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Messages - richardgurtler

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21
Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Sean Washburn - Wave mantra
« on: January 11, 2015, 02:55:09 AM »
I just have found this news (announced yesterday) on FB page of swedish gterma label run by Johan Rehn, who is responsible for many wonderful releases on his label since 2011.

[gterma043] : Sean Washburn - Wave Mantra (forthcoming)

We step into the year of 2015 with a retrospective look on an album that has since become quite scarce in the marketplace. Wave Mantra was originally released by Sean himself on this very day, fifteen years ago. It is best described as a sonic journey through an enigmatic and absorbing soundworld with a very rich organic flavour. A beautiful tale that we are very happy to see back in print again. This reissue has, like so many other gterma titles, also been gently remastered by Anders Peterson.

Tracklist:

1. To Thee Homage
2. Hemlock Grotto
3. Cirrus
4. Trans-World India
5. Welcome
6. Inner Gate
7. Low Barometer
8. Between The Heartbeats
9. A Sacred Voice - Cloud Tree



Here is the link to gterma, although "Wave Mantra" CD is not listed there yet. All gterma releases are usually available via Discogs or through direct e-mail contact with Johan.

http://gterma.blogspot.com/
http://www.discogs.com/label/257901-gterma

All the best!!! :)

Richard

22


Neu Gestalt "Inside The Rain Chamber" CD

The sole protagonist behind Neu Gestalt, in Edinburgh, Scotland based ambient downtempo sound wizard Les Scott has released his 3rd album "Inside The Rain Chamber" on domiciliar, Paul Croan's label Alex Tronic Records, just like his previous two albums "Altered Carbon" (2008) and "Weightless Hours" (2012). Out since December 5th, 2014, and packaged in catchy 6-panel digipak designed by Neu[e] (aka Les Scott) with additional front cover and disc photographs by Natashah Azim. The mastering duties were handled, as usual, by Paul Croan.

Known for his quite unconventional high-tech sculpting alchemy, Les Scott again brings to his listeners a truly energetic, crystalline polished synthesis of pulses, glitches, break-ups, voice-like fragments (evoking Japanese words) and haunting melodies with nostalgic reminiscences. Comprised of 12 tracks, mostly clocking between 4 and 5 minutes, the album opens with "Voyager" that immediately sets the feel for the upcoming 52-minute trip. Hissy reflections, cyber-tech rhythms, broken Japanese female wordless fragrances, all texturally rich, strongly polished and uniquely interwoven. Slightly lazier, downtempos dominate "Sagarmatha Before Falling", yet abundantly undulating with attractive piano-like evocations. "Capsule" again focuses more on voice-like fragments, which are juxtaposed with sharper, synthetic pulses and swirls. A truly magnetic mixture. And that's the case of the following piece too, "Luminance". Based on bouncing rhythms, amply flavored with assorted glitches and hisses. The next piece, "Landing Lights", precisely bridges slightly distorted beats, enchanting backgrounds, although rather scattered and female voice scraps, this time sounding almost earthy. "Islands" shift straightly into soothingly poignant terrains, gorgeously organic and cinematically embracing. Very refreshing!!! "Neon East" quickly returns into ear-tickling passages, hypnotically whirling with occasional piano wistfulness sneaking in. Slower tempos on "Hidden Leaves" are hauntingly melted with signature voice fragments and distortive outbursting subtleties. "Tokyo Tipping Point" is strangely fragmented and nuanced, yet surprisingly enchanting and euphonious. "Twilight Of Tears" is fragile, hazy, enigmatic, exotic, dubby... Definitely one of the highlights on this ride. "A Year Without Sun" shifts into a deep cyber-biotic realms while the closing "Weightlessness" mesmerizes the listeners with its delicately pulsing, blipping and tinkling texture.

Musically and aurally again a very strong and distinguishing work by this Scotsman, but that's quite obvious for Neu Gestalt since "Altered Carbon" and "Weightless Hours" albums. Regarding to this, I should also mention that the main sound source used on this recording are two shakuhachi flutes, but these sounds have underwent lots of processing, so I wouldn't recognize them without seeing them among used instruments or mentioned them in the creative process of carving the album. Although I might prefer more variability this time, even if all details are enough diversified in each track, to me, the overall feel is a bit repetitive throughout. Few extra hooks in the vein of brilliant "Twilight Of Tears", "Islands" or "Sagarmatha Before Falling" would certainly more reinvigorate the album on the long run. Maybe it's the case of generated vocal sounds, maybe I would appreciate more drifting glimpses across. Nevertheless, "Inside The Rain Chamber" album is a must-have for each connoisseur of peculiarly crafted downtempo cybertronica!!!

