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Topics - richardgurtler

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81


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)

82


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)

83


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)

84
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)

85
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)

86


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)

87


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)

88


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)

89


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)

90


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)

91


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)

92


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)

93
Everything and Nothing / Rest in peace, Nextera's Kristián Kotarac
« on: February 25, 2013, 09:22:16 AM »
I am re-posting this review in the memory of Kristián Kotarac, the driving force behind Nextera label, who has passed away yesterday in Praha/Prague, Czech Republic. Kristián & Nextera will be greatly missed!!! My deepest condolences to the family and friends.



Oöphoi & Paul Vnuk Jr. "Dreamfields" CD

This is already the second collaboration between Italian drone wizard Oöphoi (Gianluigi Gasparetti) and US-Wisconsin based sound designer Paul Vnuk Jr., who is also known as a member of Ma Ja Le project (featuring also Christopher Short). Their first co-work "Distance To Zero" was released in 2006 on Hypnos. "Dreamfields" CD was released in December of 2011 on Czech label Nextera, the home of several Oöphoi's releases. Actually, according to the release notes, the story behind "Dreamfields" project started back in 2005, when Paul sent to Gigi some loops, but it was in 2009, when Gigi went back to these sound sources. A quite long time span, but in any case it's my great pleasure to explore now these "Dreamfields"!!! And the album strikes firstly with its stunning front cover image realized by Polish photographer Rafal "Szincza" Kijas, definitely one of my fave cover artworks of 2011!!! Containing four longer pieces (clocking from 10 to 23 minutes), "Dreamfields" open with "North Field: Axis", a 23-minute deeply drifting and slowly spiraling exploration, expressively spiced by various fragilely tinkling bells and mysterious femme voice by Luna. Highly absorbing piece of dronescapes, magnificently portrayed by the album's images. Colossally gracious overture!!! "South Field: Khyber" is colored by rather aerial atmospheres melted with high-tech bleeps and gurgles, crystalline percussions and frightening sounds. Quite soon this longer composition, reaching nearly 22 minutes, passes into more darkened, mysterious and meditative terrains. In the second half also child voice is emerging (poetry reading by Paul's son Paul Vnuk III). This deeply cavernous ambience immerses each listener into mysteriously adventurous atmosphere and unfolds darker realms of the imagination. The next composition, "East Field: Helikum", is slowly and serenely meandering dronescape to calm your mind. It drifts and swells through hauntingly beautiful hypnotic and tranquil solitudes. "West Field: Awua" takes us again into deeper cave system to explore impressive sceneries and formations through swirling dark drones, ominous rumblings and noises, deeply echoed gongs and singing bowls. A truly exciting journey into rarely seen places!!! "Dreamfields" celebrate the creative forces of both, Oöphoi & Paul Vnuk Jr., who have effectively merged their talents and managed to paint breathtaking pictures to guide each listener into magically misty and gloomy atmospheric splendor. A must for all addicts of deep ambient soundscaping!!! And I give extra points also to Nextera for beautiful digipak packaging.

Richard Gürtler (Jan 14, 2012, Bratislava, Slovakia)

94
Independent Music Reviews / My review of "Bloodmoon" CD by Mathias Grassow
« on: February 24, 2013, 08:25:44 AM »


Mathias Grassow "Bloodmoon" CD

Celebrating the nocturnal autumn sceneries of the Scandinavian territories, the German drone virtuoso Mathias Grassow returns with new album, released at the beginning of October 2012 on Swedish gterma label. This shadowy ride emerges with "The Longing", nearly 12-minutes long intro, surrounded by quite monotonous drone walls, here and there augmented by assorted industrialized and frightening distant rumbles. Drones of much heavier size and depth massively invade "Domains Of The Stallo", a long form piece getting over 34-minute mark. A climb down to the deep cavern has just begun, the listener is taken to the cascading labyrinths of passageways in the underground realms, surrounded by spectacular formations with hidden mysterious creatures. One of them could be also the magical giant, The Stallo. Mathias Grassow delivers here his orthodox, massive and monochromous drone endeavors, the gates to the drone inferno are unlocked!!! Drone bliss # 1!!! 11 minutes long "Call Of The Huldra" returns to more relieving nightscaping drones, exploring all the magic of shadowy forest, hauntingly illuminated by the moonlight. The drone drifts slowly through smooth cascades and evolves into gracious immenseness. Rumors say The Huldra might live here, a stunningly beautiful and fabulous female creature with animal's tail. Will we meet her? As mentioned, this piece doesn't reach the colossal intensity of its predecessor, but the drone is utterly gorgeous and fascinating, just like some of the unusual forest spirits. Eerie howls of wolves announce the title track "Bloodmoon", the closing piece of this journey, this one gets close to 19 minutes. Howls are melted with tranquilly expanding low drone washes, soon transferring into dramatically adventurous cello-like sonorities, raising, droning and falling. In the second half few harsher and noisier fragments are thrown in to strengthen this already grandiose dronescaping finale, along with some ghostly invasions. "Bloodmoon" is permeated by incredibly beautiful and scenic Northern forest landscapes, and attractively displayed by 16-page booklet (design and photographs by gterma's Johan Rehn). Mathias Grassow has emerged his musical voyage more than 26 years ago and we, drone purveyors, are still journeying with him. "Bloodmoon" requires several repeated, deeply immersing listening sessions (headphones are recommended!!!), but then it's a fully rewarding experience. Yes, this is another big one from The Drone Medicine Man!!!

