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Messages - richardgurtler

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Hollan Holmes "The Farthest Fringes" CD

Exactly one year passed since the stunning debut CD "A Distant Light" of Texas based Hollan Holmes and the last days of 2011 brought to us another fascinating interstellar odyssey. Again accompanied by beautiful images on 6-panel eco wallet packaging, just the same eye-catching as with above album. "The Farthest Fringes" album is fired up with "Zero Point Energy", a truly graceful space ambience transporting the listener immediately into observing celestial objects. Skillfully enriched by small pulsing part and also incorporating assorted sonic outbursts that make from this composition absolutely blissful ride, most likely one of the best Hollan ever made, magnificent!!! "Timespace" shifts Hollan's star journeying into newer, more melodic level featuring less colossal sounds bridged with catchy sequenced downtempos. "Timespace" is freshly breathing and again painted by various, nicely fitting outer space effects. This uplifting voyage proceeds also on the next piece "The Great Unknown", where rotating sequenced melodies with floating washes are reminiscent of Berlin EM school. Slow-motion celestial dronescapes invade "Aeon" with all their gracefulness, with hints of more dramatic passages. It evokes realms of rare beauty, a star gazing at its most fascinating!!! But this exploration doesn't stop, because the next piece, "Outskirts", opens with expansive drifts that are soon spiced with highly attractive sharp sequences. This is absolutely gorgeous piece of music, definitely one of the highlights!!! Another strongly colorful and active texture follows with "The Sentinel", it's a kind of cinematic space symphony! The title track, "The Farthest Fringes" marks return to more static, beautifully monumental wall of washes enriched with slightly gradual tension. A really peaceful sound sculpting! "Earthshine" closes this wonderful odyssey with grandeur drifts evoking little bit of nostalgia. To tell you the truth, my first exploration of this CD came after two days of journeying with Steve Roach and his brilliant "Back To LIfe", so I wasn't sure what to expect, but I was captured immediately by the opening tones of "Zero Point Energy". "The Farthest Fringes" album excells at its refined craftiness and distinctive diversity, and it's another big one from this hidden talent!!! Not to forget, the mastering job was handled by Chad Kettering, another rising ambient star from Texas. Hollan Holmes is living his dream now!!!

Richard Gürtler (Jan 03, 2012, Bratislava, Slovakia)

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Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Richard Lainhart RIP
« on: January 02, 2012, 03:05:31 AM »
Thank you, Darren & Paul, for sharing with us your nice memories when working and meeting with Richard.

Sincere condolences for Richard's family and friends. Rest in peace and love, Richard!

Richard Gürtler

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Independent Music Reviews / My review of "Snowbound*" CD by Stormloop
« on: December 31, 2011, 10:22:37 AM »


