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Topics - richardgurtler

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61


Dirk Serries "Microphonics XXI-XXV" CD

Dirk Serries, the legendary Belgian genius behind vidnaObmana and Fear Falls Burning projects, celebrates here another chapter of his challenging "Microphonics" efforts. After the conclusion of previously mentioned projects, Dirk keeps on his journey to the boundaries of uncharted sonic terrains, a territory fusing all his long time musical experiences, visions and virtuosities. "Microphonics XXI-XXV" CD, a follow up to Dirk's debut "Microphonics I-V" from the end 2008, was released by Dutch Tonefloat Records in the middle of March, 2013 and it comes in attractive mini album gatefold sleeve featuring stunning urban pictures by Martina Verhoeven, Dirk's wife. Mastered by James Plotkin.

The opener, "Mounting Among The Waves" unfolds with quite harsh guitar dissonances, although minimally sculpted, the sound palette is quite wide, where intensely emerging passages of noise perplexes blend with floating backgrounds. The piece gradually build and steadily increase into powerfully immense sonic sceneries of utterly deep evocativeness. Even if having throughout its slightly ear-splitting surface, these peaking drones develop into a stunningly visualizing movements filled with sheer beauty and poignancy. Elegiac strings invade "There's A Light In Vein", but this melancholic stillness is soon intermingled on the background with slowly evolving panoramic textures, expanding by every second in its intensity and monstrousness. Ultra thick guitar dronescapes reach full bloom and paint genuinely magnificent and harmonious canvas, where unforgettable memories of vidnaObmana are awaken... This composition is a huge milestone melting the most magical moments of both, vidnaObmana and Fear Falls Burning, with Dirk's most recent harmonic desolations, a brightly shinning kaleidoscope of sounds, sensitiveness and reminiscences, an emotional powerhouse gratifying the listener's soul!!! "There's A Light In Vein" will counterpart any of the most famous vidnaObmana compositions, guitar drone manipulations have never sounded better!!! Thank you so much, Maestro, for this truly unique listening delight!!! "The Burden Of Hope" is announced by rawer riffs, again its shape sounds rather minimal, especially during the first three minutes, but always effective. The background drone blanket slowly enlarges into thicker volume and fully blossom into another breathtaking wide-screen scenario, melting rougher tensities with weighty dose of expansive drone roars and streams into one, monumentally monolithic sculpture, gloriously encircling and stimulating. Certainly another phenomenal piece in this set!!! "Thousands Of Rivers" relieves the tension a bit, although keeping its harsh edge, again masterfully intertwined with warmly gliding cloudscapes. Beautifully disturbing!!!

Yes, I am still deeply missing vidnaObmana, and always will, but with this album Dirk Serries has accomplished another huge step in his musical explorations. "Microphonics XXI-XXV" is a triumphant piece of art displaying extraordinary emotional sonorousness and invites each devoted listener to the frontier of intriguing guitar drone wizardry!!! And by the way, "Low Volume Music 2" with his long time traveler Steve Roach is the works too...

Richard Gürtler (Jun 02, 2013, Bratislava, Slovakia)

62


Amir Baghiri "Prayers For The Earth" CDr

The glowing discography of Amir Baghiri, in Lemgo, Germany based, but native of Iran, sonic designer and painter, gets here its newest jewel. This time released (March 2013) on German Attenuation Circuit label as limited edition of 120 copies packaged in attractive folded cardboard sleeve with gorgeous digital mandala image by no one else but Kati Astraeir.

The first of six prayers, dedicated to Mother Earth, entitled "An Earth Mantra", is shorter intro swiftly emerging into more expansive terrains with beautifully craving, intense drifts. The next piece, charmingly titled "For The Love Of The Earth", is the longest one, when clocking over 13-minute mark. It enters straight away into magnificently sublime dreamscaping realms. Tranquilly expanding and ebbing into extra massive panoramas, always glaring and sweeping with utterly graceful immensity and contemplation. This is a pure atmospheric bliss, bravissimo, Maestro!!! "Through The Memories Of This Place" is almost as lengthy as its predecessor and also as much enchantingly sonorous and absorbing. Slightly more darker, gently enriched here and there by distant sonic invasions and escalations. All the natural magic of nocturnal desert soundscaping is masterfully captured, ambient maximus guaranteed!!! "Nameless Sky", as indicated by its title, guides us through uncharted, vast open domains with colossally drifting, circling and cascading synth textures, harmoniously flowing through light and dark colors, through great emptiness of delightful nothingness. "A Sacred Place" remains in these deeply imaginative and spacious terrains, but it smoothly shifts into dreamtime era, where cloud banks of drones, both sublime and dramatic, are bridged with sparse, placid tribal undercurrents and tranquil environments. Thrilling dose of expansive soundscapes is delivered here by rooting both future and past, and revealing the most essential and fascinating horizons. "Somewhere In Nowhere", the closing prayer, spreads with rising and falling washes and heavenly choirs, sublimely embracing the listener. The texture gradually evolves into monstrously intense drone zones, hauntingly meandering and mesmerizingly spiraling, before peacefully calming and fading away. Amir Baghiri explores through "Prayers For The Earth" rather familiar terrains, but his virtuosity of drifting towards the deepest end of atmospheric brilliancy is just amazing. Experience it, feel the serenity, spirit and grandness of planet Earth, it's time to take a deeply spellbinding journey without leaving your listening room!!!

On the top of that, Amir is quite busy with dusting off his rare recordings, a 5 CD "Private Archive" collection, packaged in special wooden case is planned. Plus "Light Textures" album is scheduled for the summer release on Databloem's sister label Bluebox, the usual output for Amir Baghiri's soundworlds since 2005. As always, I will keep my ear to the ground...

Richard Gürtler (Jun 01, 2013, Bratislava, Slovakia)

63


The Circular Ruins and Mystified "Fantastic Journey" CDr

The Circular Ruins/Anthony Paul Kerby and Mystified/Thomas Park have already collaborated back in 2009 on the album "One Thousand Dreams", on which APK appears as Nunc Stans. Now both of these sound sculptors have reunited for another chapter, celebrating early science fiction writings and paying tribute to pioneers such as Jules Verne, H.G. Wells and others. Released during February 2013 on APK's DataObscura label.

