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Messages - richardgurtler

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341


ISH "Resonance Level" CD+3"CDr

Here comes another highly pleasurable moment for myself as a reviewer, who is going to focus on Slovak project venturing into ambient domains. ISH is a project of Igor Šenigla, the guy who is also the sole protagonist of another project connected to Aliens Production, Ambiguous. "Resonance Level" is a brand new album, released at the end of June by Aliens Production. ISH ignites the journey with serenely gliding washes of "Near To Lights", a very tranquil entryway into dreamlike expanses. Imposing introduction of ISH's soundworlds!!! Celestial atmo zones overlap to "Inti Raymi", but soon they are harmoniously bridged with crystalline swirls and flickeringly pulsing midtempo IDM essences. Various voice samples and celestial chorals at the end enrich the composition. This freshly inviting electronica is as much colorful and mesmerizing as this religious ceremony. Superb track!!! "Kaleidoscope" dives immediately into rawer electro territories, spiced by high-tech sonic outbursts and twinkles and nicely surrounded by hauntingly floating washes hovering above. Aggroscape at its most intense and adventurous!!! "Diaglyph" moves into more minimal and slower, factory-infused and gently expanding soundscapes, reaching the more dramatic conclusion. It announces "Meadow Flower", another rougher track with high-tech beats and various alien sound effects, which cascades through various levels and ever-changing passages. Another richly sculpted and entertaining journey, a wild flower!!! "Scars To Earth" returns with spacey drifts into more relieving, sky high realms, towards the end becoming again more tense. "Manacles" mark return to cyber-tech groove adventure while the next one, "So Can She" floates on dreamy cloudscapes, here and there enriched by fragile tinkles and effects. Distant and subtle, mysterious voices carry "Green Therapy" into tech groovy-addicted zones, blending masterfully cybernetic heartbeating pulses with sublimely drifting soundscapes. Certainly one of the highlights and a pure sonic therapy for my ears!!! "Our Time" keeps on atmospheric route with few otherworldly fragments thrown in along the way. Piano-like infusions and ghostly voice samples bring this piece into soothing, but mysterious finale. The title track, "Resonance Level", is the most energetic, nearly EBM-contaminated piece, towards the end slowly fading away into tranquil spheres. Majestically floating and expanding atmospherics and some gently polished downtempos of "Dreamless" provide a truly magnificent outro. Absolutely graceful soundsculpting!!!

The first 50 copies of "Resonance Level" CD comes with bonus mini CDr single entitled "Conspiracy Level" and featuring three additional tracks, two remixed and one unreleased. "Manacles", remixed by German LPF 12, fuses dreamy, but more intense and massive soundscape with ocassional, sharper pulses and various glitchy and harsh industrial disruptions. Follows "Kaleidoscope", this time remixed by Structural Fault from Argentina. It's gradually evolving and shifting through various phases into fastly pulsing and absorbing, powerful IDM electronica. "Breathing World" is the exclusive track here, a warmly inviting, long, dreamy washes entering into immense spaces, attractively fragranced by futuristic effects and skillfully changing like chameleon and cascading into mid paced kinetic electro grooves and back. Perfectly interplaying deeply immersing dreamwalk with dynamic, organic electronica. Luminously expansive grand finale, at its most mesmerizing!!! A hidden pearl here!!!

Yes, of course there are some pieces or parts that are too upbeat-infused to my rather tranquil ambient taste, but the overall result is more than surprising and satisfying. Well done, Igor!!! I definitely will keep an ear to the Slovak ambient terrains...

Richard Gürtler (Jul 05, 2012, Bratislava, Slovakia)