Richard Gürtler (Jan 05, 2015, Bratislava, Slovakia)

23
Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: January 08, 2015, 09:08:52 AM »
In addition to the new Alio Die on Projekt, there's also a new Steve Roach/Byron Metcalf.  I dunno, is it just me or does Metcalf's drumming sound like someone pounding on the hood of a car?

I love it!!! I have heard only two tracks so far from "Monuments of Ecstasy", the title track is absolute milestone, these guys have pushed the limits once again. Bravo Byron, Steve & Rob!!! Can't wait to explore the CD!!!

And Chris, don't miss 2CDr set "The Time Collection" by Altus, released yesterday in limited edition of 40 copies. A true sonic Eden awaits here too!!!

All the best!!!  ;)

Richard

25


The Circular Ruins "Full Circle" CDr

Two years have passed since the previous solo TCR release "The Birth of Tragedy", but in the meantime Anthony Paul Kerby (APK) has been quite busy collaborating with Specta Ciera and Mystified, as well as with his Lammergeyer project and also focusing on his co-works with Robert Davies (as The Winterhouse), and Tomas Weiss. The brand new album "Full Circle", released at the beginning of November 2014 in the usual slim poly case packaging, also introduces a new design concept realized by the artist himself. Full wrap-around insert printed on both sides looks again very elegant, so no wonder the previous design, which featured photographs by Angela Weiser and paintings by Robert Davies, became DataObscura's hallmark. Nice job!!!

The album unfolds with the 10:30 title track, "Full Circle". Serenely meandering primal drifts are permeated with fragile transparent glitches, tickling the listener's ears, while a nostalgic melody placidly floats throughout along with reverberating layer and soothing tinkles. An array of additional sonic accompaniments keep emerging and fading away, always in a very gentle way, which makes headphone listening a truly rewarding exploration. Gorgeously embracing opening!!! Short "Protozoan" remains safely on the tranquil path, although led by mildly pulsing euphoria. The next piece, "All Your Questions", hangs on joyful tracks with its richly tinkling structure, yet always warmly refreshing and engulfing. "Slipstream" incorporates repetitive and progressing rhythm surrounded by evolving crescendos, which transmute occasionally into lushly colored escapades of bouncing pitched bleep-like sounds. Again with each detail precisely polished. "Hall Of Mirrors" returns to delicate glitchy terrains bridged with stunningly gorgeous poetic horizons, utterly warm and longing expansive drone beds, joyous melodic patterns enthrallingly percolated across, silently emerging nuances, all meticulously coalesced together into a blissfully harmonious and immersing sonic Eden that can only be The Circular Ruins. Hats off!!! Brief "Sublimation" floats on the immense retrospective clouds of its predecessor, while the longest, 11-minute "The End Of Everything" shifts into richly organic realms, distinctively intensified with trumpet-like infusions, sparse flimsy tinkles and continuously perceptible hissy wistfulness. "Delayed Gratification" resurrects euphoniously spacious landscapes, magnificently grandiose and soothing, which are inconspicuously intermingled with the vague clickety-clack of machinery-like sounds. "In Memorium" dives straightly into breathtakingly infinite and sorrowful choir-infused drone expansions, masterfully conjugated with miscellaneous biotic grumbles and ear-warming chimes. Definitely a gracefully embracing conclusion awaits here!!!

Nine individual chapters generating totally exquisite "Full Circle"!!! I can't help it, but I have always been deeply fascinated by APK's ability and sense to precisely insert all kinds of highly sophisticated embellishments into his soundscapes, without being too disruptive or too fragmented. Every time a true sonic elixir unfolds when taking active listening involvement with your headphones on. Top-notch sound quality "Full Circle" is again no exception, your deeply focused attention is required and even if my following words might sound cliché, this album must be labeled as a magnum opus of The Circular Ruins. Thus my nomination for "The Best of 2014" Award is quite obvious in this case. Bravo, Anthony, this is a true virtuoso performance!!! And thus "Full Circle" album is another shining pearl in the already admired body of work of this proficient Anglo-Canadian soundcarver!!!