Cavernous primitive tinkles, along with field recordings and deep drone clouds, unfold the first journey, "Twenty Thousand Leagues". At 13 minutes it is the longest track on the album. Myriads of unfathomable noises, rumbles and gurgles provide a truly breathtaking ride through underwater domains full of wonders and mysteries. "The World Beneath", with hypnagogic drones merged with sparse and subtle phantasmagorical cacophonies, invites you to an adventurous journey through huge caverns of Dinotopia, a hidden island inhabited by humans and sentient dinosaurs who have formed together a harmonious society. Richly colorful sonic marvels embellish "Forbidden Planet" along with hissy organics, ghostly apparition and distant crypto drones. Wow, a truly unique and fascinating piece exploring fabulous primordial mysteries!!! Sonic adventure continues as we land on "Mysterious Island", surrounded by serenely expanding and meandering primal dronescapes, later cascading through deeper soundwalls to densely blurred passages. It showcases absolutely thrilling aural alchemy between both explorers!!! The next track, "Beyond The Farthest Star", reveals with mysterious drone rumbles and assorted weird voices, noises, soars and organics, moving up and down and all wrapped by hissy blankets. Another extraordinary listening odyssey awaits, even if not easily accessible!!! The final cut,"The Voyage Home", opens with deep drones and rumbles, but soon warmly expansive cinematic drifts invade, enriched by some subtly tinkling fragments, and express moments of sadness. The second third dives deeply into abyssal realms, powerfully immersing and masterfully flavored by diverse tinkles, rumbles and eerie voices. The track moves through raw, dissonant accompaniments and brings the journey to its final point, exactly where it was initiated 60 minutes ago. For all lovers of stunningly adventurous dronescapes, this is a genuinely "Fantastic Journey"!!! The more you listen to it, I mean deeply devoted, the more the soundscapes embrace you!!! Great job, Anthony & Thomas, certainly one of the top releases of 2013 so far!!!

Richard Gürtler (May 25, 2013, Bratislava, Slovakia)

64


Juta Takahashi "Seabound" CD

In Sendai based Japanese ambient mastermind Juta Takahashi returns after "Quiet Rain" with another remastered edition, this time it's "Seabound" album, released at the beginning of April, 2013 on his Lunisolar Records. "Seabound", Juta's 5th album, was originally released during 2009 as a CDr version. As typical for this crafted sonic sculptor, the album is comprised of three longer compositions, clocking between 17 and 23 minutes in length. The opening and longest piece, "Undercurrent" features layers of gently immense drifts and whirling curiosities, which are intertwined with mesmerizingly repetitive piano motifs, here and there enhanced by rather high-pitched squeaks and disruptions. Heavenly choirs occasionally sneak in and out. Juta's characteristic alchemy of quietly soothing passages with more disturbing traceries is of course apparent, moving through manifold cascades, but always keeping its hauntingly harmonious and enveloping atmosphere. "Poseidon" dives straightly into deeper drone realms, colored by ear-splitting noises, frightening hums and other harshly rumbling ghostscapes. Hint of distant melody floats through these spectacular, unfathomable depths. Enter now the domain of the sea guard and experience this variegated subaqueous sonic tempest, this must be Juta Takahashi at his most discordant!!! Sea waves lead "Seabound", the closing title composition, into beautifully relaxing and expansive panoramas, built of strangely, but majestically meandering, coiling and elevating aerial melodies with slightly orchestral color. Additional sonic submergences appear occasionally. Stunning sea imageries can be captured throughout this pleasantly sweeping in-depth journey. A peacefully reflective atmospheric experience filled with warm, radiant and soothing subtleties. Juta Takahashi keeps on impressing me, because after beautifully sublime "Quiet Rain", he comes with another strong recording originated longer time ago and now available on well-deserved glass mastered CD. "Seabound" is another album by this Japanese composer embracing the listener with continuous delight, no matter if tranquil or adventurous!!! Kudos to Lucas Simons for nicely fitting cover image. I hope Juta has still in the pipeline, except his future projects, also some other, well treasured sonic documents taken from his earlier discography. Arigato, Juta Takahashi san!!!

Richard Gürtler (May 26, 2013, Bratislava, Slovakia)

65


Maneki Neko "Auracle" CD

Maneki Neko's "Auracle" album was released longer time ago, in the summer of 2005 on Stray Pointer Records, which, I believe, is a label of Al Mikula, the sole protagonist of Maneki Neko. Based in Austin, Texas, Al Mikula is a sculptor of soothing electro-acoustic blankets for yoga, relaxation, meditation, and massage therapy. To be honest, I have never heard of this release and artist until my good friend Karel aka Sonic-Hypnosis pointed me to this crafted sonic healer (Díky, Karle!!!). "Auracle" is Maneki Neko's debut and I was immediately impressed by its excerpts. And the album only proves this, "Auracle" is a great revelation for my ears!!! Equipped with array of acoustic instruments such as Tibetan prayer bells, Egyptian ney, gongs, Japanese shakuhachi, wind chimes..., Maneki Neko masterfully bridges deeply contemplative acoustic sounds with sparse, but expansive drones and gentle natural splashes. "Miroku" unfolds with meditative bells, soon followed by low drone circles and stunningly expressive Egyptian ney flute magics. Celestial choir-like drones come into play later, while sparkling instrumental work steps in and out. "Daybreak", the longest reverie, clocking over 20 and half minute mark, is announced by flute roars, sporadic fragile bells (tinkling every 60 seconds) and heartwarming panoramic washes, richly spacious and softly cascading up and down. Here and there flavored by tranquilizing organic embellishments. The gates of sonic paradise are fully opened and the listener enters the realm of beautifully floating contemplation and stillness!!! Soaring wind, gentle bell and vague chimes lead the next composition, "Cats Sleeping On Clouds". But soon the drones and shakuhachi wizardry steal the journey. Flute barks and resonations attractively amalgamate with peacefully meandering and hovering drifts. The sounds of shakuhachi, a Japanese bamboo flute, are absolutely magnificent!!! This is Maneki Neko at its most distinctive and harmonious!!! "Drifting Between Stars" is more otherworldly and mysterious composition with gracefully floating, evolving and shimmering dronefields, intensified by few wide-screen dissonances, again strongly embracing. "The Road To Madurai" is a pilgrimage to the ancient temple city of Madurai in South India, to famous Meenakshi Amman Temple. Another flute excellence, merged with deeper drones, closes this journey, again mysteriously fragranced, this time with overtone chanting-infused vibrations. "Auracle" is a brilliantly accomplished album with distinguishably immersing arrangements, that for sure will appeal to all connoisseurs of deeply meditative ambience. To me, Maneki Neko is one of the best kept secrets on the scene, a virtuoso sonic meditator!!! I should add that Maneki Neko's next album, entitled "Muichi Motsu" was scheduled for release during autumn 2012, it was mastered already, but unfortunately since September there are no news nor updates on Maneki Neko's website. I pray for the return of Al Mikula/Maneki Neko...