Stormloop "Snowbound*" CD

In Leeds, UK, based sound journeyer Kevin Spence, who records as Stormloop, celebrates with "Snowbound*" his debut CD album. Released in November 2011 on Italian label Glacial Movements that covers glacial and isolationist ambient territory. Even if CD premiere for Stormloop, this project has already released another 12 download albums that are accompanied by gorgeous artworks/images created by Kevin Spence. As usual for all Glacial Movements releases, the first impression is always breathtaking due to stunning photographies of Bjarne Riesto and cover design by Keep Adding. Let's explore the sonics now. The opening composition "Snowbound" perfectly portrays the images of this release. I am writing these lines at the very last day of 2011, there is no snow outside yet here in Bratislava, Slovakia, but my listening room is immediately invaded by arctic snowscapes of Stormloop's intro melting graceful atmospheric ambience at its most coldest with distant, cyborg-like femme voice samples. During this 8-plus minutes long intro I am swiftly transported into these vast open and unknown, yet undiscovered white landscapes. Freezing deep drones of "Cold Winds" are enriched with flute-like sounds and various hisses and evoke quite mysterious feel, but always ice cold. Experimental windy drifs occupy the next piece, "A Blizzard", it's getting colder and colder, the snow is drifting and blowing. Nicely fitting track title! "A Calm Reflection" strikes with monstrously deep, ice wall of drones and opens the gates of great ice chasm to explore fascinating cavern. Shorter "Melt" brings to the fore fragile sounds of flowing water merged with celestial choir-like washes, pure tranquility, this time a bit warmer! Follows another shorter piece, "Dense Fog" that returns immediately into more monumental and reverberate dronescape territory. "Drifting-Decent" keeps on the shadowy route, but slightly lighter than its predecessor. It flows peacefully above immense arctic glaciers and plateaus. "Losing Sleep" is more uplifting with distant and repetitive trancey grooves. "Space Station J" is true to its name as it is invaded by aerial and tranquil soundwashes, enriched by distant and fragile mid-tempo strings and by occassional, darkened femme voices. "Cygnus" closes this magnificent voyage with deeply mysterious and minimal drifts with slowly breathing texture, this time colored with ghostly male voice samples. Grandiose outro!!! "Snowbound*" is highly absorbing and panoramic journey through spectacular vistas covered by snow and ice, a very strong CD debut by Stormloop!!! Please note, this album was recorded in longer time span, during the winters of 2005 and 2009 and there is bunch of tracks left that didn't make the final selection. All these extra tracks are now available as "Snowbound**-The Tracks Left In The Snow", download release, so act now!!!

Richard Gürtler (Dec 31, 2011, Bratislava, Slovakia)

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Forum Member Projects News and Promotion / Re: Oophoi & Paul Vnuk jr
« on: December 30, 2011, 05:32:10 PM »
Just got mine copy too, can't wait to fully dive into it during the coming days.

Richard

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Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Steve Roach 2012 Box Set
« on: December 30, 2011, 05:08:12 PM »
Quote
Finally ordered the box set the other day. Although I received a copy from a good friend, I cant wait to receive my box set. I have every album, video's from Steve. I have listened to Back to Life twice already. Groove just the first 15 minutes. Will get into groove tonight when I have more time to explore. Then off to Mojave desert New Years Day evening for some star gazing with Steve Roach & Tangerine Dream music in the background. Thats how I can really get into the sound currents without any interuptions. Too much distraction with the family at home. Chill.

Hi dreamin4ever!!! It sounds absolutely wonderful, enjoy your New Year's Day evening dreaming!!!

Richard


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Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Steve Roach 2012 Box Set
« on: December 29, 2011, 01:03:25 AM »
Quote
"Groove Immersion" is fantastic!  :) The best album of this year for me.

Hi Andrey, I still have to explore "Groove Immersion", because so far I was strongly focusing on "Back To Life". For me, this 2CD aspires for the best album of 2011 (or 2012?). No matter, if we melt our tastes, we get totally packed Box Set. Speaking about "Back To LIfe", it's a quite minimal "at the first look", but this journey features many "hidden" amazing sounds and atmospheres, all fragilely and serenely interplaying and moving just like the droplets from the album's cover image. A recording that showcases unlimited creativity and invention. I think it's just a question of time before both these groundbreaking recordings become another milestone in Steve's career. Yes, a truly genius performance by The Master, and for me, a truly magnificent and immersing listening experience!!!

All the best and keep on enjoying the music... :)

Richard

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Thank you, drone one!!! Yes, you are right, some out-of-print albums like "Nocturnal Emanations" or "Indalo" definitely would deserve re-press. I see they are available at Discogs, but at horrible prices. "Resonant Memory Of Earth" was reissued, so let's hope, even if I can imagine that it's not easy to handle it even if in smaller runs. But maybe they would be able to spread additional 200 pieces. But in any case, I am thankful that Bruno & Max keep on releasing their works as pressed CDs. I wish more artists could do it this way. All the best.