Richard Gürtler (Dec 28, 2014, Bratislava, Slovakia)

26
Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: January 02, 2015, 07:34:54 AM »
Wow Chris, we agree completely on the new Aglaia.  I ordered the Opacity CD from Projekt only as Nebula sounded a little too experimental.  I used a gift card to later purchase Nebula, and on close inspection it's excellent and now I wish I'd ordered both CDs. ;D

Wow, Chris & Chris, I agree with both of you!!! Exploring "Primeval Nebula" and "Intangible Opacity" during today, another utterly distinctive sound magic by Gino Fioravanti is delivered!!! And as mentioned by Stefano/HSL, another two Aglaia CDs are scheduled for 2015, so get your wallets ready... ;)

All the best for 2015!!!

Richard

27


Amongst Myselves "The Past Is Another Country" CDr

Behind this Australian project, based in Blackwood, suburb of Adelaide, is hidden Steve Roberts, who is releasing his soundworlds since 2001. "The Past Is Another Country" is his 7th full length album, which was self-released in the middle of October 2014 as a standard jewel case edition with 4-panel front insert and transparent tray. The seven tracks for this album were created between March 2011 and April 2014, and as usual for latest releases of Amongst Myselves, the cover images are quite sparse and abstract.

The 6-minute starter and title track "The Past Is Another Country" tranquilly drifts and meanders into gorgeously expansive panoramas reinforced by strongly embracing cinematic crescendos with deeply introspective drone surges. Lush environmental sounds diffuse toward the end and carry the fading drone blankets into the infinite serenity. A very nice, refreshing intro!!! The following cut, "Dark Places, Winter Shadows", clocks over 11 minutes and dives straightly, as displayed by its title, into shadowy terrains, although leaded at the very beginning by some chirping birds. It's precisely spiced by assorted glitchy infusions, phantasmal choirs, voice transmissions and other weird fragments, at times quite mind-bendingly transporting, and eerie rumbles, all mysteriously echoed. A truly significant departure from the longing sceneries of the opening composition. But still a very strong one!!! "He Who Bathes In The Black Sun" remains, no surprisingly, in heavier, perplexing terrains, sculpted with undulating dronescaping spirals, which are bridged with occasional urban noises and vague industrial machineries. Slowly reaching shadowy climax, before relievedly vanishing into the void. "Cave Of The Swimmers" is by far more cacophonous, with all its hummed winds, noisy fragments, piercing outbursts, weird rumbles, bleeps and chitters, yet at some stages rather minimal, but certainly unsettlingly engrossing soundcollage. And obviously quite nuts driving when reaching the dark unfathomed sceneries with your headphones on. "The Day The Crickets Listened" sounds definitely relieving, the light quietly penetrates through the obscure realms and the listener mostly explores hauntingly embracing friction of ear-tickling electric stringed escapades and poetic images of acoustic riffs. Uniquely sculpted and stunningly evocative composition, certainly one of the highlights of this album, bravo!!! "Campfires Of The Night Sky" attracts immediately with its serenely expansive mixture of heavenly drifts, beautifully waving, and warmly flickering guitar subtleties with other delightful shatters discreetly thrown in. Thus a truly magical sonic elixir is delivered here by Amongst Myselves!!! Nearly 13-minute "In My Depths, All Treasure Dwells" closes the journey with magnificently graceful drone, augmented by spellbinding hums, monumental culminations and glistening tinkles. The circle has closed, a very gratifying and intense finale indeed!!!

The album might sound a bit fragmented during the first explorations, but repeated, deeply attentive listening sessions reveal all the beauty of these distinctive soundsculptings, which are always glowing and adventurous with lots of hidden, precisely detailed sonic wonders. Actually much more compact than I have ever imagined and even if presented as rather darkly infused ambience, to me, "The Past Is Another Country" album tightly hangs in the enigmatic fissures between ambient and dark ambient terrains. A strongly challenging recording by this Aussie, which definitely deserves to be fully explored and experienced!!! The album is dedicated to the iconic German sound experimenter Conrad Schnitzler. Well accomplished, Steve Roberts/Amongst Myselves!!!

Richard Gürtler (Dec 27, 2014, Bratislava, Slovakia)

28
Everything and Nothing / Christmas greetings!!!
« on: December 24, 2014, 05:38:12 AM »
I am wishing to everyone at Hypnos Forum a wonderful holiday season and a prosperous new year!!!