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

95


dreamSTATE vs. Heiki "The North Shore" CD

Awaited for longer time with quite big expectations, but when the mailing finally arrived and I exposed the album, my eyebrows were raised immediately. A glass mastered CD, packaged in attractive 4-panel digipak with additional art cards included and signed by the artists. Wow, I simply couldn't ask for more!!! Yes, even if dreamSTATE guys are known as skilled multimedia performers, who are involved in all kinds of audiovisual projects, I didn't have any idea about their landing at Paper+Sound label. Now the mystery is solved, dreamSTATE aka Scott M2 and Jamie Todd, have teamed with Heiki Sillaste, their fellow veteran of the Toronto electronic music scene, who started his career with Digital Poodle, an industrial-tekno project, in the late 80's. Some good old memories from my pre-ambient era are awakening... Among many other projects, Heiki also founded in late 2009 Paper+Sound label, so I am really happy about this collaboration. "The North Shore" CD was released at the end of September 2012 as limited edition of 250 hand-numbered copies. Bonus points for the artwork were awarded already and it took me only few seconds after pressing the play button on my CD player to raise my eyebrows once again. "Snow Drifter" unfolds with some of the most splendid winter drones I have ever encountered. 7 minutes of pure dronescaping ecstasy, colored with assorted eerie, but warmly nostalgic soaring fragments and processed, let's say something that evokes seagull calls. I can easily imagine wandering through the wintery suburban shores of Lake Ontario and "Snow Drifter" would be my ultimate soundtrack to journey with!!! I have explored these shores for many times during the period of years 1983-1993 while visiting Toronto with its suburbs, but unfortunately, never during the winter time. So my inner journey unfolds now, 20 years later...

I must add, these deep winter soundscapes were explored for the first time during the preparation sessions for the January 10th, the dreamSTATE's Drone Cycle 2012. Originally launched in 2000, when dreamSTATE performed monthly shows of improvised performances based on the notes of the chromatic scale, with special guests on each event. Now, 12 years later, beginning January 10th, 2012, dreamSTATE reintroduced this format again, with Heiki Sillaste as their first guest, for traversing the scale back downward, so January in C and "The North Shore" is one of the results of this amazing project.

Back to "Snow Drifter", besides the fact it's properly entitled, the drones, slightly high-pitched, are ebbing, gliding and cascading through the stunningly colorful and exceptionally beautiful icy sceneries in absolutely fascinating manner. Great piece, Scott, Jamie & Heiki, an Ambient Hall of Fame nominee!!! "Expedition" leaves the suburbs and moves towards vast open, freezing landscapes of Ontario, masterfully wrapped by hissy expansions, outbursts and blankets with deeply evocative, at times strongly ethereal impact. These panoramic winter vistas are magically beautiful and wondrously tranquil!!! "Ice Flow", the long form piece, nearly 41 minutes in length, moves through various transitions, ranging from more captivating, minimally droning, through more immense, intense and dramatic to more abysmally freezing and frightening. Yes, it's an all-inclusive journey adventurously traversing from cinematic panoramas of quiet "Ice Flow" with snowflakes gently floating down to harsher, more experimental dronescaping rumbles evoking morning after stormy, freezing night rain with spectacular ice formations, where the water is frozen on the branches of the trees or as it dropped from them. Fascinating and ultra-moody tour de force!!! The closing "Winter Light" reveals with some cyber-tech infusions, but it promptly transfers into serenely drifting and meandering expanses. Just close your eyes and the following could be one of your visualizing scenarios. You are walking on the shores of Lake Superior, the night is dark, sky is clear, it's time to experience the magic of shimmering green northern lights over the ice coated landscapes, the Aurora Borealis. A truly breathtaking conclusion!!! "The North Shore" is utterly magnificent winter postcard from Ontario, Canada, a huge treasure from start to end!!! Certainly one of my most fave dronescapades of 2012, a must have!!! Once again, The Ambient Ping gang rules!!!