Richard Gürtler (May 19, 2013, Bratislava, Slovakia)

66


Alpha Wave Movement "Yasumu" CDr

Gregory Kyryluk, the mastermind behind Alpha Wave Movement and Within Reason projects, returns again to prove his enormous composing talent, but this time he leaves shimmering Berlin school vintage, desert ambient infused terrains or hypnotic cyber escapades and ventures into soothingly contemplative atmospheric splendors. Released at the beginning of February, 2013 on his own Harmonic Resonance Recordings. Moving back to 2012, the previous year has brought to us two absolute masterworks by this synth wizard, "Subtle Shift", a cyber-tech groovy milestone by Within Reason and "Eolian Reflections", a primal desertscaping jewel by Alpha Wave Movement. So as usual, my expectations are again very high... Healing sound of tibetan bowls announce "Pentatonic Peace" merged with bell resonations, fragile tinkles and heartwarming washes. Later oriental strings scent this utterly tranquil journey, along with sparse primeval fragments, and it gently shifts and expands into captivatingly inviting and immense sonic magnitudes. This is a truly beautiful intro, precisely setting the atmosphere. Gregory Kyryluk arrives again in top-grade form!!! Relaxing nature sounds open "Awaken" together with peacefully circling and drifting loops and paint a deeply reflective essence. With over 13 minutes the longest composition. Heavenly tinkles harmoniously interweave with spaciously angelic soundscapes and distant soft beats. Ethereal auralscape at its most serene and gorgeous, enveloping the listener in a hauntingly delicate atmosphere of recovering long buried memories!!! Certainly, this is another magnum opus by Alpha Wave Movement!!! And by the way, it slightly evokes everlastingly splendid nostalgia of "The River Of Appearance" groundbreaker... "Tranquility Temple" is the next piece, which sounds exactly as it is titled. Keeping its exotic touch from the opening track, it calmly meanders through intensely evocative and peaceful panoramas, exquisitely augmented by warmly glimmering images and embracing sadness of bowed strings. The closing composition, "Hindutonic Waves", unfolds with monotonous drifts, subtle tinkles and mesmerizing distant ingredients. Velvety tribal drumming joins the scene too in ear-catching synergy with tranquilly intangible atmospheric currents. Balmily soothing inner realms are unlocked!!! "Yasumu" is a masterfully crafted collection of deep sonic meditations with magnificently absorbing aural harmony, lucidity and stillness!!! Another stellar recording by Gregory Kyryluk and your everyday's panacea!!!

Richard Gürtler (May 12, 2013, Bratislava, Slovakia)

67


Eyes Cast Down "The Separate Ones" CDr

Eyes Cast Down is Greg Moorcroft from Chicago and "The Separate Ones" is his debut work released on his own Kalindi Music label at the end of February 2013. As mentioned on Greg's website, the album was recorded during the time span of 7 years. "First Day Apart", a composition based on the longer separation with daughter, unfolds with sublime and sparse guitar dreamscapes, slowly meandering like a feather in the breeze. Strong longing feel is explored throughout this hazy and introspective soundscape, smoothly cascading from quieter contemplations to slightly more intense soars, yet still remaining enough consonant and allowing each listener to dive deeply into Eyes Cast Down's own sonorous cavern. "Rebuild From Memory" keeps its reflective dimension, but it's surrounded by diversely scattered dissonant vibrations. "Knife Of Karma", with 17 and half minutes the second longest composition, is invaded by fragile tinkles and mysteriously flavored drones, enhanced by diverse eerie fragments, cavernous rumbles and disruptive, nearly cacophonous embellishments. Here and there distant tribal groove fade in and out, and also occasional fanfares do their highly distinguishing work within this uniquely fragranced soundsculpting. All in all, it's quite disturbing, but also as much challenging, a real masterpiece!!! Celestial voice magics by guest singer Alannah lead "Expanse Of Heart" along with rather minimal and slowly shifting, organ-like drones create a truly mesmerizing reverie taking the listener on a soothing mind journey. The next composition, "Like A Riven Cloud", clocking over 21-minute mark, reveals with deeper organic drones, enhanced by low rumbles and ghostly female whispers by another guest, Greg's wife Dasi. Composed as a dedication to a friend that committed suicide, it paints a truly mysterious and grieving sceneries, especially when deeply evocative washes merge with the reciting voice along with expanding mournful violin expressions by Ezra Azmon. Few piano subtleties tranquilly float through too. Thoroughly gorgeous!!! "Radha's Tears" closes the album with coiling and resonating, hypnotic guitar drone, again conjugated with Dasi's celestial chants. Overall, this is definitely not your ordinary accessible ambient recording, for sure "The Separate Ones" album craves for numerous listening sessions with deeply dedicated attention and immersion, but then it offers huge amount of fruitful and joyous moments filled with highly reflective, but enormously distinctive and intriguing palette of sounds and atmospheres. "The Separate Ones" is your ticket to magnificently perfumed and anomalously mindscaping sonic realms, a must have!!! Photographs by Boris Lelong and Kris Tilbury nicely accomplish this album, while the credit for mastering goes to Bobby Jones. For a debut work like this, I won't hesitate to say, this is a virtuoso performance!!! And since Greg Moorcroft was working during the last 7 years on several other albums, some of them are scheduled for this year's release, so make sure you will keep an eye and ear on this highly capable and crafted ambient venturer!!!

Richard Gürtler (May 08, 2013, Bratislava, Slovakia)

68


John Puchiele Ensemble "Life Cycle" CD

John Puchiele is for me a new name on the ambient map, in Toronto, Canada based film, television, dance... composer was also a member of The Glass Orchestra, famous Canadian ensemble founded back in 1977, who have performed with glass objects and glass instruments. "Life Cycle", a thematic work mapping the human life cycle stages, is according to my knowledge debut work under the name of John Puchiele Ensemble. Released at the beginning April 2013 on Antediluvian Records, which I believe is John's own label. The album comes in elegantly designed 4-panel digipak (created by Null). "From There To Here" announces the new human life with warmly floating cinematic washes, gracefully expanding into dramatic climax, beautifully enriched by sparse, but gently expressive piano motifs. Shorter "First Step" keeps its wide-screen dimension along with its heartening feel. It's evident that John Puchiele is strongly influenced by his film score composing. The next, again shorter piece, "Foundations", moves into deeply evocative modern classical terrains. "The Big Sky" is the first longer composition on album, crossing over 7-minute mark, but musically remains in sublimely captivating orchestral spheres, very nice!!! "Thinking", with 10 minutes the longest stage of "Life Cycle", dives into dreamlike zones with female chants and celestial choirs. These utterly alluring soundscapes are later intertwined by male choirs. Sculpted with infinite grace and beauty!!! "Second Step" meanders over the cumulus cloud beds, flavored with intense moments. "Life Gets Busy, Pt. I" unfolds quietly, but soon bowed string epic steal the show and evolves into richly orchestral and dramatically colored arrangements. "Life Gets Busy, Pt. II" attracts immediately with eloquent piano playing, certainly the most uplifting piece masterfully celebrating the rhythm of life. But "Third Step" shifts into nostalgic-infused period conducted by cello-like drones and circling, high-pitched dissonances. The next longer composition, "Climbing", envelops each listener with its strongly yearning mood, precisely sculpted with expressive modern classical movements, highlighted by bowed string mastery. Deeply visualizing and retrospective soundscape, certainly one of the high points!!! "N.D.E." dives into low drone territories, ebbing and meandering through exquisitely fragranced dreamlike dimensions with angelic appearance and dense orchestral cascades. A close call comes... "The Edge Of Infinity" is hazed by deeper transcendental dronescapes. "From Here To There" closes the journey with brief, but gorgeous eulogistic symphony to honor the memory of a loved one. "Life Cycle" is a very solid performance by John Puchiele, who has decided to work without the motion pictures and invited each listener to paint his/her own life allegories while journeying through "Life Cycle" and pay homage to human life.