With friendly greetings, Richard :)


29
oh oh......... in that case might have to look at pre ordering this at one of the European outlets then, or Projekt (mega postage to the UK ) Certainly do not want to miss out on the disc.

Bad time of year financially to HAVE to be feeding the ambient and music addiction !!

You can always order directly from Stefano/Alio Die/Hic Sunt Leones. He has now available for order one solo Alio Die CD, two collaboration CDs (Parallel Worlds, Lorenzo Montana), his side project Five Thousand Spirits CD (with Raffaele Serra), two new CDs by Aglaia plus new CD by Enten Hitti. Lots of great stuff!!! mp3 excerpts are available on his Alio Die website. If you need his e-mail, just drop me a line.

http://www.aliodie.com/index.php?_w=1&__fidSez=2&cnt=&_l=1
http://www.aliodie.com/index.php?_w=1&__fidSez=3&cnt=&_l=1

All the best!!!

Richard

30


Steve Brand "The Space Between" CDr

US soundscaper and one of the Relaxed Machinery recording aces Steve Brand has released during the last three years several phenomenal albums, which include "Over-soul", "The Great Hoop", "Subtle Movements Inside" or his 2014 collaborative recording "Meltstream" with Roy Mattson. So no wonder my expectations are again really high. Just the same as with "Meltstream", the pro CDr album comes again in a very attractive 4-panel digipak (images and design by Steve Brand). According to the album's liner notes, Steve was working on initial tracks for this album since early 2011 and as far I remember, this album was originally scheduled to be released on Kristian Kotarac's renowned Nextera label (the home of many exceptional Oophoi, Klaus Wiese, Mathias Grassow... CDs). Unfortunately, this never happened due to Kristian's unexpected death at the end of February 2013. Thus life events with personal loses and changes are deeply reflected in "The Space Between", which was released at the beginning of October 2014 on Relaxed Machinery.

The album consists of four lengthier tracks, all clocking between 15 and 20 minutes. "A Thousand Little Wounds" unveils the journey with unfathomable dronescaping, powerfully immersing and drifting through magnificently nuanced sceneries, masterfully permeated with dramatically massive tensions and transcendentally culminating, ear-piercing dissonances. An array of contemplative tinkles occasionally sneaks in to diminish the magmatic flow of mammoth soundwalls. Credited as guest on this drone tour de force is Peter James for his bass craftiness. Stunningly transporting odyssey awaits here, join in!!! The next composition, poetically entitled "Quiet Moments In The Garden With You", slightly softens the overall tensity, where faint movements, quietly meandering, are hauntingly counterpointed with piano subtleties and sporadic reverberating crescendos. Nocturnal symphony of crickets awakes and inconspicuously percolates for utterly tranquil and warmly embracing conclusion. Another absolutely brilliant piece!!! Enigmatic choirs and abysmal drones announce "Inches From Eternity". Industrial-like rumbles and squeaks quickly invade, undulate and tickle the ears of the listener, while splendidly surrounded by immensely desolated landscapes and bridged with expanding introspective stillness. Spectacular soundsculpting alchemy continues and a fully transcendental listening delight is again achieved. Bravo, Maestro!!! "Viewing Effortless Beauty", the longest track, wraps up this aural magic with distant choir-like drones, rather sparser, but graciously drifting and exquisitely merged with high-pitched eerie disturbances, yet amazingly earwarming throughout the first half. The second part slowly expands into more massive vistas filled with increasing tumultuousness and poignantly contrasted with evocative flute calls, spreading across the arid canyon or perhaps over the ancient Cahokia Mounds. The closing two minutes fade away into encircling quietude...

"The Space Between" is another monstrous accomplishment in the glowing discography of Steve Brand and obviously one of the pinnacles of 2014, where is already nominated above mentioned "Meltstream" collaboration. Once again, this newest album confirms and strengthens the eminence of Steve Brand as one of the leading forces on the drone ambient scene nowadays. And another must-have release from the Relaxed Machinery kindred souls!!! With deep respect to all those "The Space Between" is dedicated to!!!

Richard Gürtler (Nov 29, 2014, Bratislava, Slovakia)

31
Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: November 22, 2014, 07:46:03 AM »
Steve Roach & friends - The Ambient Expanse

Is it just me or is The Eternal Expanse one of Roach' very finest pieces? It's sublime. I've been listening to it all day.

