« on: September 23, 2014, 10:16:37 AM »
Robert Davies "What The Moon Reveals" CDr
A strong connection between Robert Davies and DataObscura leads to another exceptional release, soothingly entitled "What The Moon Reveals", released July 18th, 2014. As his 13th solo installment for DataObscura, the album immediately strikes us with its gorgeous cover art, created by Robert himself, who is also a gifted collage & paint visual artist. Both the title and artwork us invite to explore truly magnificent nocturnal vistas. So let's dive deeply into Robert's soundsculptings.
The opening soundscape, nearly 7 minutes long, "Beneath Lichened Branches", sounds exactly as it's titled. Lush nightly chirps mingle placidly with monochromatic encircling blankets of sound. Delicate dissonances continuously emerge throughout and travel across the ears of the attentive listener. No wonder full immersion is promptly achieved. Slightly longer, "Ash Tree Shade" safely rides on these hauntingly mindscaping paths with ominously oscillating washes, while an array of gentle buzzes and swirls is constantly counterpointed with precisely placed audible performances of forest inhabitants. Always revealing gorgeous harmony and a fascinating tranquility!!! The shorter "Moss Dappled Path" moves into spookier terrains, partially illuminated with lightly tinkling cascades and resurfacing nocturnal chirps. But peculiarly eerie ingredients are safely riding atop. Awesomely transcendental!!! "Of Mouldering Stone" employs rather monotonous, but quite intense and deeply mesmerizing drone pierced by hissy organics. Phantasmal sceneries keep on rising. The next piece, "Drifts Of Primrose", firmly holds its flatlined background, but the fore is stolen by poetically expressive piano patterns. A soothingly ethereal walk awaits this time!!! "Abandoned Fountain" immediately slips deeper into an ancient, forgotten drone realm, filled with perplexing undulations, while the sounds of gurgling water are echoed by the immense darkness of subterranean recess. "Of Thorns And Brambles", at 9 and a half minutes the longest track, leaves the cavernous world and heads into more gracious and expansive landscapes, with blossoming natural marvels, serenely nuanced, spiced with mysterious tinkles and again lushly embellished with location recordings. It sounds magnificent with headphones!!! "Evening's Dusky Glow" closes this nightly journey with enigmatically drifting and billowing drone texture, which is calmly permeated with longing smoothness and bridged with hypnotically humming noises. A very nice ending!!!
"What The Moon Reveals" is another strong album by Robert Davies, it doesn't reach the expansive intensity of "Arboreal" for example, but this wasn't the sculptor's intention. As usual for this in Ithaca, New York based soundscaper, the strength of this album lies in his constant ability to punctiliously amalgamate utterly embracing, at times deeply mindscaping and stirringly dissonant drone escapades with carefully selected and polished on-site recordings. All the time loaded with euphoniously rewarding subtleties!!! And by the way, scheduled for release on Databloem is Robert Davies' collaborative project with Canadian drone sculptor Blake Gibson aka Broken Harbour, so stay tuned!!!
Richard Gürtler (Sep 21, 2014, Bratislava, Slovakia)