Richard Gürtler (May 05, 2013, Bratislava, Slovakia)

69


Closing The Eternity & Mathias Grassow "No Title" CD+3"CDr

Wow, no title, no track list (except mini CDr), according to some vague net infos recorded back in 2010, but released some weeks ago, during March 2013 on Russian Aquarellist label. Wrapped by enormous mystery since the very first day. But if these are some low points, then be prepared for a truly spectacular sonic and visual odyssey. Yes, the CD is packaged in beautiful 6-panel digipak featuring stunning pictures of subterranean domain, forest pond and flora. Note that limited edition of 50 copies comes with additional mini CDr, while the album is a glass mastered CD. The normal edition is limited to 150 copies. The visual part is imposing, so let's experience its synergy with music. Closing The Eternity is a Russian drone solo project of Anton Shafarostov, who acts as 121 and who is also a member of dark ambient, industrial project Velehentor. To be honest, I don't know too much about Closing The Eternity's soundworlds (shame on me!!!), while the German drone virtuoso Mathias Grassow needs no introduction here. Soft tinkles announce the first track, as mentioned above, the track list is missing, but Aquarellist's website refers to this as "Shegultan", a city in Ural, Russia. But soon we enter into magnificent cavernous realms, where smooth background drones of Mathias Grassow hover in tranquil coexistence with crystalline authentic watery field recordings and other primordial organics crafted by 121. Add a superb sonic quality to this deeply meditative trance, which reveals all the magics of this grandiose underground lake and interacts precisely with the images. The next composition unfolds with variety of organic rumbles and tinkles, merged with spiraling dronescapes and tranquilizing natural sounds. Cascading through beautifully immersing passages ranging from more primeval through mysterious to slightly more soothing. The drone wizardry steps towards the fore in the second half and levels with primitive embellishments and location recordings. Deeply sublime and contemplative reverie, explore the remarkable "Volchimya Rifts"!!! Softly tinkling chimes open the closing piece of the CD, which is entitled on the website as "Blue Night Over Telpos-Iz", a 29-minutes long journey. Telpos-Iz is the highest mount in the Northern Ural. Sparse, but lushly swirling around the ears, then profoundly meditative singing bowls passage takes the lead until colossal, monochromatic drones steal these fascinatingly permeating moments of nocturnal stillness. Powerfully intense and immense, spiced by occasional bone-trembling beats with roughly orotund and eerie sonic explosions. An ultimate wildlife adventure with stunningly culminating sceneries to discover unimaginable sounds and creatures of the harsh night in taiga. Totally awesome!!!

Bonus 3"CDr features 14 and half minutes long composition, "Midnight Over Paitur Fens". And it unfolds massively with rather smooth drone with sacred chants-like sounds on the distant background. But the drone gradually builds, expands and envelops, expertly enriched by soft percussive ornaments. Continuous mind-bending intensity, holding the unique signature of Mathias Grassow, is reached after 4 minutes, the gates of drone inferno are again unlocked, welcome!!! But 121's organic alchemy adds enthralling emerald colors to this once-in-a-lifetime drone experience!!! Pure sonic ecstasy guaranteed!!!

Closing The Eternity & Mathias Grassow have sculpted one of the most mysterious albums I have heard lately and certainly one of the best too!!! Highly recommended journey beyond the borders of the most breathtaking territories, even as a "normal" limited edition without 3"CDr, but if you can, hunt for it too!!! A true masterpiece by two drone lords!!!

Richard Gürtler (May 04, 2013, Bratislava, Slovakia)

70


Hollan Holmes "Phase Shift" CD

In Euless, Texas, located deep space traveler Hollan Holmes returns with his 3rd album, as usual released on his own during March 2013 and again, just like with his previous "The Farthest Fringes" and "A Distant Light" albums, elegantly designed and packaged in glossy 6-panel disc eco wallet. Both above works were highly applauded and now "Phase Shift" is here to confirm huge composing potential of Hollan Holmes. The opening piece, "A Precarious Trajectory", immediately delves into graciously celestial zones, smoothly floating, expanding and during its second half bridging with sharper and elevating, sequencer-driven passages. A very strong intro!!! "The Road To Perdition" starts where its predecessor wrapped up, with briskly swirling sequencer mastery enriched by many dramatic cascades and eruptions. A quite hazardous journey perfectly exhibiting the theme behind this track. Warmly evocative, cinematic terrains are entered through "Lost Memories". This sublime sonic symphony is later joined by subtly pulsing sequences, yet still keeping its heartwarming aura. A truly gorgeous composition!!! "Morphogenesis" is the first longer piece here, clocking over 14 and half minute mark. Beautifully immense panoramas are masterly revealed with heavenly drones and angelic choir-like contemplations, here and there enhanced by various cybernetic hums and dissonant fragments. The piece gently drifts and builds until it reaches its peak when absolutely breathtaking sceneries can be explored. Get ready for total immersion, this is gracefully grandiose soundscape!!! The closing title long-form track, "Phase Shift" gets to nearly 33 minutes. Another big dose of sonic elixir for your body and mind is delivered here with tranquilly floating and ebbing infinite, rather flatlined drones. A masterful conclusion with monumentally expansive tension and ultra transporting effect!!! "Phase Shift" is a superb epic odyssey and another fantastic release by Hollan Holmes, both, visually and sonically. Without doubt, Hollan Holmes enters now the pantheon with the giants of deep space voyaging!!! "Phase Shift", which was mastered by his fellow Texas sonic sculptor Chad Kettering in his Soniclayers Mastering studio, is dedicated to Neil Armstrong. A must have for all connoisseurs of outer space oscillations and drifts!!!