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

96
Other Ambient (and related) Music / Steve Roach - Today
« on: February 17, 2013, 12:19:19 AM »
Steve Roach was born on February 16th, here is the gift from the Maestro!!!

http://steveroach.bandcamp.com/track/today

Enjoy it!!! :)

Richard

97


Chronotope Project "Chrysalis" CDr

First of all, big thanks to John, one of the driving forces behind wonderful Relaxed Machinery community, who has pointed me to Chronotope Project few months ago. I was immediately impressed by this, in Eugene, Oregon, based project, stared by Jeffrey Ericson Allen, who is a truly gifted composer, cellist and ambient sound sculptor. "Chrysalis", a follow up to Chronotope Project's debut "Solar Winds" (self-released during May 2012) was originally released as download version at the beginning of October 2012, on Relaxed Machinery label, but the CDr edition came out one month later. The album kicks off with 13-minute track title "Chrysalis". Gently bubbling sounds are cleverly merged with warmly tinkling embellishments and other softly invading fragments, all surrounded by hauntingly celestial blankets. Gorgeously swirling, chiming and soaring with unmeasurable grace, shimmering beauty and balmy melodies. Yes, the mixture of sensitive tribals, ear-catching transitions and soothingly hypnotic zones is absolutely splendid, a true masterpiece igniting this luxurious journey!!! The next piece, “L’Avenue Du Ciel”, in English “Avenue Of The Sky”, unfolds with gorgeous abyssal drone, which is soon transformed into beautifully evocative panoramas, masterfully flavored by nostalgic bansuri flute cloudscapes and cinematic clarinet-like notes. Later on gentle tribal beats take the lead along with chill-out downtempos, glowing swirls and tranquil liquid sounds. Nostalgic woodwind wizardry again excels towards the end. Richly colorful and deeply visualizing composition, and precisely titled too!!! "Trance-Missions", a long-form number, clocking to 25 and half minutes, smoothly cascades through various, stunningly entertaining alleys, where sublimely poignant atmospheres are altering with gradually expanding and freshly joyous sequences. Always warmly heartening and thoroughly mesmerizing!!! "Reflecting Pool" is invaded by eerie cavernous atmozones, soon veering into spellbindingly reflective stillness virtuosically bridged with peaceful tinkles and heartwarming harp-like strings, all quietly enveloped by watery field recordings. This is utterly contemplative and wide-screen dreamscape, constantly filled with blissful listening experience. Sheer beauty and splendor!!! "Eternity’s Sunrise" melts angelic choir-like and gliding washes with yearning and ethereal crystalline strings, again expressively enriched by harmoniously alluring midtempo melodies. The final part traverses through calmer paths and fades away embraced by enchanting drifts and cheerfully poetic harp magic. A jaw-dropping finale!!! "Chrysalis" is a brilliant album, a true masterwork displaying giant potential and refined musicianship by its solo protagonist. Yes, to me, Chronotope Project is undoubtedly one of the revelations of 2012!!! And hugely ambitious addition to talented gang of Relaxed Machinery. And there is still a lot more to come, because Jeffrey is working on new material for this year's release, so I will eagerly keep an ear to this distinctive ambient terrain...

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

98


Max Corbacho "The Ocean Inside" 2xCD

Announced longer time ago as possibly the most ambitious project, has became the reality during December, 2012. Yes, "The Ocean Inside" is a monstrous double CD recording by Spanish drifting aficionado Max Corbacho, released by ad21 label and packaged in gorgeous 6-panel digipak (designed by Manuela Márquez). I still clearly remember those magical moments while journeying with "Ars Lucis" through the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Denis and being fascinated by its breathtakingly monumental gracefulness. "Light-Matrix Portal" was the key that opened these magical gates and since then I was wondering if Max will be able to top this extraordinary achievement. What a challenge!!! Here comes the answer...