Richard

328


Bruno Sanfilippo & Max Corbacho "BIOMA" CD

The two protagonists of Spanish ad21music label, Bruno Sanfilippo & Max Corbacho, have teamed up for their second collaborative effort entitled "BIOMA", released at the end of November 2011. The first one, "Indalo", was released back in 2003. "BIOMA" is quite different when comparing to "Indalo" or to any other of their previous solo works or Bruno's collaborations with Mathias Grassow. It remains in ambient genre, but with strong focus on field recordings collected in the landscapes of province Tarragona, Spain, during the spring of 2010. Location recordings of bird calls, insects, frogs and other water dwelling inhabitants, water sounds... are the base for this long form, clocking to 59 minutes, sonic palette merging carefully these environmental sounds with electronics. Some parts are very authentic, evoking nocturnal walk along the forest's pond and enjoying all the live performances of ecosystem's residents while some other sections move to more grasslanded areas spiced by assorted bells or cowbells, yet the texture remaining very tranquil. At times more high-tech escapades invade the environmentals too, but always keeping its character naturally colored, harmonious and living. Deeper, nightly drones come to the fore too, bringing this composition into more abstract level, but the organics won't lose this show and return back, even if few more experimentally breathing or echoed effects keep on enriching the texture. But also few more meditative, hypnotic moments can be explored when the sounds evoking singing bowls enter this walk. Last 12 minutes slowly return into natural beauty and tranquility to bring the album to the closing point where it all began. Both artists have managed refinely to melt and sculpt their own sonics with on-site phonographies to hold listener's attention through the entire piece. Yes, "BIOMA" is for sure different, but beautifully immersing and mesmerizing!!! Our two budgies love it too...:-) Hand-numbered elegant digipak is another bonus. Nice work, amigos!!!

Richard Gürtler (Dec 28, 2011, Bratislava, Slovakia)


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Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Steve Roach 2012 Box Set
« on: December 28, 2011, 02:06:28 AM »
"Back To Life" is a true masterwork!!! Time to explore "Groove Immersion"...

Have a wonderful end of the old year and beginning of the new one... :)

Richard

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Quote
This is really a good deal. I have both of these cd's and they are excellent.

My words, Harry... :)  Both CDs of Chad Kettering are highly recommended!!!

Richard

331
Forum Member Projects News and Promotion / Re: Oophoi & Paul Vnuk jr
« on: December 03, 2011, 11:58:26 AM »
hello Richard,
"Dreamfields" will be available mid december.
I'll try to post the cover image later.
Gigi

Time to buy some Christmas gifts... :)

Richard

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Forum Member Projects News and Promotion / Re: Oophoi & Paul Vnuk jr
« on: December 03, 2011, 06:14:16 AM »
Thank you for the great news, Gigi, I am really looking forward to it!!!

Richard

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Anthony, can't miss this one, just ordered!!! Have a wonderful time in Southern Ontario... :)

Richard

334
Independent Music Reviews / My review of "Upwelling" CDr by Steve Brand
« on: November 27, 2011, 11:42:58 AM »


Steve Brand "Upwelling" CDr

Here comes one of the newest releases of Kansas based sound explorer, trained energy healer and visual artist Steve Brand, released during September 2011 on his Pioneer Light Music label. "Upwelling" is a kind of compilation, as stated by Steve, consisting of epiphanies, experiments, singular moments, remixes and re-discoveries. This strongly absorbing trip begins with "Forgotten Feast (Edit)" that unfolds with eerie and foggy organic dronescapes, later smoothly changing like chamaeleon into beautifully drifting ethereal pearl with few colossal vibrations hidden on the background. What a blissfully gracious overture!!! "Overtone" fits quite well "Avatara" recording session with interacting echoed spooky sonics and moments of silence. Magical flute work adds to abyssal drones a truly mysterious feel, another totally awesome piece! "Over-Soul (Short Form)" with deeper static drones remains in an immense emptiness and silence of outer space. Uniquely strange voices and assorted tinkling bell sounds lead "The Language Of Moon And Tide", in the second half with more dominating and intense spiraling drones. "Morning Glory (Remix)" is painted with dreamy, evolving ambience capturing a slightly yearning feel. Slow-motion "The Web" flows in sky high realms too, but spiced with few dramatic movements and bird calls. Title composition "Upwelling" is quite minimal in its structure, but at times it becomes more monumental and intense and also more disturbing with few industrialized effects. "Selves Like Facets In A Diamond" with its strongly cavernous feel is enriched by assorted metallic percussions and alienating sounds. A very mysterious composition, but the most magical piece is the closing "Ever-Increasing Brightness" with uniquely echoed sounds of exotic percussions and expressive strings, again with attractively melted sonics and silence, all wrapped into unforgettable shamanistic performance! "Upwelling" is hauntingly rich and mysterious collection of pieces presenting Steve Brand at the top of his creativity painting purely spectacular sceneries for inner mind journey. Have a great trip!!! But don't go away too far, because one new album "Subtle Movements Inside" and re-issue of "Cahokia" were just released...