Richard Gürtler (Apr 28, 2013, Bratislava, Slovakia)

71


Ran Kirlian "Formations" CDr

Spaniard Ran Kirlian, one of the driving forces behind Altera Orbe label, has released in October 2012 his third official solo CDr release "Formations", mostly based on live improvisations during 2009 and 2011. After dark ambient styled "Dissolution" and deep space-infused "Continuum" Ran Kirlian now delves into mysteriously fragranced and uniquely shaped sonic terrains, masterfully bridging deep organic mindscapes with delicate tribal groove escapades. The most challenging part of this blend is the use of overtone voices, which adds a quite distinctive dimension to already hauntingly immersing soundsculpting. "First Hours" ignite this mystifying journey with stunningly expressive overtone magics intriguing with intensely primordial ambience. Top-notch intro!!! Cavernous rumbles enrich eerie voice drones on "Aerthanna", later smooth and slightly cyber-tech flavored tribals step in, superiorly blending primitive culture with modern sound wizardry. Another massively absorbing expedition, bravo, Ran!!! Ancient woods are calling, "Crimson Trees" keep the path, with 14 minutes the longest "Formation". Again strangely flavored and hauntingly tapestried with few elusive melodic passages for fully intense shaman's healing journey. This is Ran Kirlian at his most organic and magical!!! The next piece, "Formations I", shifts to more serene and aerial spheres, gently expanding and drifting into more massive panoramas, enriched on the back by few distant cybernetic fragments. The gates of "Dark Territories" are unlocked and the listener is taken into fascinating nocturnal, deeply contemplative sceneries, which later percolate into lushly vibrant tribal canvas. "Forgotten Survivor" calms down at the beginning with darker drones, but later mild downtempos join the stage, expanding and relieving at the same time. "Quh Ong I" reveals with monstrous drone, that quickly steps down into quieter zone, but soon the ghostly overtone dissonances intertwine. Immense, rough, excessive, shrilling, but always deeply mesmerizing and transcendental, an "all-inclusive" bliss designed for your nightly musings!!! Once again, bravo!!! Expansive drone landscapes lead "Quh Ong II" until radiant shamanistic tribals invade, coalesce and encompass us with its hypnotic rite. Highly effective finale!!! Ran Kirlian has ventured with "Formations" into incredibly spectacular spirited terrains, quite uncharted when comparing to his previous two albums. More spins are required, but as soon you reach your deep immersion, all the mysteries behind "Formations" are revealed. Max Corbacho gets credit for the final mastering job. A superb performance by Ran Kirlian!!!

Richard Gürtler (Apr 23, 2013, Bratislava, Slovakia)

72
Independent Music Reviews / My review of "Bardo" CD by Oöphoi
« on: April 20, 2013, 08:06:58 AM »


Oöphoi "Bardo" CD

Even if "Bardo" was released long time ago, back in 2002 on Russian Electroshock Records, with this review I would like to pay a little tribute to sole protagonist of Oöphoi, Gianluigi "Gigi" Gasparetti, who has recently passed away after a long fight with illness at the age of 55 years. I consider "Bardo" as one of the most treasured and influential works of this Italian drone shaman. Yes, undoubtedly "Bardo" is absolutely fascinating sonic voyage beyond the gates, accomplishing the state of sheer contemplation and transcendence. Based on Bardo, which means in Tibetan Buddhism a state between death and rebirth, the intermediate state. There are six states of Bardo, the album focuses on four of them. The journey unfolds with "Samten Bardo - Contemplation" (Bardo of Meditation), which dives deeply into mammoth sonic cave, where monstrous drone tsunami is occasionally reinforced by various primordial reverberations, ominous voices and tremulous hums. An ultimate sonic therapy!!! And appropriate exercise for your speakers too... Drone meditations have never sounded more grandiose and immersing, this is a track for your Throne of Drones!!! Flatlined drones invade "Chikai Bardo - Dissolution" (Bardo of the Course of Death), but soon they are united with eerie, hallucinogenic voices and assorted industrialized dissonances (some of them evoking screeching sounds of the passing train). Stunningly weird, but intense and stimulating deep trance-ambient solitudes. Ear- and mind-bending too... This deeply meditative drone odyssey overlaps also to the next composition, "Chonyi Bardo - A Path Of The Lights" (Bardo of the After-death). Intriguing mystery soon reveals, when exotic embellishments and sparse gongs and bells join this long-form piece, clocking to 29 minutes. After about 8 minutes Tibetan Buddhist Monks begin chanting their prayers along with ear-tickling percussions here and there and shift this composition into absolutely essential and magnificent high-altitude plateau. Slowly droning and gradually expanding into gracefully spectacular pilgrimage site. Yes, this is a truly unforgettable aural adventure that everyone must experience to reach this spiritual oasis!!! This is for me, along with David Parsons' "Mani", a true Sagarmāthā among the Tibetan Buddhism-infused ambient contemplations!!! "Sipai Bardo - Crossing The Bridge Of Existence The Eternal Cycle" (Bardo of the Rebirth within Samsara) blossoms with low rumbling drone expansions, ghostly voices and diverse noisier disruptions, and smoothly cascades and culminates through immense, mysteriously permeated terrains, before reaching powerfully intense pinnacle, a grand finale I must say!!! "Bardo" is one of the many milestones in Oöphoi's amazing discography!!! But the words are pouring very hard and I am not ashamed of tears in my eyes as the Lord of unfathomable drones now continues his journey beyond the gates of this world with kindred spirits such as Klaus and Kristian. Grazie Gigi, grazie grande Oöphoi, you will never be forgotten!!!

Richard Gürtler (Apr 20, 2013, Bratislava, Slovakia)

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Independent Music Reviews / My review of "Sval" CD by Pjusk
« on: April 06, 2013, 02:39:23 AM »


