterlicht" CD by Seetyca
« on: February 03, 2019, 10:06:47 AM »
Excellent album and helped me discover the Winter Light label.

Also have the Bridge to Imla and Kloob albums which are great. Couple of newer ones I need to check out on the label.

Thanks a lot, thirdsystem! Yeah, there is lots of nice music on this Dutch label. As far I know also new Seetyca CD should be out within few months on Winter-Light. Keep on exploring!!!

Richard ;)

7
Independent Music Reviews / My review of "Winterlicht" CD by Seetyca
« on: January 29, 2019, 10:39:47 AM »


Seetyca "Winterlicht" CD

As far I remember I have noticed Seetyca for the first time through "The Luminous Deep" CD album on gterma during 2012, but I somehow always considered this German project a bit darker and perhaps slightly noisier, more experimental to my taste. Although I must say I am still far away to be familiar with really extensive discography of this gifted soundsculptor counting over 70 solo and collaborative albums, mostly released through own label Mbira Records on CDr format. The amount of glass mastered CDs clocks, if I am right, to seven, all released on three labels, Essentia Mundi, already mentioned gterma and Winter-Light. The latest "Winterlicht" CD was released on Winter-Light label during October 2017 and it was exactly this album that immediately placed Seetyca on my radars. I have been blown away by this dronescaping masterwork since the very first day it was announced by this sympathetic Dutch label. After "Nemeton" (2015) and "Zwischenwelten" (2016), "Winterlicht" is Seetyca's third album for this label. The CD is packaged in a glossy 4-panel digipak designed by Midnight Sun Studio.

"Cold Morning" fires up the journey with slowly unfolding texture bridging engulfing monochromatic solitudes, impalpably mesmerizing shimmers and glimpsing intensified panoramas. The next piece, "A Drone In My Head", as indicated by its title, dives straightly into magnificently barren terrains, where spellbindingly flatlined, yet gracefully multi-dimensional drone alchemy fully blossoms, auxiliary evanescent signals continuously percolate and the whole scenario inconspicuously shifts into staggeringly monumental sonic oasis. Wow, with this in my head, I am totally addicted to Seetyca!!! "Eyn Kalter Rausch" delves even deeper into solitarily nebulous plains amplified by humming winds and juxtaposed by vaguely glancing cinematic horizons. 13-plus minutes long title track "Winterlicht" follows the snow traces of its predecessor, heavier, blizzard invaded wastelands exquisitely commingle with serenely permeating, enigmatically nuanced, yet balmily immersing panoptic grandness and intangibly tinkling ambiguousness. An epic driftscape exploration of breathtakingly spectacular wintery vast emptiness, enter now the Drone Eden!!! "The Tree Behind My House", unsurprisingly returns into more narrative sceneries, where layers of introspective earmarks, both static and animated, merge with rapidly shining gossamery traceries. "Eyn Schönes Glänzen", at 18:32 the longest composition on "Winterlicht", relievedly glides into thrillingly engulfing stratums fueled by quiescent blankets with enthrallingly rising and ebbing mindscapes. Shorter "Flockenglanz" attracts with its titillating piquancy, while "Eyne Leuchtende Nacht" masterfully metamorphoses meditative organic fragrances through awe-inspiring abysmal stillness into persistently helixing transcendental drone reverberations blended with serpentinely glorifying vistas. Nearly 8 minutes of pure aural bliss is served here! A truly phenomenal track, bravo, Maestro!!! "Rauschendes Ostinato" stays tightly fixed to gracefully reflective dronescaping imageries, then through diaphanous, yet ear-piercing sparkles progressing into perplexingly intriguing "Hibernacule". Brief "Dreaming Of Snow" transforms into ethereal zones, blending biotic field recordings with remote poetic plateaus. Closing "Global Chillage" incorporates except wide-screen sonorousness also sharply pulsing and abundantly radiant sequences. A very suitable conclusion!