342


Loscil "Coast/ Range/ Arc" CD

Vancouver, BC, Canada, based sound designer Scott Morgan aka Loscil is busy during his full time job with creating sound effects for video games, but his part time hobby is devoted to sculpting ambient experiments, mostly for Kranky label. But "Coast/ Range/ Arc" is another exciting contribution to magnificent arctic soundscapes of Italian Glacial Movements label. The album unveils grandiosely with monstrous drones of "Black Tusk", where huge soundwalls are surrounded by swirling hisses. The title is taken from Scott's domestic natural sceneries of Pacific Northwest, incredibly breathtaking and scenic area of Black Tusk pinnacle of volcanic rock in Garibaldi Park. Mesmerizingly ear-bending listening journey has just begun!!! Flow of water takes "Fromme" into more organic and aerial sonic terrains with lighter drones, more textured and spiced by experimentally-infused disruptions. "Stave Peak" attracts with its strongly visualizing theme bringing back some long forgotten memories. Deeply organic and tranquil, slightly orchestral dronescapes are hauntingly inviting and majestic!!! "Névé" navigates us straightly into static, barren and menacing drone territories wrapped by arctic wind. This is Loscil at its most immersing and glacial!!! Freezing domains are explored also on "Brohm Ridge", the longest piece clocking to 11 and half minutes. Slowly expansive and cascading drone wizardry paints spectacular sonic images, filled with panoramic intensity and gracious impression. "Goat Mountain", another longer track, is strongly picturesque hike with gently evolving minimal dronescapes, and brings this album into tranquilly fascinating finale. As usual for Glacial Movements, Bjarne Riesto and Keep Adding leave their notable fingerprints on digipak's packaging. "Coast/ Range/ Arc" was my first exposure of Loscil's sound sculpting, but this album explores the beauty of the Pacific coastal range with all its majesty and grace, a must have for all drone experts!!! Headphone listening reveals all the magic!!!

Richard Gürtler (Jul 01, 2012, Bratislava, Slovakia)

343
Although, I never got any confirmation from this label about my order after I paid via Paypal, which I think is kinda strange... ???

Any confirmations from paypal? I got firstly confirmation from paypal about the transaction and the next day details about the shipment arrived, again sent by paypal. Any other confirmation by the label. Anyway, let's hope to see this beauty in the mailbox soon... :)

Richard

344
That's a great cover shot.  Looks like a lunar surface. 

What label is this release on??

Yes, the cover image looks stunning!!! As far I know, it's released by Dämmerung Arts label, but not that much info is available, only via their shop plus via Agalloch's shop. And also available via traditional El culto webshop.

http://www.dammerungarts.com/shop.html
http://www.agalloch.org/shop.htm
http://el-culto.com/music/projects/mathiasgrassow/mosaicltdedition.html

Richard

345
I just noticed this info on Steve Roach's webshop. The family of Barry Craig, who unfortunately passed away at September 4th, 2011, at the age of 59, provided three titles in limited amounts. So if you are missing these sonic pearls in your collection, feel free to check out Steve's website. This is the chance to say "thank you" to this wonderful person and ambient composer. We are deeply missing Barry!!!

http://steveroach.com/store/store.php?artistID=243


346


Steve Roach & Dirk Serries "Low Volume Music" CD

Yes, this was a truly jaw-dropping news, when revealed for the first some months ago by Steve and Dirk. Until that moment it was held as a top secret project, now it's a reality, two giants of ambient genre are reunited again after ten years. I am quite sure this news brought happy smiles on faces of many ambient connoisseurs, I am no exception. As announced by the album's title, this collaborative effort deals with soundscaping at its most purest and beautiful, free floating form. Gently circling and soothingly expansive minimal ambience is revealed by the opening, 8-minute composition, "Here". Each listener is immediately invited to join a strictly ethereal float, which breathes along with him/her and transports into warmly relaxing inner cosmos. "Whisper" unveils an atmosphere of constancy, with minimal expanses, elusive movements and gentle swirls, and paints hauntingly contemplative sonic images. "Closed" awakes nostalgic moments with peacefully soaring cloudscapes of soothingly submerging aural simplicity and quietness. The next composition, "Bow", absorbs by its deeply sublime and tranquilly expansive spaciousness. "Haze", the closing and longest piece on this journey, clocking over a 15-minute mark, shifts your listening environment into gracefully floating and vaporously sweeping realms of celestial beauty. Don't expect any groundbreaking sonic sculpting and adventure here, just subtle ambient sceneries, considerably warm, quietly relaxing and gently immersive, created by the true masters of the genre. Album's packaging and images nicely correspond with atmospheric blankets. "Low Volume Music" is a pure sonic elixir to nourish your body, mind and spirit!!! Welcome back, Steve & Dirk!!! I will keep an ear to the ground...