I am leaving the cathedral and heading towards the coastal panoramas to experience another fascinating odyssey, a journey of exploring all the natural wonders of the spectacular underwater world. Disc one starts and "Nest Of Tempests" invades. Quietly floating and expanding washes are unfolded and interact with more intense phases, but always gorgeously gracious!!! "Surface Thought" gets more grandiose and cascades through wealthy dramatic and slightly dissonant passages. "Web Of Eyes" dives to lower droney depths, where the sunlight can no longer penetrate, but these shadowy realms are magnificently illuminated by bioluminescent species. "Offshore Currents" hold its eerie, quite mysterious touch, emphasized by assorted distant swirls and disruptive fragments. All evoking an adventurous exploration of shipwreck laying at the bottom of the ocean. With the next, shorter transitional composition, "A Place Of Discovery", we are leaving underwater shipwreck cemetery and gently floating towards quieter territories of "The Endless Flame". Soothingly floating and ebbing, but immensely spreading soundscapes could easily accompany the cruising majestic giant oceanic manta rays, precisely portraying their gracefully gliding moves through the deepwater zones. Gorgeous!!! Seascapes on "Tidal Memory" are throughout flavored by assorted sonic outbursts, buzzes and other fragments. The closing "Towards The Bottomless Sea" is the longest piece on this set reaching 29 and a half minute mark. Its soothing washes are meandering through the most sublime faint depths, where only limited sunlight penetrates and continuously submerging into the darker zone, only interrupted by the bizarre light spectacle produced by the creatures themselves. The track title precisely fits the atmosphere and glowing aquatic experience is awaiting!!!

Disc two reveal with "Dive In", shorter intro, setting the mood for another intensifying underwater exhibition. Slightly more dramatic when comparing to the finale of the first part. "Shoreless Ocean" spreads promptly into gracefully serene dimensions, smoothly cascading and surrounded by few dissonant noises, squeaks and tinkling swirls. "Awaken Inside" starts and the Spanish magician of the pure atmospherics is excelling. Ultra tranquil, but more massive soundwaves are flowing, expanding and unfolding into the most spectacular and majestic underwater sceneries. We are swimming through the crystal clear water above a pristine and lushly colored coral gardens, this must be one of the few undisturbed places that have survived in its purest state of nature. Nearly 16 minutes of sheer atmospheric beauty, "Awaken Inside" is a Hall of Famer!!! But this graceful journey continues through "Deep Blue Home", slightly more dramatic textured composition, when some sharks cruising over the sand bottom can be witnessed too. "Islandless Expanse" remains in the sand covered seabed, graciously voyaging along the sunlight illuminating the tranquil sea depths. The closing composition "Deeper Into The Ocean" is again a longer one, clocking over 24 minutes. Quietly floating, less massive drifts invade, here and there submerging into more intense and monumental layers, into the dark zone. Low, rumbling drones enter this shadowy zone for the closing third. A grand finale is here and the listener is taken into inhospitable living conditions, down to the bottom levels of the oceanic abyssal realm. Grandioso, Max Corbacho at his most immense abysscaping!!! Are these monstrously humming sounds some ghostly voices? I think it's the ocean that speaks to me...

"The Ocean Inside" achieves the same stellar dimension as "Ars Lucis", no question about that, it's as much colossal and graceful, and even if it doesn't break any new ground, it's enormously sophisticated and brilliantly polished with masterfully demonstrated interaction to this utterly fascinating environment. Bravissimo, Mad Max!!! A must have for all connoisseurs of pure atmospheric seascaping reveries!!!

Richard Gürtler (Feb 10, 2013, Bratislava, Slovakia)