To me, with 79 minutes long "Winterlicht" album Seetyca reveals the very top of his exceptionally transporting soundcarving, where the listener is taken directly to the forefront of fascinatingly rewarding and tenebrously enveloping drone magnitudes. A headphone listening is strongly recommended too even if a slightly cleaner sound would add some extra bonus points. "Winterlicht" is prodigiously triumphant album and without doubt it belongs to the sonic pinnacles of 2017. Hats off to Seetyca and kudos to all guest friends who contributed to this gemstone as well as to the Winter-Light crew!!! To be honest, I am delighted to be deeply connected now as few new recordings/projects are on the way for 2019.

Richard Gürtler (Jan 20, 2019, Bratislava, Slovakia)

8


Drifting In Silence "Dawn" CDr

Drifting In Silence is Derrick Stembridge, an artist based in Raleigh, North Carolina. Although releasing albums since 2006, it took me much longer time before I was able to explore his soundworlds. If I am counting right, it was his eight album "Artificial", which is available on CDr format and was released during January 2016, that really caught my attention at the beginning of 2017. As far I know, older albums by Drifting In Silence were bridging ambient carvings with more industrial and IDM-flavored ingredients. With "Artificial" its sole creator returned to pure atmospheric soundsculpting and just the same applies to the latest album "Dawn". This one is out since October 2017 on Labile Records, as a CDr format packaged in a 4-panel digipak. I believe Labile Records is run by Derrick Stembridge, who is releasing on this label also his other related projects like Unknowndivide, delving into more groovier terrains or Re:conscious, a collaborative force featuring except Derrick also Mike Petruna aka DJ Acidgrin from Nashville, Tennessee, covering IDM, EBM or dub-techno styled electronica. Anyway, let's plunge into "Dawn"...

5-plus minutes long "Without" straightly drifts into ethereal domains with gently expansive cascades blended with intangibly distant piano traceries, then surreptitiously metamorphosing into triumphant panoptic blankets reinforced by flickering sequences. Languid tides announce "Verses", at 4:27 the shortest composition on "Dawn", which calmly shifts into gorgeously longing sceneries masterfully painted with monochromatically silent drone supported by solitarily hazy piano narrations, drifting, meandering, culminating, evanescing... Aural ambrosia is served here in a large dose, bravo, Drifting In Silence! "Cursive" reveals immensely enveloping and warmly lachrymose terrains, where cinematically introspective nuances serenely commingle with elusively permeating pillows of embrace, ranging from weeping to praising. Deeply evocative! "Sentiment" exposes its name precisely, when driven by tranquilly resonant brooding solitudes and gliding through intensely scenic panoramas, reaching piquantly amplifying meridians and then fading away into eternal stillness. Pure beauty! The title piece, "Dawn", moves info slightly rawer paths, yet spaciously sonorous, serving soothing cushions for titillating stringed lyricism. "Remember" attracts with sinuously drifting layers percolated by emotionally traversing patterns, before transmuting into vividly bouncing sequencer scenario. The longest track on the album, "Anotherway", clocking over 6 and a half minutes mark, delves into sublimely expanding vastness and keep on floating through awe-inspiring grandness. "October" follows the route of its predecessor, but drifting intensity is carefully softened by balmily encircling piano reflections. Autumnal feeling works just splendidly with this composition. Exquisitely magnificent in depth!!! "Cycle" unfolds with dreamy distant washes, but the stage is quickly stolen by glistening breeze of acoustic strings. Shimmeringly euphonious and heartwarmingly evocative, a true sonic elixir to soothe your body and mind!!! Deeply expressive quietudes of "Adieu" guide this immensely poignant album into its finale.

Over 57 minutes long "Dawn" album is a true aural jewel, I believe still quite hidden, unfortunately! Recordings like this are sometime released very quietly, almost inconspicuously, but the more surprising and rewarding is the final outcome. "Dawn" is exactly that kind of album, a true magic of musingly immersing and enchantingly gratifying work by Derrick Stembridge aka Drifting In Silence. A fully crafted display that needs to be explored, experienced and celebrated, bravo, Derrick!!!