Richard Gürtler (Jun 24, 2012, Bratislava, Slovakia)

347
Great pleasure on my side too, Juta!!!  :)

Richard

348
Now Playing / Re: Too much music?
« on: June 23, 2012, 04:42:17 AM »
Hi guys, I am very glad to read there are more nuts like me out there...:-) I am 46 years old and I returned back to collecting ambient music in 2007, after 8-9 years of total silence. My initial idea was to buy about 30 of most fave CDs by artists like Steve Roach, Robert Rich, Michael Stearns, vidnaObmana..., whom I started to collect around 1995 when running a small mail-order catalogue. At that time I even sold my own copies, so in 2007 I started basically from point zero. But the whole situation somehow overgrown my plans, I didn't end at 30 CDs only and still keep on ordering and exploring new artists and buying each release of my fave artists (a very long list...). Who knows, maybe the economic reasons will force me to cut down my orders, hopefully this day is still faraway...  :) And yes, the pile of ordered CDs is always too big..., but I also always keep an eye on my mailbox for new beauties... :)

Keep on enjoyng and buying great music!!! ;)

Richard

349
Independent Music Reviews / My review of "Hymn" CD by Juta Takahashi
« on: June 23, 2012, 03:36:27 AM »


Juta Takahashi "Hymn" CD

"Hymn" is the 7th album by Japanese ambient maestro Jutaro "Juta" Takahashi (based in Sendai, Miyagi), released in January, 2010, on his own label Lunisolar Records. Just the same as with his "Silence" CD, reviewed some weeks ago, "Hymn" CD gets immediately extra points for its stunning front cover image featuring the famous 2006 Hubble Space Telescope color mosaic of the Orion Nebula. The album is made up of three longer compositions, each clocking around 20 minutes. "Stratosphere" unfolds this odyssey with gracefully heartfelt and endlessly floating, slow-motion drifts, fragranced with delicately fragile, but expressively fitting strings. This solitary ambience transports each listener into the deep realms of space. The next composition "Faraway" moves into slightly more minimal and meditative realms sculpted with nearly hallucinogenic washes, serenely cascading from slightly dissonant, "buzzing" sounds to more silent, poetic passages, carefully exploring gracious beauty of immense outer reaches of space, and accomplishing deep synergy between the music and its title. The title composition "Hymn" is immediately invaded by celestial choir-like sounds and returns to more drifting territories explored through the first track, but this time diffusing much more monumentally into tense symphonious atmospheres, reaching strongly cinematic feel of breathtaking adventure and glorious beauty. These slowly expanding and triumphant soundwalls are here and there enriched by luminously euphoric fragments and swirls. Definitely one of the most magnificent and colossal soundscapes Juta has ever done and a truly grandiose conclusion of this profoundly wonderful album, where all three lengthy pieces are powerfully expansive and quietly immersing!!! A tremendously fascinating star gazing odyssey precisely interacting with the cover image!!! Arigatō, Juta!!!

Richard Gürtler (Jun 23, 2012, Bratislava, Slovakia)

350
i was also a bit cautious about Haughm influence inhere..
though no worries, it is basically typical Grassow stuff :)

samples here!
http://www.el-culto.com/music/projects/mathiasgrassow/mosaicltdedition.html

i made my order yesterday

Thank you so much, Stephan, for your updates!!! Yes, the dronescapes perfectly fit the stunning digipak artwork, looking forward to fully explore this "Mosaic"!!!

Richard

351
And if it will sound as it looks like, then I am immediately hooked... By the way, John Haughm has already appeared as guest on two tracks of Nostalgia's "Echoes From The Borderland" CD.

http://www.discogs.com/Nostalgia-Echoes-From-The-Borderland/release/2361764

Richard

352
Anyone heard this?



Just noticed this title at Databloem webshop. It looks like well-hidden secret so far... :(  Maybe more promoted within black/doom metal scene/connections of Agalloch's John Haughm than within ambient genre... Anyway, an immediate action is needed... :)

http://www.databloem.com/index.php?page=shop.product_details&category_id=19&flypage=databloem.tpl&product_id=1301&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=2
http://www.agalloch.org/shop.htm