Richard Gürtler (Nov 27, 2011, Bratislava, Slovakia)

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Thank you, drone on, I really appreciate your feedback!!!

Richard

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Steve Roach "Journey Of One" 2xCD

"Journey Of One" double CD, with official street date at November 8th, 2011 by Projekt, is absolutely essential live recording documenting Steve Roach's rich tribal-ambient era during the 90's when milestone works like "Artifacts" or "Origins" were created and numerous legendary co-works were born, with Robert Rich ("Strata", "Soma"), with Jorge Reyes and Suso Saiz, under Suspended Memories project name ("Forgotten Gods", "Earth Island"), with Vidna Obmana ("Well Of Souls") as well as with Michael Stearns and Ron Sunsinger ("Kiva"). Plenty of groundbreaking recordings, so I couldn't wait to explore this archived recording from November 8th, 1996, in Sacramento, California. Packaged in beautiful 6-panel digipak with magically looking ancient cover image that immediately raised my eyebrows. The double set, featuring 14 untitled tracks, reveals the odyssey with bullroarer that invites us to fully experience this spectacular live show. Textured desert soundscapes are soon joined by gently gradual tribal percussions and distant vocalizations. I immediately close my eyes and transport myself into the venue to be a part of these magically timeless realms. I am there with the audience and with the Master, the journey continues... Vast ethnographic ambience at its most evocative level!!! And soon Steve raises his didgeridoo to join these ancient sculptings, other exotic ethnic instrumens are here to bridge the reality with primordials. Later on some femme voices and whispers are added to color this spiraling ride with larger dose of cavernous sounds explored. Crispy bells and slowly arising heavy thundering beats are ready to steal the show... A true avalanche of rich and organic sonic mysteries to capture purely ecstatic live experience, one of its kind magic!!! Some voice mastery and slowly fading away intimate panoramas gracefully close the first set. The only intermission occurs when moving to the second disc, but the journey continues again to sink deeper into Steve's distinctive mythological stories, intensely absorbing and powerful journey heading to the forefront of electroacoustic adventures!!! Steve's highly imaginative soundscapes are enriched with more massive trancey-tribal rhythms and create a truly mesmerizing effect. Immersing didgeridoo magic returns again and leads to another deeply evocative drones and voices alternating with gentle tribal beats or more frenetic rhythm parts. Crystalline cybergrooves join the stage too, on 5th piece, wonderfully midtempo-driven ambient music that most likely later led to phenomenal and evolutive works like "Core" or "Blood Machine" (with Vir Unis). Next composition is another absolutely entertaining and dramatic piece of music that could be easily described as soundtrack to "Crocodile Dundee" film series, an amazing sonic travelogue taking the listener across the time into aboriginal Australia, the homeland of wooden trumpet. Immensely atmospheric epilogue magnificently closes this highly spiritual and emotional live movement and adventure, a document that proves unlimited power and virtuosity of Steve Roach, a true sonic traveler!!! Steve Roach was born to enrich this world with his pioneering sonic visions and he succeeds in his mission with every of his works!!! Even if "Journey Of One", I was journeying too, thank you, Steve, for taking me with you to Sacramento!!! I only wish I could turn up the volume of my home audio system much higher for maximum effect, but our neighbors wouldn't be very happy probably...