Richard Gürtler (Jan 14, 2019, Bratislava, Slovakia)

9


Max Corbacho "Nocturnes II" CD

The beauty of magnificently immersing nocturnal landscapes of Aragón region in northeastern Spain is resurrected once more! Max Corbacho, the Spanish driftscaper par excellence has released the second chapter of "Nocturnes" series during April 2018 through his Silentsun imprint. "Nocturnes II" CD is packaged in an attractive glossy 4-panel digipak, exhibiting original cover photographs by Max Corbacho with additional layout work by Michael Rodriguez Pletz.

The opening "Celistia" track clocks over 23-minute mark and immediately takes the listener into an awe-inspiring vastness, where undisputable, timelessly gliding and ebbing insignias of its sole purveyor meticulously coalesce with balmily glimmering nightly quietudes and inconspicuously permeating faunal symphonies. A journey through grandiosely barren horizons is fully unfolded, Max Corbacho again unlocks the gates to soulfully fascinating terra incognitas. Indeed, an epic listening experience awaits here! Shorter "Nocturnal Bloom" clandestinely soars into even more expansive grandness, a gracefully colossal realms owned by this Spaniard. It's a pity not even a 4 minutes long ambrosial exploration is gone too fast. But no worries, almost 9-minute "Starlight Grace", as indicated by its title, steals the splendor with all its panoptically prodigious monumentality, free-floating spatial solitariness is exquisitely juxtaposed with surges of titillatingly mindscaping reverberations. Tenaciously monstrous, pure magic!!! "Heart Of The Night" is another rather ephemeral odyssey, yet intensely engrossing, where all hues of organic tapestries persistently amalgamate with voluminously undulating magmatic stratums. "Indigo Sphinxes In Dark Canyon", at 3:10 the shortest venture on the album, tightly keeps breathtaking tension of its predecessor, but an array of ear-bending piquant meridians steals the whole spectacle. I keep on delving deeply into staggeringly perplexing chasmal domains... "Timelapse" returns to relatively calmer terrains, but sonic metamorphosis seems to be unstoppable and surreptitiously nuanced scenario moves into a profoundly delightful monolithic vertex. Then through peaceful diminuendoing closing this spellbindingly transcendental circle. Big applaud, Maestro!!! 20-plus minutes long "Moon Apparition" delicately reveals the genius loci of these arid sceneries, where gracefully meandering panoramas of dronescapes precisely harmonize with genuinely shimmering nocturnal field recordings and transitorily trenchant climaxes. Tranquilly enveloping conclusion!

No matter if entering enthrallingly overwhelming skylines, nebulously extraterrestrial spheres, mysteriously labyrinthine inner zones, spectacularly subaqueous depths or majestically monumental architectural masterpieces, Max Corbacho always delivers the very best of his virtuosic soundcarving, a rewardingly abundant momentum of tremendously sophisticated wizardry in sculpting powerfully transporting opuses. With gem like 70-minute "Nocturnes II", but also with "Source Of Present", "Nocturnes" and most especially with recently released "Horizon Matrix" (out since November 30th, 2018), Max Corbacho is triumphantly chasing quintessential milestones such as "Ars Lucis" and "The Ocean Inside". Once again, bravo, Maestro!!!

Richard Gürtler (Jan 13, 2019, Bratislava, Slovakia)

10
Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Ambient Guitar.
« on: January 13, 2019, 09:47:12 AM »
I am aware of Juha-Matti Rautiainen's bass guitar dronescaping virtuosity only since last summer, certainly one of the biggest revelations of 2018!!! Watch, listen and enjoy!!!

And also make sure to explore his two albums available through his Bandcamp site, "The Endless Now – Music for Stagnation" CDr (December, 2016) and "Above Me Weeps The Sky" CD (November, 2018). Highly recommended!!!

