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Messages - richardgurtler

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341
Beautiful review of beautiful music!!!

Richard

342


John Puchiele Ensemble "Life Cycle" CD

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

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

343
Yes, I can imagine there are even darker soundscapes created by Anton, thank you so much for the link, but my ventures into dark ambient territories are very rare...  ;)

Richard

344


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)

345
Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: AMBIcon 2013 Update
« on: May 04, 2013, 04:28:17 PM »
Yes, Andrey, at least we can watch it this way, so far truly amazing performances!!! Anton/Closing The Eternity is a happy man!!! Keep on enjoying!!!  :)

Richard

346
Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: AMBIcon 2013 Update
« on: May 03, 2013, 10:26:16 PM »
I am wishing to all performers and spectators a truly enjoyable and memorable event, have a great time!!! And don't forget to take a lot of audio and visual documents!!! I wish I could be in San Rafael this weekend...

Richard

347
I can only agree, "Ecotone" is a masterwork, one of the best of 2013!!!

Richard

348


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)

349


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)

350
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)

351
Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: R.I.P. Oophoi
« on: April 12, 2013, 01:31:37 PM »


Gigi/Oöphoi & Kristián/Nextera

Courtesy of Jarka Medunová, private archive. Thank you, Jarka, for publishing this nice memorable photo. Using Jarka's words: "Now they are both reunited again." Rest in peace, Gigi & Kristián.

Richard

352
Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: R.I.P. Oophoi
« on: April 12, 2013, 01:23:55 PM »


Another nice one, source unknown.

Richard

353
Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: R.I.P. Oophoi
« on: April 12, 2013, 01:20:54 PM »


Have found this photo longer time ago on the net and posted it to Discogs profile of Oöphoi. I don't know who should be credited, however, it's a very nice shot. This is the way we will always remember Gigi.

Richard

354
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)

355
Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: AMBIcon 2013 Update
« on: March 24, 2013, 07:08:02 AM »

Quite Beautiful it is Jeff........been playing "Bleed" these last few days, a special cd for me.  I hope these HOS concerts will be recorded!  :)

Just the same with me, "Bleed" is one of my all time faves by Jeff!!! And yes, live recording from AMBIcon would be great, this would be my only chance to experience this great event.

Richard

356


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)

357
Hypnos News and Announcements / Re: Sunyata/ Inner Landscapes
« on: March 18, 2013, 03:42:35 PM »
First of all, get well soon, Harry, and have a wonderful time with "Sunyata" & "Inner Landscapes"!!! Got mine copy today from Robert, a true piece of art!!! Hats off to Robert & Hypnos and now I really look forward to "Trances/Drones" reissue!!!  :)

Richard

358


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)

359


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)

360


Groupthink "Happy Gods" CDr

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

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

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