Richard Gürtler (Nov 20, 2011, Bratislava, Slovakia)

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Thank you, Harry, I am sure you will enjoy "Medicine Box" as much I do. Robert Rich is a true perfectionist and this album only proves this. All the best... :)

Richard

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Hi drone on, thank you for your kind words!!! I have no idea how to write a bad review... :) I am just a hobby reviewer, I am writing only about music that I like.

Richard

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Independent Music Reviews / My review of "Medicine Box" CD by Robert Rich
« on: November 17, 2011, 10:15:54 AM »


Robert Rich "Medicine Box" CD

Ambient icon Robert Rich strikes back with brand new sonic pearl "Medicine Box", released at November 1st, 2011, on his own Soundscape Productions imprint. Following the footsteps of legendary albums like "Propagation", "Seven Veils" or more recent "Ylang", this new album bridges all trademarking ingredients of these masterworks, but also adds other unique and challenging flavors. "Medicine Box" unwraps with "Alba", a sublimely euphoric blend of world fusion and ambient, it's attractively perfumed and richly textured warm, rhythm-charged composition featuring as guest Haroun Serang on guitar, who already contributed to several other Robert's albums. Intro with very intoxicating melody! "Kaaruwana" brings to the stage shimmering wordless voices of Cheri Chuang, a classically trained composer and vocalist, moving from absolutely ethereal and angelic to fragilely whispering ones, beautifully interacting with Robert's crystalline soundscaping, a truly poetic bliss for my ears!!! Strongly organic and colorfully unique "Macula" is dominated by evocative gentle piano and crispy pulsing percussions with notable appearances of Hans Christian on cello (long time collaborator of Robert Rich) and Edo Castro on bass. Chromatic harmonica of Slim Heilpern wonderfully spices "Cornea" and adds western feel to this rather psychedelically eclectic composition. "Crepescule" succeeds magnificently in portraying the power and beauty of Robert's flute magic, with subtle polyrhythms that are joined by poignant cello and cheerful piano. A truly haunting masterpiece evoking yearning and nostalgia!!! "Pollen" is another emotionally moving and heartwarming composition highlighted by Cheri Chuang's heavenly voices and exotic-charged subtle movements. "Callyx" masterfully fuses sensitive melodies with eerie lap steel guitar ambiences. Denser landscapes are explored through "Salamander Quay", showcasing Robert's outstanding skill in expressing emotions through his electroacoustic wizardry and musicality. The journey culminates with almost 11 minutes long epilogue "Helios", painted with magnetizing exotic polyrhythms in the first half, while the second part excels with celestial voices floating above shadowy sonic panoramas. I think this composition displays the best Robert's distinctive sound painting with carefully selected and merged virtuoso performances of Cheri Chuang, Hans Christian and Edo Castro. An absolutely magnificent "all inclusive" blend holding the signature that is only Robert Rich and designed directly for my Ambient Hall Of Fame!!! "Medicine Box" is an ultimate and triumphant shamanistic healing journey with genius performances on every level dedicated to all connoisseurs of world fusion/tribal/ambient essentials!!! Audiophile sound quality and gorgeous 6-panel digipak artwork by the Bergin gang should be immediately awarded too!!!

Richard Gürtler (Nov 17, 2011, Bratislava, Slovakia)

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Ciao Gigi!!!

I am really happy to see back here, you made my day, my friend!!! Again and again, keep on going and keep on fighting!!! I hope there will be another chapter of your co-work with Andy. By the way, in the meantime I will be very busy listening to your Oophoi re-issues at Databloem's Practising Nature. I just returned from the post-office with my order from Dennis with "Night Currents", "Three Lights At The End Of The World" and second and third parts of "Signals From The Great Beyond". Can't wait to explore them during the coming days!!! All the best and have a nice rest of autumn time in Umbria... :) :) :)

Richard

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