Richard ;)

https://juhamattirautiainen.bandcamp.com/album/above-me-weeps-the-sky
https://juhamattirautiainen.bandcamp.com/album/the-endless-now-music-for-stagnation


11
Independent Music Reviews / My review of "Mørkerom" CDr by Warpness
« on: January 13, 2019, 08:58:57 AM »


Warpness "Mørkerom" CDr

Tom Ståle Engebretsen. the sonic architect behind Warpness and few other related projects like Elrox Ambient Session or Castana, has released "Mørkerom" CDr album during February 2018 on his own Tape The Sound label. Packaged in a 4-panel digipak, designed by the artist himself, and limited to 50 copies. My lingual diversity is of course very limited, but the liner notes on Bandcamp tell me "Mørkerom" translates from Norwegian as "Dark Room", so it looks like tenebrously dronescaping journey from previous "Atmosphere" album is going to shift into next, oracularly infused domains, let's experience it!

Firstly, "Mørkerom" is sculpted by 16 tracks, so most of them are hanging around 3 or 4-minute mark with only 3 tracks climbing over 5 minutes. And yes, all track titles are in Norwegian, so online translator is on hand too. Anyway, the ride triggers straightly with "Tungsinn", that's "Gloom", so my headphones are invaded by anxiously flavored sinuousness, ambiguously secluded, yet supported by sluggishly marching patterns. Tides of transcendental hums navigate "Alt Ryker" into unfathomable depths, where metallic-colored illuminations transpire here and there along with "Tralfamadore" laid-back glimpses. Intriguingly immersing, more please! "Hissig" stays on dissonant route, sort of eccentric, if "Angry" is correct translation, then it fits precisely. And very short "Uforløst" ("Unresolved") keeps on this path too with persistently crescendoing peculiar helixes. So no wonder the next piece, the title composition "Mørkerom", is driven by obfuscated breaths of extraterrestrial dwellers. "Lysglimt" or "Sparkle" incorporates machinery powered outbursts juxtaposed with "Tralfamadore" resurgences. "Sjelefred" means "Peace Of Mind", so it's quite obvious more relieving passage with driftscaping vistas follows, although still spiced by some dissonant signals, transient spectres and primordial rumblings. "Solstreif" maintains calmer outline, where warmer expansions commingle with few trenchant tapestries, that's "Sunbeam". "Sirkus Inne I Hodet" drives me nuts with its cacophonous shape, but after noticing the word "Sirkus", I am not surprised. Then the complete title "Circus Inside The Head" reveals all... "Undervegs" attracts with its vividly galloping locomotion. "I Kjelleren Er Det Mørkt" delves deeply into hypogeally perplexing realms, where monotonously engulfing drone continuously amalgamates with an array of glimpsing epic meridians. What else to expect "In The Dark Cellar"... "Glemte Minner" ("Forgotten Memories") unfolds with razor sharp electro sounds, later heavier repetitive beats join the center stage, while gliding twists pervade towards the closing passage. Headphone listening is fully rewarding here"! "Drømmer", at 1:36 the shortest cut on "Mørkerom", reveals magnificently immense horizons with right amount of percolating disturbances. You might revive your "Dream" this way... "Det Blir Bare Bedre" or "It Just Gets Better" blends mesmerizingly cadenced IDM ingredients with auxiliary gauzy rumbles or even prog rock glimmers. "Bygdedans" ("Country Side Living And Dancing", thanks, Tom!!!) slows down a bit and again resurrects spectacular aural story called "Tralfamadore". "Signaler", with 9-plus minutes the longest track on the album, closes this audacious trip with serenely drifting mindscapes, crispy relaxed midtempo rhythms and bouncing gossamery signals.

I think this is the fourth album by Tom Ståle Engebretsen I am reviewing and this Viking is always carving his own game, kudos for such creative insignias with truly escapading ingenuity!!! Sure, I could imagine rather longer tracks in 58-minute "Mørkerom" scenario, that's just a question of my preference, but I think exactly in this case some of the shorter tracks lost its potential. Otherwise, another big one from Warpness and its sole protagonist!!! Yes, quite different when comparing to "Atmospheres" for example, with adding some piquant "Tralfamadore" earmarks and a large dose of multifariously flavored enigmas. And keep in mind, shortly after "Mørkerom", Tom Ståle Engebretsen has released another album, this time under the moniker Elrox Ambient Session, it's entitled "Footprints On The Moon" and it's available since March 2018 through Tape The Sound label.