99


Resonant Drift "Full Circle" CD

California based duo Resonant Drift, driven by Bill Olien and Gary Johnson, returns with brand new, long awaited work entitled "Full Circle", self-released at the end of 2012 as their 6th album. Wow, the first impression is absolutely striking as the CD is packaged in beautifully designed 6-panel digipak, all artwork by Stew Ivester. Very nice job, so the first extra points must be awarded immediately!!! But "Emerging Currents" massively invade my listening room and the journey unfolds into magnificently immense and expansive wide-screen drone panoramas, flowing and ebbing, utterly warm and tranquil, hauntingly enriched by forest recordings. Sonic enhancements are provided by no one else than The Great Master. Pure magic!!! The next track, "Mists Have Risen", is slightly less scenic, but more intensely meandering, before reaching its peak and then serenely fading out. Bill Olien and Gary Johnson are on this shorter piece again assisted by Steve Roach. "Aurora Breaking" attracts with warmly pleasant and spacious, nearly cinematic washes, nicely flavored with various distant sonic fragments. "And Then The Rain" is leaded by ethereally panoramic drifts, serenely flowing and cascading through few rather intenser passages, throughout embellished with gentle tinkles and swirls. "Cross Communication" dives into darker and rougher terrains with low dronescapes interplaying with harsher corroded industrial noises and primordial rumbles. But still much more evocative than cacophonous. Bizarrely immersing trip!!! "Ocean Migration" returns swiftly into pure atmospheric realms, peacefully captivating and harmoniously emphasized by organic sounds of flowing water and bird chirps. "Soaring Over Elysian Fields", again with Steve Roach's appearance, masterfully blends moaning strings with massively resonating dronewalls tickling my ears, a definite sound check for my speakers too!!! The following number, with 10 minutes the longest piece, "Turning The Wheel Of Time" involve except Bill Olien and Gary Johnson also Steve Roach and Rod Ratelle as composers and both add their mastery (Steve Roach-looping deconstruction, Rod Ratelle-electric bass and electric upright bass) to this composition. It unwraps quite darkly, with some weird otherworldly drones, soon sluggish tribal percussions join the stage. Later the tribal part gets more lively along with the ever-changing, but ghostly wandering blend of strings. Another piece with truly unconventional approach!!! "Fading Memories" (with Steve Roach as additional composer) test your speakers once again, with heavier beats and swirling groovy pulses, all guarded and reinforced by highly evocative string escapades and hauntingly sonorous drones. Absolutely magnificent journey, a real masterpiece!!! Shorter and eerie "Dissolution" reveals breathtaking cavernous mysteries while the closing title track, "Full Circle" returns to beautifully reflective and amazingly cinematic, vast open landscapes. The "Full Circle" is completed!!! Yes, "Full Circle" looks and sounds quite green for this cold wintery season, but I took it with me while wandering through small snow capped forest yesterday and "Full Circle" was as much shimmering as the sunrays shinning through the branches of trees. Pure sonic and visual bliss!!! Last but not least, the mastering was executed by Steve Roach. Without doubt "Full Circle" is a magnum opus by Resonant Drift!!!

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

100
Independent Music Reviews / My review of "Fimbria" CDr by Landru
« on: January 20, 2013, 02:14:08 AM »


Landru "Fimbria" CDr

Landru is Patxi Hernández, one of driving forces behind Altera Orbe label, and "Fimbria" is his second solo ambient installment, released during September 2012. "Fimbria" comes as CDr edition packaged in elegant digipak. "Corrosion" unfolds the album and dives straightly into shadowy cavernous realms. Eerie, but richly organic-flavored ambience is melted with diverse distinguishing industrial and cybernetic fragments, some of them more harmonious while some others more discordant, with 12 minutes the longest composition on "Fimbria". "Substantia Nigra" keeps its synergetic path melting darkly spiraling pads, sparse future-tech elements with the sounds of flowing water. "Echoes" remain in subterranean domains, but comprise a quite hymnic drone. "The Passage", as its title suggests, is a shorter transitional number, where frightening zones are merged with otherworldly voice-like sounds and swirling effects, quite unique piece. "Cosmic Strings" bridge deep drones with various sharp dissonances and low primal rumbles. Again remaining rather sparse and weird, but strongly effective. "Miñaco" attracts with its semi-rhythmed cyberscape, sculpted with razor sharp whip sound effects and distant rumbles and winds. It gets closer to cybernetic-flavored first album "Neurotransmitters". And this future-tech sound can be explored also through "Amalgam", a composition of hazed, but vibrant technoscape crossed with cyber noises. However, "Katabatic Wind" quickly soars to wondrous primordial worlds with graciously floating and pleasantly soothing dreamscapes. A truly immersing composition, which grows on me with every repeated listen. The title composition "Fimbria" unfolds with the interplay of denser, high-tech soundscapes and water sound effects, but later cascades into hypnotically coiling and mid-paced, pulsing grooves. Electrifying cyber-tech escapade!!! "The Last Quelonid" integrates again various future-tech effects, rumbles and relaxing nature sounds, surrounded by immense sacral washes with ethereal choir-like essence. "Melted Stone" opens with deeply absorbing atmozones enriched sparkling noises, but the journey is soon stolen by spiraling, crystalline electro pulses, which transform this composition into steadily living and breathing trajectory, masterfully backed by mesmerizingly flowing water soundscapes. Absolutely brilliant finale!!! "Fimbria" is another freshly vital, adventurously sculpted and hauntingly distinctive work by this potential Spaniard, who is not afraid of searching his own pathway. And by the time I am completing these lines, a brand new album "Scotoma" has been released on Altera Orbe, so I really look forward to more exciting endeavors from Landru!!!

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

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