Richard


353
Very nice review, drone on!!!

Richard

354


Mathias Grassow "Dämmerung" CD

Welcome to the drone heaven!!! Yes, here is the first of three sonic installments by the German drone alchemist Mathias Grassow, released on Swedish Gterma label at the beginning of June 2012, together with "Wisdom Of Fate" and "Uttarakuru", both a 2CD editions. Continuous drones of the most gigantic caliber invade the opening journey, "Fading Light", along with distant cicadas, water sounds and some factory-like effusions, all magically wrapped by nocturnal ambience. Will this man ever stop to impress me with his mind-bending dronescapes? 9 and half minutes of intensely packed drone bliss!!! "A Bed Of Clouds", just like its title, enters more relieving and graciously gliding drone terrains. Hitting nearly 20-minute mark, the piece moves through various, slowly evolving passages, reaching its peak in the middle. The rest is slightly more tranquilizing, but again staticly expanding and entering shadowy cloudscapes, that might be broken apart after a thunderstorm. "Setting Sun" slips into lighter drone territories, but enriched here and there by hidden dramatic scenarios. "Last Rays" are supported by abyssal drones, more static in their structure, but evoking enormously mysterious and magical atmosphere due to powerfully flowing remote choir-like sounds and circling tinkles. This heavy drone wizardry overlaps also to the next composition, "Nightfall", enriched by glimmeringly expanding tension and evoking the most fascinating and dramatic sundown horizon. One of the highlights and pure sonic ecstasy guaranteed!!! The closing "Entering The Between" clocks to 15-minute mark and ventures into soothing domains with staticly spreading and progressing drifts, again magnificently supported by distant choirs. A truly grandiose finale!!! "Dämmerung" masterfully reveals beautiful sonic exploration dedicated to the Sun, one of the most fascinating mysteries of the universe, by holding the traditional "Made By Mathias Grassow" signature. As usual, gorgeous 12-page booklet is included, this time with stunning twilight photographs.

Richard Gürtler (Jun 21, 2012, Bratislava, Slovakia)

355
Forum Member Projects News and Promotion / Re: Loren Nerell news
« on: June 21, 2012, 06:27:37 AM »
Very nice review, Bert!!!

Richard

356


Loren Nerell "Slow Dream" CD

In Long Beach, California, based composer and ethnomusicologist, Loren Nerell, is known as avid admirer of Indonesian native styles of gamelan music. His location recordings from trips to Bali and Java, which document everyday's life and events, are again utilized and processed into deeply meditative stream of drones, released as Loren's 7th full length recording, but this time as a premiere album on Projekt, where he joins his fellow traveller Steve Roach, who has added his mastering wizardy to "Slow Dream". Opening long-form "Mentation" clocks to nearly 29 minutes with serene, slow-motion endlessly drifting and soothingly circling resonant cloudscapes. It creates strongly meditative states that graciously float between the waking and sleep, between the sound and silence. The title, 10 and half minutes long composition "Slow Dream" dives straightly into chasmal mammoth drone realms strenghtened by various subterranean rumblings and otherworldly tinkles and outbursts. Gentle and remote tribal beats blanketed by fog join the stage too and invite the listener on a deeply sonorous and immersing journey. "A Sense Of Presence", another longer composition, remains in shadowy, rather dissonant and nearly transcendental domains with gradually expanding heavy drone zones and assorted background unsettling sonic tremors. All subterranean ghosts are awaken by this deeply cavernous adventure. "Persistence Of Dream Imagery", as indicated by its title, is tranquilly sculpted dronespace with few occasional industrial noises thrown in and highly mesmerizing meditative piece that brings "Slow Dream" into the conclusion. "Slow Dream" is skillfully crafted recording of immensely subterranean atmospheres originated of various gamelans, powerfully evocative and magically transporting!!! A must have for all explorers of mysteriously alluring sonic escapades!!! 4-panel eco disc wallet with cover images by Thierry Moreau and graphic design by Sam Rosenthal precisely interplay with the sonic content.

Richard Gürtler (Jun 21, 2012, Bratislava, Slovakia)

357
Forum Member Projects News and Promotion / Re: Loren Nerell news
« on: June 19, 2012, 06:29:01 AM »
What does Slow Dream sound like (compared with previous LN releases)?

Don't worry, drone on, Slow Dream will perfectly fit your nickname... :)  Deeply immersing drone journey guaranteed!!!