Richard Gürtler (Jan 11, 2019, Bratislava, Slovakia)

12
Independent Music Reviews / My review of "Tranquility" CDr by Ambiscend
« on: January 11, 2019, 10:32:13 AM »


Ambiscend "Tranquility" CDr

US soundsculptor Darren Rogers, based in Texas, keeps on releasing his albums through Imagineer Records, his own label. Ambiscend is the most recent project name of Darren Rogers and "Tranquility" is the title of the album, which was released during April 2018 as a CDr edition packaged in a thin 4-panel digipak. The artwork was designed by Roger's wife Lynda.

Nearly 10-minute "Time Of Tranquility" unfolds with balmy forest symphonies and weightlessly gliding cinematically romantic washes, fueled by engrossingly yearning feel. This composition exactly sounds how it is called. A bit lighter to my taste, yet gracefully warm. "Floating Enchantment", at 7:55 the shortest track on "Tranquility", keeps tightly on the path, where nocturnal ambrosias persistently commingle with gently undulating and mellowly expansive, vintage-infused serenities. Again, the track title speaks for itself. "Earth Sings Its Song" juxtaposes eternal coastal quietudes with poignantly evocative musings. Ethereal majesty gorgeously coalesces with introspective vistas. Rainy seashore ataraxis announces the next composition, appropriately entitled "The Night Is Calling", where auxiliary surrounding nectarous blankets are carefully reinforced by sequences of gossamery tinkling traceries. Pure aural beauty is served here, well-done, Darren! "Earth's Bedtime", with 10:20 the longest piece, retains its sweeping nightly calmness and closes this relentlessly soothing journey with longing dreamscapes, while meditative, yet intangibly remote singing bowls permeate here and there. Very nice conclusion!

"Tranquility" is obviously more new-age fragranced album than one of the previous works, "Interstellar Love", released under Darren's own name during 2016 (followed by darker "The Future Approaching" in 2017), but still safely drifting on the edge of eternally engulfing ambient warmth. Sure, since I am the one who rather dives into nebulously dronescaping or tenebrously abysmal realms, I would most likely use slightly smaller amount of luscious field recordings throughout the album, but Ambiscend's sole creator kept his focus fastened to the theme. Thus "Tranquility" was a very peaceful ride from beginning to end. Just relax and enjoy!!! And as far I know, "Tranquility II" album is in the works, so keep connected to these placid zones!

Richard Gürtler (Jan 10, 2019, Bratislava, Slovakia)

13
Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Ambient Guitar.
« on: December 25, 2018, 11:32:56 AM »
Diving deeply into soulfully emotive sanctum of delicately poignant introspectiveness... Newest album with different approach, Erik Wøllo "Infinite Moments" CD will be released on December 27th!!!

https://projektrecords.bandcamp.com/album/infinite-moments-preorder


14
Everything and Nothing / Re: Merry Christmas
« on: December 25, 2018, 11:20:27 AM »

15
Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Ambient Guitar.
« on: December 22, 2018, 10:42:50 AM »
Let's move to Finland now, here are my words from November 14th, taken from my FB post:

"Above Me Weeps The Sky" graces my listening room... Aural and visual bliss is served here in large doses. Finnish bass guitar virtuoso Juha-Matti Rautiainen is undoubtedly responsible for one of the most spectacular sonic vertexes of 2018. Bravo, Juha-Matti, and kudos to Kimmo Heikkilä for his cover art wizardry!!! "Above Me Weeps The Sky" CD officially releases tomorrow, November 15th, a must-have album!!!

https://juhamattirautiainen.bandcamp.com/album/above-me-weeps-the-sky


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Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Ambient Guitar.
« on: December 22, 2018, 10:28:32 AM »
Shane Cotee aka In The Branches belongs to my fave ambient guitar wizards, here is his sweeping sonic elixir entitled "Sky Patterns"...

https://theadaptive.bandcamp.com/track/sky-patterns-single
https://theadaptive.bandcamp.com/music



17
Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Ambient Guitar.
« on: December 22, 2018, 10:19:44 AM »
Hi Richard,

Thanks so much for contributing to this thread......with your extensive ambient knowledge please do post ambient related guitar music link, video's and any other ambient guitar curiosities that interest you!