Pjusk "Sval" CD

"Sval" was released back in March 2010 on Taylor Deupree's 12k label as follow-up to their highly praised debut "Sart". To be honest, I must say I haven't explored these Norwegians until their third album "Tele", released about one year ago on Italian Glacial Movements. Big shame on me, definitely!!! Jostein Dahl Gjelsvik and Rune Sagevik are the two principals behind this project (with few guests appearing on "Sval") and I still clearly remember the day when I heard "Tele" for the first time. So their first two albums "Sart" and "Sval" were immediately on my target..., yes, quite late, but still better than never. Anyway, few weeks later I was very fortunate to get both these sonic pearls, so now it's time for my more detailed look at "Sval". Yes, I know, three years passed already since its release and numerous reviews of "Sval" were published in the meantime, but I don't mind, I simply want to put down few lines. Inspired by the remote Nordic landscapes, "Sval" invites each listener to a truly spectacular journey, a journey filled with massive amount of unique, distinguishing and challenging soundsculpting. That's the sonic world of Pjusk in a nutshell!!! Welcome!!! "Valldal" ignites this fascinating ride with stunning blend of drones, pulses, glitches, organics and sparse melodies, precisely setting the mood for the rest of this ice cold escapade. Didn't know what "Valldal" means, but closer inspection took me to the monumental, 30 kilometers long valley. And it sounds exactly as it looks this fantastic nature, a sonic paradise to each adventurer!!! Actually, now I remember reading somewhere about Pjusk's recording studio called "The Valldal Cabin", so the connection can't be more precise!!! "Sus" is centered around subtle high-tech pulses blanketed by the mesmerizingly nocturnal atmozones. In its second half the rhythm swiftly crescendoes into more galloped and rawer dub terrains. Really attractive!!! Next two pieces, "Juv" and "Byge", are quite short, but very effective melting deeper icy drones with glitches and other sonic transitions. This thrilling drone-noise experience overlaps also to "Demring", oddly colorful and entertaining, one of its kind sonics!!! And that's the case of "Skygge" too, although darker and mysterious, but always sparse, crackling, swirling, high-pitching and clouded by distant pulse. "Dis" is the longest piece here, clocking over 8 and half minute mark, and unfolds with some weird noises and ghostly voices (a female troll maybe?), again minimal, barely audible. Few modern classical piano fragments interact with silent moments and assorted crystalline cavernous effects, at times sounding quite eerie and abstract. Another big one!!! "Skumring" keeps on the minimal route just like its predecessor, again freezing, strange and motionless, with oddly humming buzz, here and there interacting with piano bits, razor sharp bleeps, sporadic melody supplements and other location mapping. Deeper monochromatic drones invade "Glimt" for strongly visualizing effect, along with occasional melodic splinters and some enchanting flute-like scents. The second half swiftly transmutes into high-tech groovy-driven escapade blanketed by hauntingly ethereal horizons and cinematic subtleties. Wow, this is a virtuoso sound layering, tremendously filigree and sophisticated!!! "Vidde" remains in aerial realms, blurred by arctic winds and dub techno motifs, quite minimal, but strongly efficient. Another stunner!!! "Skodde" dives deep into weirdly fragranced terrains with hallucinogenic, dub techno-infused rhythms and ear-splitting outbursts. Stimulating rhythm-noise (de)cadence!!! Mysteriously droning and soaring "Dunkel" brings this highly stupefying and wondrous trip into its conclusion. "Sval" is a true masterpiece, a milestone showcasing the signature sound that is only Pjusk!!! These guys are true Nordic monsters idiosyncratically puzzling together some of the most majestic, breathtaking and mystifying scenic wonders of Norway!!! And be prepared for the upcoming Pjusk collaboration with their fellow countryman, a jazz trumpet player Kare Nymark Jr., their album is scheduled for release on 12k.

Richard Gürtler (Apr 05, 2013, Bratislava, Slovakia)

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Steve Roach "Soul Tones" CD

Contemplatively titled "Soul Tones" album was released by Steve Roach during December 2012 on Timeroom Editions as the first part of a three CD series. "Soul Tones" are comprised of two long form compositions, the title track "Soul Tones", getting close to 46-minute mark and "Resolved", clocking just over 28 minutes. The first piece unfolds absolutely peaceful, with slowly expanding, flowing and ebbing synth washes. These utterly sublime, captivating and extensive drones smoothly glide with all their grace and harmony through the majestic and grandiose cumulus clouds at sunset. As much ethereally magnificent as the cover photograph by Kati Astraeir, which stunningly portrays these eternally spellbinding and hypnagogic atmozones. Yes, "Soul Tones" will gently and unobtrusively surround you during your deeply relaxing activities or as a low-volume playback during your sleep time. But also more active listening session with your headphones takes you to essentially sedative journey. In any case, monstrous calmness of "Soul Tones" is an ultimate sonic elixir to soothe your body and mind!!! "Resolved" slowly dives into more mysterious and gradually expanding realms. Could be slightly monochromatic or static when listening without deeper dedication, but as soon you unlock the gates, you enter this multi-layered structure of drone walls, circles and traverses, which take you into profoundly absorbing opaque nocturnal panoramas with increasing potency. During the 18th minute these sonic canvas cascade into slightly more relieving and enchanting movements, yet enough dramatic and expressive with balmy wide-screen transitions, before quietly fading away and reaching tranquil silence. "Resolved" is every bit as immersing as the title composition, "Soul Tones". Once again, connect yourself deeply to the genius' soulful oasis and let his audible insignia to reveal all its magic on you. These "Soul Tones" are massively embracing and showcase Steve Roach at the peak of his deepest sonic meditations!!! From time to time I run across comments about the master losing some of his glare. No way for my ears, because the year 2012 has brought to us masterpieces such as "Back To Life", "Tales From The Ultra Tribe" (with Byron Metcalf) or "Low Volume Music" (with Dirk Serries), first two for sure can be celebrated as true groundbreakers and "Soul Tones" undoubtedly deserves its stellar place among the most delightful, tranquil and enigmatic works ever coming out of The Timeroom cave. Hats off to Steve Roach!!! The newest album "Future Flows" will be released in one month, just before the huge Ambicon 2013 festival (May 3-5, San Rafael, California). And I am quite sure "Future Flows" will blow us away again!!!

Richard Gürtler (Mar 24, 2013, Bratislava, Slovakia)

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Amir Baghiri "The Serenity" CD

After 8 albums on Databloem's sublabel Blue Box released during the years 2005 and 2011, in Germany based, but a native Iranian, ambient veteran Amir Baghiri inaugurates his premiere album at Databloem's main label. Entitled "The Serenity", released during January 2013 and packaged in 4-panel digifile with accustomed design by Theo Rabou. As the album's title indicates, "The Serenity" unfolds with tranquil space washes of the opening "Rotation Curves". And this track title is perfectly displayed by its floating and tiding soundwaves, warmly inviting and soothingly touching. Swelling drifts invade also the next piece, "Dark Energy", backed by few distant organic scraps. During the second third smooth cyber-tribal-trance grooves join in and precisely interact with enchantingly warm panoramic surroundings. Deeply mesmerizing immersion awaits!!! "Observable Universe" clocks to nearly 14 minutes and is immediately invaded by sublime stargazing drones, continuously soaring and expanding, and backed by assorted distant rumbles. Stunningly absorbing nocturnal desert soundscape flows and shifts, almost inconspicuously into sonorous primordial tribal canvas presenting Amir Baghiri at his most shamanistic and passionate!!! Sure, these deeply invasive and magically powerful sonic artifacts have been explored long before, but nevertheless, this is a purely indigenous medicine to my ears!!! "Superclusters" calm down this fascinating journey and expand with its colossal and amorphous drones into sublimely infinite space realms, here and there augmented by few fragile trinkets. Sonic portals of the Master are still unlocked... "Invariant Mass" is slightly less massive than it's predecessor, although still effectively gliding and ebbing through deep and dense zoneworlds, always profoundly evocative. "Dependent Artifact", with 16 and half minutes the longest composition, strikes quickly with the warm desert nightscaping drifts, organic, raising and falling, with sheer moments of natural magic, and then progressing during the second half into mysteriously flavored and monstrously intense dronewalls, reaching hugely expansive dimensions. Amir Baghiri excels once again, this is nothing but tremendously absorbing and hauntingly magnificent sonic bliss!!! 10-minute closer "Inherent Existence" keeps on the intense drone route exploring the spectacular scenery of majesty and grandeur. "The Serenity" won't break any new terrains, but it should find easily its way to all connoisseurs seeking their breathtaking desert and space atmospherics, both peaceful and adventurous. "The Serenity" is a piece of fine work, congrats Amir & Databloem!!! And stay tuned for more, because few days ago a new recording by Amir was released on German Attenuation Circuit label, titled "Prayers For The Earth" and released as a CDr edition in folded cardboard sleeve, limited to 120 copies.