Richard

358


Havdis "The Hidden Islands" CD

Promising and fastly expanding Swedish Gterma label keeps on striking and brings here another exciting new project, this time a Norwegian drone addicts acting under the moniker of Havdis. The image of misty seascape with island on the cover artwork is precisely displayed by the opening drones of "Beluga". I am immediately diving into the shadowy arctic waters to experience a truly spectacular adventure of seeing and hearing small, gracefully floating majestic and playful white whales, known as "Beluga". Rather staticly floating, but slowly cascading drones of "Beluga" introduce Havdis at its most submerging!!! This enormously breathtaking sonic bliss overlaps also to the next piece, a 19-minute long opus "Coast", when entering into more textured dronescapes enriched by some ominous rumblings and choirs on the distant back. This mysteriously infused composition evokes immense coastal panoramas. I have no idea who is hidden behind Havdis, but in any case they are offering a genuinely exciting listening adventure!!! "Old Brown Boat", where distant voice/choir-like sounds are gracefully gliding above deep organic dronescapes. Fascinatingly visualizing piece and another masterful appearance by Havdis!!! "Crossing A Quiet Fjord" is a 14 and half minutes long composition, sculpted with warmly inviting, but grandiose aerial washes, amazingly portraying its title. Highly cinematic fjordscapes, filled with utterly tranquilizing essences, generate most staggering images of magnificent plateau views of the surrounding monumental winter sceneries with drifting clouds, majestic snow-capped peaks and mirroring deep blue waters. Fragile piano at the end is a beautiful outro. A sonic bliss # 4!!! Windy drones announce the next composition entitled "Asleep At The Sea Of Tranquility", a truly relaxing and poetic coastal walk through the carpets of mist, where slowly moving peaceful drifts are enriched by expressive classical piano. Dreamlike imagery is awaken and long forgotten memories are returning. "There's Beauty In Sadness" is the shortest piece, clocking to 5 and half minutes, an epic traversing intensely from more quiet nostalgic passages to more dramatic crescendos. The journey ends with gracious "Velvet Islands Lie Beyond", where aerial, more monotonous washes are masterfully bridged with deeply submerging, nearly hallucinogenic ripple and bubble sounds. Deeply mesmerizing finale!!! As usual for all Gterma releases, the album is accompanied by 12-page booklet with images stunningly supporting Havdis' aural expressions and moods. Thank you so much for this exciting trip to the Norwegian hinterlands!!! I didn't meet any trolls, but the rest was enormously thrilling!!!

Richard Gürtler (Jun 17, 2012, Bratislava, Slovakia)

359
Independent Music Reviews / My review of "Hypersona" CD by 36
« on: June 16, 2012, 05:31:22 AM »


36 "Hypersona" CD

"Hypersona" was released back in 2009 as a debut album by UK based project acting under the 36 alias and first part of three planned albums, which later became known as "Hollow" (2010) and "Lithea" (2012), all released on 36's own imprint 3six Recordings. The sole protagonist of 36, Dennis Huddleston, presents here his debut work nicely packaged and designed in elegant 4-panel digipak. And my listening room is soon invaded by beautifully sculpted filigree blend of serenely gliding melancholic ambience, heartwarming modern classical elements and crystalline location recordings, all masterfully wrapped by movingly expressive long forgotten memories. The intro is provided by "Signal", a shorter organic ambience enhanced by hisses, distant voice transmissions and morse codes. Fully bloomed, beautiful and majestic amalgam of tender, nearly xylophone-like tinkles and gracefully spreading electronics is promptly revealed by the composition entitled "2249". Deeply absorbing washes of "Inside" announce a truly magnificent rainy sundown meeting on patio, while recapturing deeply buried nostalgic scenarios. Pure moments of natural magic are emerging here!!! Shorter, more experimental "Intercept", as its name indicates, is a kind of a transitional passage into heavenly realms invaded by angelic choirs of "The Box", the next composition of absolutely wonderful interplay of serenely tinkling sounds with dripping water (or is it crackling fireplace? Or both of them?) and above mentioned choirs, all fragilely cascading through various levels. But always keeping its absolutely tranquil essence with dreamy and nostalgic moments. "Nephyr" is a deeply evocative and steadily progressing dronescape, later nicely colored by fragile piano fragments. Expressive piano tune leads "Beacon", minimally structured, hazed by distant hisses and shoreline sounds, but again highly picturesque. The title composition, "Hypersona", strikes immediately with shimmeringly tinkling melody, generating a nostalgic feeling to some specific time and place. "Juliet" blends aerial washes with distorted transmissions of woman's voice spelling phonetic alphabet. "Dream Window" is a shorter piece, more experimental and eclectic at the beginning, but soon entering into deeply imaginative passage guided by gentle toy piano tinkles. "Forever" dives deeply into immersing arctic territories with dramatically turbulent drones before ending in pure quietness. The closing, untitled piece blends glitchy sounds, field recordings and toy piano. "Hypersona" is carefully contemplative and hauntingly colorful collection of richly evocative dreamscapes filled with nostalgia, longing and sorrow. The strenght of "Hypersona" is by the images it creates!!! Definitely highly recommended introduction of 36!!! By the way, by the time I am writting these lines, "Hypersona" album is being released by 3six Recordings as remastered vinyl edition with new artwork. White, clear and black vinyls are available, 100 copies of each.

Richard Gürtler (Jun 16, 2012, Bratislava, Slovakia)

360
Forum Member Projects News and Promotion / Re: Loren Nerell news
« on: June 14, 2012, 01:57:50 PM »
"Slow Dream" is a breathtaking deep drone journey!!! My best congratulations, Loren!!!

Richard

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