Agree, the whole collection is absolutely impressive. Grant Mackay did great job with Mirage label, it's a pity it lasted for only 4 years.

Richard

32
"Full Circle" is stunningly flavored, detailed and polished, with headphones on a true aural bliss is guaranteed!!! One of the highlights of 2014, congratulations Anthony!!!

Richard  :)

33
Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: November 15, 2014, 04:28:03 PM »
Steve Roach & friends - The Ambient Expanse
Steve Roach & Vir Unis - Blood Machine

Gotta love these... Does anyone know whatever happened to the Blood Machine re-release that was supposed to come out on Atmoworks??

Well, I believe it has something to do with the copyrights.  And also the original CD by Green House Music is still available through Steve's webshop for 10,00 USD. That's a steal for such groundbreaking album, definitely a milestone!!!

Richard

34
Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: November 15, 2014, 09:24:29 AM »

Bubble - i,ii,iii, Features of Spheres, and █   Really wonderful ambient.

Great choice!!!

Richard  ;)

35
Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: November 15, 2014, 09:21:22 AM »
Robert Rich - Nest beautiful music, album cover and digi pack this. Amazon UK were wanting £27  quid for this as an import when I looked there, that's $42.31. Price has been "slashed" now but good grief ! Usually good prices there. Got it from one of their partners for considerably less. Just noticed the other thread about this album, tracks 3-5, and have to say not noticed any of this other "noise" mentioned. I have been listening mainly in my home office where there is other ambient noise, so will have to check it out on the main hifi.

Why not ordering directly from Robert? "Nest" CD costs 12,00 USD plus shipping at his webshop, autograph available on request even personalized, always careful packaging, direct support of the artist... Even with overseas shipping it will be much cheaper, totally not more than 25,00 USD. And with multiple CD order, the shipping cost per each CD drops quickly. Much better to support the artist, than some seller on Amazon UK... Sorry, can't imagine easier and better way.

Richard  ;)

36
Independent Music Reviews / My review of "Hymns" CDr by Aglaia
« on: November 09, 2014, 11:51:52 AM »


Aglaia "Hymns" CDr

Aglaia, an Italian ambient duo extraordinaire, leaded by composer virtuoso Gino Fioravanti and backed by editing mastermind Gianluigi Toso, has released this CDr album as a special item on Stefano Musso's Hic Sunt Leones label in December 2013. The album was recorded between August 2010 and September 2011. As usual for all these releases, each CDr is packaged in a 6-panel digipak, hand-made by Sara Luciani, and it's limited to 99 copies. So far, 8 various titles were released this way, among them also Aglaia's live recording "Out Of The Way" CDr from February 2012. Other artists or collaborations featured in these art editions involve Robert Davies, Nacht Plank, Luciano Daini, Zeit, Alio Die & Zeit and Memory Geist. "Hymns" visual credits include Lu (photography) and Hic Sunt Leones (artwork). Thus the visual bliss is immediately guaranteed, while the aural paradise is entered shortly.

The album unfolds with "The Flow Of Time", a gorgeously hypnotic dreamscape hazed by intangible tinkles and guarded by peculiarly sounding processed voices. These voices have strongly elusive quality, I am unable to understand to them, somewhere between organic sci-fi and phantasmal perplexity, but the overall feel of this soundsculpture is incredibly distinguishing and stunningly mindscaping, otherworldly nuanced, yet fascinatingly euphonious and high-spirited. Timeless soundmagic of Aglaia is back!!! "Nymphs" invade enthralling sunlight forest sceneries, catchy rumbles float throughout along with blossoming traceries and earmarking mesmeric euphoria that can be only Aglaia. And all exquisitely counterpointed with an array of piercing and ear-tickling voice fragments. Join this journey, a truly transcendental listening experience awaits here!!! "Full Moon Lepidopter", with 10 minutes the longest "Hymn", takes the voice sculpting into a newer level, where it becomes a new instrument and an essential complement for spirally undulating nocturnal symphony. "Memorabilia" shifts through soothingly floating transitions into graciously expansive realms augmented by ethereal voice relics. A deeply reminiscent and contemplative walk!!! "Morning Star" remains on the path, when painting subtly repetitive helixes, again mesmerizingly embracing. "Owl Light" is carried by magnificently mind-bending voices and spellbindingly oscillating drone expansions. The next piece, "Holy Relics", unveils with absolutely warm and tranquilly evocative, lushly organic texture. Shimmeringly enigmatic, yet balmily scenic!!! "Pranava" ceases the album with deeply subterranean ride melting insistent drone hums with oddly apparitional voices and groans. Astoundingly weird, mind-blowing conclusion!!!