Richard Gürtler (Mar 17, 2013, Bratislava, Slovakia)

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Andrew Forrest "Boundless (Harmonics Trilogy ~ Volume 2)" CD

I have discovered this enormously accomplished ambient sculptor only about one year ago through his outstanding "Resonance" CD, which was released as first volume of "Harmonics Trilogy" (released during November 2011). September 2012 marks the second chapter of this trilogy entitled "Boundless". Andrew Forrest comes from the UK, but lives longer time in New Zealand and "Boundless" is his 7th full length album. Yes, he is definitely one of those artists who glide around us, unfortunately, quite unnoticed and I must say it's a really big shame, because Andrew Forrest is a true virtuoso of gorgeously immersing and majestic space exploratories, masterfully shaped and polished and delivered as all-inclusive package, not only as a pure aural bliss, both musically and audibly, but also as a very intense visual experience. And to say it straightly, these are my feelings also about "Boundless". Just like the first volume, also "Boundless" features three longer sonic metamorphosis, each clocking between 20 and 25 minutes. "1st Movement" unfolds swiftly with flickering swirls and other assorted embellishments, all magnificently surrounded by immense aerial washes, fragilely meandering above velvety cloud sheets and soothingly tickled by the sun rays. All graciously expanding and floating through countless, beautifully sublime and expressive sonic cascades. Softer and melodious passages evoking vintage space drifters circumstance with more colossal and expansively sweeping and progressing epic soundfields, here and there lightened by the infinite celestial magic of angelic choirs and cinematic piano-infused subtleties. Always intensely enthralling, breathtaking and absorbing scenario, a truly grandiose and immaculate space symphony!!! This is Andrew Forrest at the top of his game!!! "2nd Movement" keeps its grace and majesty, with slightly more earthy touch at the beginning provided by some hauntingly captivating flute-like sounds. Soon monstrously transporting cyberscapes enter the stage along with lushly sparkling sequenced notes. But then again sheer angelic beauty with piano fragments and heartwarming expansions relieve this multi scented and brightly detailed odyssey filled with never-ending spacescapades. Another tour de force by Andrew Forrest!!! "3rd Movement" strikes with powerfully expanding and ebbing tension of thunderous and cinematic drones, steadily immersing and intervening with softly pulsing passages and calmly gliding and circling washes with ethereally tranquil transitions. Andrew Forrest conjures an awe-inspiring conclusion to this spectacular audio experience, "Boundless" is a real treat for all stargazers!!! So in case you haven't heard anything from Andrew Forrest's discography, I highly recommend to explore this gifted musician (and painter), show him your support, it surely will help to make this world more fair!!!

Richard Gürtler (Mar 16, 2013, Bratislava, Slovakia)

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Groupthink "Happy Gods" CDr

Groupthink, consisting of electronic music scene veteran and creator of Thousand Pulses, Periphery, Anodize... Darren Bergstein and guitarist, live looper, electronic device aficionado Edward Yuhas, returns with second album "Happy Gods" released on Darren's Periphery brainchild during October 2012, a follow up to successfully challenging debut "Of Microcosmic Origins" (March 2012). Again packaged in round tin and limited to 50 copies. Short introductory "Entrance By Silver Sunrise" sets the atmosphere with intensely colored dronescapade. "Is It Itself?" smoothly unfolds into vividly colored terrains with continually swirling lead and rather undisturbed and meandering background. During the second half more distinctive and eclectic sound manipulations step in and reach slightly annoying mode. I was ready to immerse deeply into Groupthink's peculiar soundworlds, but the following piece, "Sleep Essence", keeps me relaxed while drifting on tranquilly aerial sheets. Rather cacophonous intro of "The Undulating Hour" swiftly traverses into varicolored texture with all kinds of high-pitched resonations, squeaks, sharper outbursts and low rumbles interacting with intense cinematic tides and quieter disruptions. After another shorter, but adventurous episode, entitled "Pause: Looksee", the listener dives deeply into fully blossomed guitar drone wizardry. "Stimulated Yet Still" is the longest piece, reaching nearly 12-minute mark. Gracefully roaring guitar washes with panoramic backing and subtly (or oddly?) dissonant percussive pulse are enormously absorbing, evocative and provocative. A truly glorious performance by Groupthink!!! "Vague Realms" bridge balmily scenic vistas with noisier, ear-bending fragments, experiments and cascades. It's weird, but somehow the warm and harsh parts persist precisely together in this track. And the title selection is just perfect too!!! "Invertebrate" keeps on the same path, with strongly visualizing drones, expressively unfolding and coupled with annoyingly repeating siren-like noises and occasional sonic explosions. This piece is driving me nuts, but I love it!!! Time for another transition, "Pause: Looksee II", this time with absolutely amazing, slightly exotic tinkling sound hanging somewhere between The Hang or Handpan drum and some strings. Just over one minute in length, more please, it's hauntingly gorgeous!!! "Uncomfortably Numb" transports the listener into deeply meditative realms, sculpted with hypnotizing female voice and fragilely tinkling pulses, here and there surrounded by soaring string panoramas. Soothingly relieving journey!!!The next piece, "All Things Elastic", is again richly colored texture, driven by diverse cyber-industrialized tribals and sonic spasms, including some otherworldly voices and guarded by monochromatic drone. With "Does It Dream?" wide-screen terrains are explored, ebbing and gliding, embellished by soft tinkles and swirls. "Exit Through The Wondrous Hue" is a short finale, attractively shaped with pleasant mood and refreshing like a cool breeze. Darren Bergstein and Edward Yuhas invite each listener to experience a truly adventurous, bizarre and intriguing sonic alchemy and explore some fascinating eclipsed territories. Mastering credit goes to Gregory Kyryluk (Alpha Wave Movement, Within Reason). Encounter your "Happy Gods" now!!!