Thanks a lot, Julio, I will try to share here some gifted ambient guitar soundscapers soon, all the best!!!

Richard ;)

18
Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Ambient Guitar.
« on: December 19, 2018, 09:07:50 AM »
Jeff Pearce at 2015 ZMR Award Show, including shorter version of epic "No Matter How Far", goosebumps...


19
Thanks a lot, Castleview!!!

Here are few links to explore April Larson's dronescapes...

https://pyramidblood.bandcamp.com/album/hopeless-variations
https://aprillarson.bandcamp.com/
https://soundcloud.com/april-larson

All the best!!!

Richard :)

20


April Larson "Hopeless Variations" CDr

I have noticed April Larson, in Louisiana based dronesculptor for the first time around the summer of 2017 during my Polar Seas Recordings explorations. "Up Below" CDr on this label (April 2017) and "Void" CDr on Assembly Field (February 2016) are, I believe, first two April Larson's solo releases on CDr format, although few other cassette releases appeared around the same time along with 4 mini CDr compilation "The 1922 Analemma Fault", featuring also Loscil, Talk West and Lost Trail projects. But it was "Hopeless Variations" CDr album released December 1st 2017 on Canadian label Pyramid Blood Recordings, which really triggered my interest into April's dronescaping endeavours. The album, limited to 50 copies, comes in a 4-panel digipak featuring immersing cover and inside photography art by April Larson and Paul Duchnay of Pyramid Blood.

3 and a half minutes long "Binary Star" ignites the journey with spellbindingly monochromatic drone balm immediately transporting the listener into infinite emptiness and the album's artwork is fully displayed also by the following track "Spira Spera", continuing with the gliding expanse explorations. Pure drifting magic keeps on unfolding... "After The Void" delves deeper into unfathomably transcendental Eden, where massively flatlined monoliths juxtapose with inconspicuously nuanced graceful meridians. The track title speaks for itself... 6-minute "Pictures Of Tomorrow", the longest of "Hopeless Variations", remains tightly on the path with slightly rawer ear-tickling reverberations carving enigmatic spirals. "The End Of The Sky" shifts into monumentally nebulous realms with persistently titillating vertexes. "What Wouldn't You Do", at 2:49 the shortest cut on the album, floats through colossally enveloping spheres cautiously amplified by intriguing resonations. Beauty, but I could imagine this piece much longer, it's a pity. "An Isolated Incident" dwells on the similar, staggeringly enveloping route, again tenaciously drifting, this time without auxiliary reverberations. "You Were A Promise" blends immensely shimmering drone stratums with celestial wistfulness. The next track, "The Absent Stars", drifts weightlessly through awe-inspiring, gradually expanding and eternally enrapturing spheres. Atmospheric grace at its most ambiguous! And that can be applied to intensely sonorous "Earthbound", where thrillingly piquant droneforging reaches full bloom! "Home Tonight" tenderizes the odyssey a bit, but your ears are still deeply focused. "Sleep Machine" fires up again all April Larson's drone insignias, where desolately abysmal amplitudes meticulously interact with stupendously ear-bending and magnifying crescendoing consonances. An epic bliss and a grand finale!!!

To be honest, throughout the album I hear several unwanted micro sound clicks and also I would recommend longer tracks as some of the pauses were more disturbing, maybe the overlapping sculpting or even a long-form scenario would be more engulfing with adding extra diversity. However, "Hopeless Variations" album is a true revelation for me and an absolute must-have for all drone connoisseurs drifting towards the Void, who are not afraid of profoundly mindscaping and monochromously quintessential magnitudes. If you are familiar with my reviews, then you might have known already who is my Drone Kaiser, now you just have learned who is my Drone Queen. Well-done and keep on droning, April!!! And btw, also "Hopeless Variations" 3"x3" iron-on patch is available from Pyramid Blood Recordings.

Richard Gürtler (Nov 25, 2018, Bratislava, Slovakia)

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