Both protagonists of Aglaia make sure on "Hymns" to take the listener a way beyond the borders of his/her most bizarre expectations. But what it's the most exceptional on these adventures, the journey will always be enough earthy and always filled with fabulous insignias of these Italian sound sorcerers. And now on "Hymns" with the bonus voice treatments that transport Aglaia even further. Magnifico, Gino & Gianluigi, bravo to all other contributors!!! Don't know Aglaia yet? Keep in mind, there is no excuse for that!!!

Richard Gürtler (Nov 09, 2014, Bratislava, Slovakia)

37
Really looking forward to "Full Circle", Anthony!!! :)

Richard

38
Independent Music Reviews / My review of "A Soft Circle" CD by John Sobocan
« on: November 05, 2014, 10:23:42 AM »


John Sobocan "A Soft Circle" CD

Although I am quite familiar with The Ambient Ping community, which is mostly based in Toronto, I can't remember crossing the name of John Sobocan. It seems like this Torontonian soundscaper, with family origins in Slovenia, prefers to work rather surreptitiously. So when his album, "A Soft Circle", was released on Dutch label Databloem at the end of 2012, I didn't pay enough attention to it. And that was a quite big mistake on my side!!! Fortunately, about one and half year later I was able to correct my fault and explore this little gem, thanks a lot to Dennis/Databloem for the second chance!!! Well, I also must reveal that John Sobocan is most likely better known under his artistic moniker Bubble, but no matter if John Sobocan or Bubble, his soothingly embracing soundscapes deserve to be explored!!! As usual for Databloem's uniformed cover design and packaging strategy, Theo Rabou makes sure to deliver his visual artistry.

7-minute "Free" unfolds the journey with enigmatically meandering and reverberating soundscape, reinforced by some sparse and gentle cyber-tech subtleties and intangible oscillations. Magnificently mindscaping opening!!! "A Castle", announced by ethereal choir-like drone, keeps on mysterious path, again masterfully sculpted with mesmerizingly resonant, yet exquisitely transporting layers. Serenely gliding through hauntingly expressive minimalism, what a grace!!! "Silence" invades with its richly organic texture, chirping, hissing, grumbling, encircling, immersing, tranquilizing!!! Poetically entitled "Leaves On A Forest Floor" safely remains in this nocturnal paradise, where ear-tickling environments meticulously amalgamate with enchanting drone wizardry and rumbling distant thunderstorm. Warmly diminishing nuances toward the end bring this composition into utterly gorgeous quietude. And that's where the next piece, "A Path", continues. Gracefully drifting into serenely surrounding organic stillness. And the sounds of, I believe, knocking woodpecker just fit marvelously. An ultimate sonic elixir!!! "Enoch" merges tastefully trumpet-like groans with acoustic strings, piano fragments, drones and hazy tinkles. Warmly wistful and expansively balsamic!!! "Ohms" quietly returns into reverberating drone terrains, enriched by assorted traceries, some more lighter, velvety, some others swirly dissonant. A quite mind-blowing track. The next piece, "Secret Giants", is more tight and eclectic, with some ghostly voices guarding above and continuously permeated with strangely undulating hissy harshness. "A Boat", the longest piece clocking to nearly 8 minutes, shifts back into amply flavored environments. An array of calmly luminous tinkles is fastidiously coalesced with lush natural sounds, sibilant consonances and all wrapped by poignantly yearning blankets. Shorter "Rove", although sounding slightly tumultuous, dwells in terrains abundant in natural beauty and wildlife. Brief, but spellbindingly absorbing and delicately incongruous!!! "Orange Sky And The Mountain" stays on freshly colored trails, while straying through spectacular traverses and exploring contemplative vistas. The closing composition, "Garden", invites the listener to experience the peace and tranquility of the landscape that can be easily a Japanese garden for example. Led by the play of crystalline clinks and field recordings and backed by vague gong-like sounds. Captivating aural symmetry and balmy, deeply meditative conclusion!!!