Richard Gürtler (Mar 13, 2013, Bratislava, Slovakia)

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Stormloop "Back To Dust" CDr

Kevin Spence aka Stormloop, from Leeds, UK, has released during 2012 two very nice, handmade packaged albums, "Nocturnal Winter" and "Snowbound**". The later was originally released in 2011, featuring tracks that didn't make the final call on his CD debut "Snowbound*" for Glacial Movements (November, 2011). "Back To Dust" comes packaged in poly case with a full wrap-around insert, printed on both sides, in limited edition of 40 hand-numbered copies and released during January 2013. The album starts with longer, nearly 16 minutes long title track "Back To Dust". It offers a tranquilly drifting space odyssey, flavored here and there with additional drone vibrations, low swirling rumbles and various subtle cybernetic fragments. Warmly inviting dreamscapes are unfolded into soothingly immense expansions. "Back To Dust" is utterly captivating sonic reverie filled with endless sublimity!!! "Swirling Autumn Leaves" transport each listener into deeply meditative realms, sculpted with minimal and monotonous drones of singing bowl resonations guarded by some distant ghost-like essences. "Traversing The Spacetime", the next longer piece clocking to 11 and half minutes, returns to celestial zones with serenely expanding and meandering washes. This is another strongly alluring soundscape to fully comfort your mind and body. Deep and hissy drones invade "Kuro Hoshi", but soon this monochromatic intro traverses into more actively gliding and circling, vast open sceneries, with slightly sorrowful feel, yet warmly embracing. "Minus 2" keeps on the same route, with more earthy feel, although fragranced with assorted fragile liquid and cyber-tech clinks. The overall feel is deeply evocative and cinematic. "An Ancient Machine" is sculpted with angelic choir-like drones, deep windy hums, strengthened by few sparse, but multi-colored sonic infusions and wrapped throughout by hissy blankets. Quietly mesmerizing and immersing composition. Low drones of "Spacedust" are as much absorbing as on previous piece, but this time slightly high-pitched swirling layers are added and this sonic range produces a quite hallucinogenic effect, nicely interplaying with track title. The closing phase, "A New Horizon", is immediately invaded by gracefully tiding ethereal washes, carrying the listener on the cloudbeds of pure atmospheric bliss. Again, the title is precisely displayed by the sonics. This is Stormloop at its most splendid and seductive, an absolutely gorgeous finale!!! "Back To Dust" provides us with richly shaped odyssey, gliding through various terrains, harmoniously connected and balanced without becoming monotonous or uninspiring. Very nice album by Stormloop, well done, Kev!!!

Richard Gürtler (Mar 09, 2013, Bratislava, Slovakia)

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Alpha Wave Movement "Exiled Particles Volume I" CDr

A bunch of well-treasured pieces from 1997-2005 archives were dusted off by Gregory Kyryluk, the sole sonic wizard of renowned Alpha Wave Movement, as "Exiled Particles Volume I", released at December 1st, 2012 through his own Harmonic Resonance Recordings. All those who are following this ultra gifted composer are familiar with impressive albums such as "The Edge Of Infinity", "A Distant Signal", "Concept Of Motion", "Cosmology" or "Drifted Into Deeper Lands", all released during this period of time, so it's time take another exciting journey provided by his Soundcave studio archives. "Stratospheric Reception" fires the show, firstly with sampled Russian femme voices, then AWM swiftly unfolds his highly melodious mastery with vibrantly pulsing electronics, occasionally discontinued by dreamier transitions. "Atum" bridges enchantingly inviting trancey and chillout melodies with various razor sharp effects and swirls, backed by slightly spacious and cinematic passages. "Pangea" spreads with slower drifts, but soon exotic mid-tempo stringed fragrances and gentle beats along with warmly floating expansions step in and capture beautifully nostalgic wide-screen size. Marvelously melodic and relieving composition displaying all AWM's trademarks!!! The next piece, "What Was Once Here", starts quietly, but soon it cascades into laid-back melody crossed with spatial embellishments. "Rhythm Cell" quickly moves into freshly rhythmic cyber-trance terrains, deeply mesmerizing with strongly visualizing vibe. Superb!!! And "Left Hemisphere Induction" keeps in this freshly moving path with repetitive ultra kinetic techno-like beats and earwarming ambient melodies. Female & male voice samples lead "Un Conte Court" and carry it into shimmeringly colorful and absorbing melodies with stunningly relaxing atmosphere evoking a truly laid-back summer panoramas somewhere on the coastline of the French Riviera. Magnifique!!! "Hue" is the final composition, with smoothly meandering aerial washes, enriched by distant fragile tinkles and hauntingly evocative warm melodies. A very nice, tranquil conclusion that nicely accompanies the previous track. Gorgeous collection!!! Without doubt, Gregory Kyryluk did a great move when he has decided to bring these long forgotten pearls to the light. This is another must have from Alpha Wave Movement's stellar discography!!! And don't go away, because another album, this time more meditative oriented was released few weeks ago by Alpha Wave Movement, entitled "Yasumu". And on the top of that, few days ago Darren Bergstein has announced the launch of Anodize label, a subdivision of his Periphery label. And the premiere release is Within Reason (aka Gregory Kyryluk) "Transient Broadcasts", as a glass mastered CD!!! So act now!!!

Richard Gürtler (Mar 05, 2013, Bratislava, Slovakia)

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Shane Morris & Mystified "Epoch" CD

As you might know, my ventures into rather dark ambient fragranced territories are quite sporadic, however it's time to take a closer look on "Epoch", the first part of planned trilogy entitled "Inspired Evolution", mapping the prehistoric time of the Mesozoic Era, the Age of Reptiles, with huge dinosaurs colonizing the land. Released in April 2012 on Lotuspike as collaborative project between ambient composer and multi-instrumentalist Shane Morris (Fayetteville, Arkansas) and ambient/drone soundscaper Thomas Park aka Mystified (St. Louis, Missouri). Solely based on the use of the acoustic instruments such as trombone, didgeridoo, vibraphone, bass drum and bowed gong. "Cambrian Explosion" evolves with sinister low drones and cavernous watery sounds, all enhanced by curving darker and harsher, but minimal and cacophonous crackles, buzzes and breaths. Deep immersion into expressive primordial landscapes is guaranteed!!! The longest piece "Devonia" gets over 22 and half minutes and keeps on the same path as the opening track. Deep low drones are spiced by didge howls, mysterious high-pitched sounds reminding some ghostly voices along with cavernous field recordings of watery or crackling fire traces, all mesmerizingly circling, swelling and enveloping. Stunningly transporting organic symphony, dark ambient at its most primitive!!! "Triassic Extinction" unfolds with eerie drones and distant gong rumbles, with monstrously expanding walls of ear-tickling tensions and dissonances. A truly mind-bending sonic adventure precisely portraying this dramatic prehistoric period!!! Sounds of insects lead the final part, "Jurassic Dawn" and swirl around your head. But soon myriad of mammoth drones, harsher shrills, rumbles and didge barks enter the terrain, the big invasion of birds and dinosaurs has just begun... "Epoch" is exquisitely distinguishing project offering to each listener enormously immersing sonic ride with masterfully executed cover artwork (by Daniel Pipitone, the graphic guru and one of the Lotuspike owners, original photography by Jourdan Laik). "Epoch" is definitely not easy listening experience, but don't hesitate to give it your time, wear your headphones and after few spins you will be transported into stunningly entertaining prehistoric time line with incredible series of changes. I am quite sure it will be as much rewarding for you as it was challenging for its inventors, when shaping this installment. And keep in mind, few days ago the second part of "Inspired Evolution" has been announced by Shane & Thomas, "Emergence" CD is scheduled for release at June 11th, 2013, so stay prepared!!!

Richard Gürtler (Mar 03, 2013, Bratislava, Slovakia)

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