John Sobocan is a very crafted soundcarver, who offers through "A Soft Circle" album nearly 70 minutes long collection of enchantingly transporting sonic reveries, which will gently surround you not only during your relaxation, but also during your deep listening sessions with your headphones on. Huge amount of richly rewarding details awaits, no matter if soothingly unobtrusive or intriguingly transcendent. John Sobocan is definitely a very nice revelation for my ears!!! Not to forget, album credits include also three guest musicians with not specified roles, Bonnie Blue, Gretchen Hewitt and Ted Moniak. Kudos also to Dennis Knopper of Databloem for releasing this album!!! Most recently, newest "OI" CD by Bubble is out since September 2014 in limited edition on Carpe Sonum Records. And besides that, Bubble has available a fairly extensive digital discography on Bandcamp. So I strongly recommend you to keep an eye and ear on this gifted guy, it's worth your effort!!!

Richard Gürtler (Nov 02, 2014, Bratislava, Slovakia)

39
Thanks a lot, Joe, I really appreciate your kind words!!!

With friendly greetings, Richard  :)

40
Independent Music Reviews / My review of "Farshadow" CD by Within Reason
« on: October 27, 2014, 10:17:18 AM »


Within Reason "Farshadow" CD

"Farshadow" is fourth album by Within Reason (including "Substrate: Collected Elements") and third released on Darren Bergstein's Anodize/Periphery labels. Driven by its sole protagonist, Gregory Kyryluk, the man behind Alpha Wave Movements and now inactive Open Canvas. "Farshadow" was released in the middle of June 2014 in limited edition of, as far I remember, 100 copies. As usual for the latest Anodize releases, the CD is packaged in hinged rectangular tin with window displaying the CD, while the credits sticker is on the back panel. I have been reviewing "Subtle Shift" as well as "Transient Broadcasts" and both albums were absolutely masterful, so let's dive deeply into "Farshadow" now!!!

Nearly 10-minute long title track "Farshadow" unfolds the journey with hauntingly enigmatic drifts, smoothly evolving into mesmerizingly spiraling auralscape fastidiously reinforced by ear-tickling high-tech pulses and fragments. Invading beats keep on striking until the transmutation into vibrantly pounding escapade is fully accomplished. Wow, Within Reason rules once again, this is electronica cybernetica at its most transcendental!!! The next piece, "Gossamer Mechanics", is the shortest one with clocking to nearly 7-minute mark. It safely keeps on the cyber-tech path, yet this time much more relieving and earthy, incorporating crystalline grooves, buoyant tribals, organic traceries and all meticulously surrounded by utterly gorgeous, luminously spellbinding melodies. Sonic bravura continues throughout!!! "Pacifica" swiftly shifts into highly spectacular realms, bridging hyper-modern trancescaping soundfields with electrifyingly chillout rhythms, while voice transmissions, cyber biotics and even some didge groans emerge here and there. This is almost inexpressible, pure sonic bliss or call it whatever you want, maybe even a nominee for Composition of the Year Award. I take off my virtual hat to you, Gregory!!! "Port Of Call" remains in hypnotic terrains with droning nostalgia, enriched by spikier elements, rather less vigorous and more insistent, although later the track elevates into fully pulsing vortex wrapped by some wistful blankets. A quite peculiar soundcarving, but to be true, it's not easy now to compete with phenomenal tracks like "Pacifica" or "Farshadow". "Shizen" is occupied by arctic drones, slowly growing into more dramatic scenarios. Distant heartbeat permeates, shortly joined by industrialized rhythms and hissy sheets. The overall soundwall becomes utterly monumental, the gates are unlocked and the listener is confronted with stunningly expansive horizons filled with breathtaking intensity. A true epic tour de force performance!!! The closing track, "Shores Of Symmetry", opens with sibilant drones, but then follows chameleonic metamorphose into gently pulsing texture, steadily mesmerizing with tricky nuances thrown in.

"Farshadow" is according to my ears a magnum opus by Within Reason, thrillingly flavored, exuberantly detailed and intricately manifold, but amazingly compact and balanced. And as always for this ambient icon, polished to pristine perfection. Unfortunately, this Anodize CD edition is sold out already, but a re-release on pro CDr is available on Gregory Kyryluk's Harmonic Resonance Recordings with different artwork packaged in a standard jewel case. So don't let this gem to slip under your radar!!!

Richard Gürtler (Oct 27, 2014, Bratislava, Slovakia)

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