Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Messages - richardgurtler

Pages: 1 2 [3] 4 5 ... 27
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!!!



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)

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 :)

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.

All the best!!!



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)

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.


"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  :)

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!!!


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  ;)

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  ;)

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)

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


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)

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

With friendly greetings, Richard  :)

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)

Independent Music Reviews / My review of "Timelines" CD by Erik Wøllo
« on: October 26, 2014, 06:08:39 AM »

Erik Wøllo "Timelines" CD

"Timelines" is, if I am right, 18th solo album by Norwegian iconic ambient guitarist Erik Wøllo. Released in February 2014 as his 4th solo opus for Projekt in attractive 4-panel digipak with catchy front cover photo by Oxa and additional inside/back cover digital images by Erik. Sam Rosenthal is credited for a graphic design.

"Inception" ignites the journey with gorgeously unfolding widescreen panoramas masterfully merged with filigree string and piano magic and percussive subtleties. Hauntingly embracing melodies take the center stage and smoothly evolve into expressively nuanced orchestrations. Top-notch opener showcasing Erik Wøllo at the very peak of his trademarking blending of the acoustics with electronics. More please!!! "Blue Rondo" unfolds with tranquilly expansive piano motifs, but soon the track moves into sparkily colored paths, when pulsing synthetic percussions sneak in and slowly evolve into broader rhythmic horizons, outstandingly undulating and glowing. Evocative shrilling stringed vistas reveal as well. Another excellent composition, welcome to the musically superior paradise owned by this crafted Norwegian!!! "Color Of Mind" immediately attracts with swirling effects, but soothing pristine acoustic strings and warmly cinematic piano nostalgia steal the show. Velvety crescendos paint some truly charming images. "Visions" straightly shift into utterly laid-back heaven guarded by percussive clapping and shaking shimmers, dreamy synth delicacies, cheerful strings and poignant piano theme. These chillout euphonies are also occasionally pierced by virtuosic ebow insignias. This is certainly Erik Wøllo at his most tranquillizing, an ultimate Hall of Fame composition, bravo!!! "Pathfinder", with 7 and half minutes the longest piece, features highly expansive choir-like washes precisely coupled with ear-tickling mesmerizing grooves and spikier rhythms, again powerfully evocative and soothingly translucent. "Spirit Of The Place" blends joyful acoustic strings with rattling tribal essences, but soon pleasantly melodious passages invade and wander across. "Along The Journey" opens with distant glimpses, then warmly expressive piano joins the stage along with flimsy percussions and delicate strings. The composition later inconspicuously transmutes into intenser movements, gorgeously meandering and proficiently reinforced by ebow swells. Be prepared for another triumphant and intricately rewarding listening experience!!! The shortest, nearly 5-minutes long "Timescape" reveals with misty sceneries and serene amalgamate of strings and piano, which are quickly bridged with lyrical richness, exquisitely accomplished and deeply moving. Another masterpiece!!! "Ocean" closes this ride with beautifully immense realms coalescing hazy organics with warmly embracing driftscapes. Utterly sublime outro!!!

"Timelines" album is completely loaded with Erik Wøllo's extraordinary mastery, so all I can do is to applaud and shout "Bravo, Maestro!!!". This is an audiophile sound quality elixir for my ears, so don't miss this beauty!!! But this is not the alone stellar performance by this ace during 2014, because Erik Wøllo has released in the meantime another two very strong recordings. Firstly, "Tundra" CDr EP was released in July on Projekt in limited edition of 200 copies, unfortunately, as far I know, it's sold out already. And then, about two weeks ago, his second collaboration with German soundsculptor Bernhard Wöstheinrich was released on Ian Boddy's DiN label. It's entitled "Weltenuhr" and it's another gem, but that's the next story...

Richard Gürtler (Oct 26, 2014, Bratislava, Slovakia)


Specta Ciera + The Circular Ruins "Middle Distance" CDr

Specta Ciera is Devin Underwood (Boston, MA), while behind The Circular Ruins is hidden no one else but Anthony Paul Kerby aka APK (London, Ontario), the leading mastermind behind DataObscura label and several other projects. His extensive discography since 2002 needs no bigger introduction here (also Nunc Stans, Lammergeyer, The Winterhouse), but Specta Ciera is a rather newer name on the map, although I came across Devin Underwood's name for the first time in the summer of 2011, when focusing on his collaboration "The Vivid Unmapped" with Jacob Newman, released on DataObscura the same year in May. "Middle Distance" (CDr), was released the end of March 2014 and is packaged, as usual for all releases on this sympathetic Canadian label, in a slim poly case. Featured are also subtly elegant graphics by Angela Weiser.

The album unfolds with the title track "Middle Distance", a soothingly floating and meandering drone piece, carefully enriched by various, constantly emerging embellishments, always richly colored, some breathy, some rather ear-tickling, some nearly intangible, but always appearing in authentic harmony with scenic expansions. Calmly immersing intro!!! The 3-minute "Promontory" is intenser, heavily percolated with shoreline sounds and crossing through gorgeously evocative archipelagos. Brief, but very effective. On "Solitary Window", which reaches only one and a half minutes, distant sea waves can be heard and observed, but the center stage is stolen by deeply pensive piano and glitchy reminiscences. Very short, but long forgotten memories are immediately unlocked and hauntingly expressive ambience fills the room. "Falling Into Place" quickly slips into more eclectic terrains, sculpted with assorted peculiarly sounding emergences, although some relieving glimpses can be caught when children's voice samples permeate here and there. The middle part is slightly calmer, while toward the end the piece moves back to noisier soundfields, albeit continuously decreasing into murmured undulations. "Depth Perception" returns to drone terrains, but reinforced by an array of sonic accompaniments, ranging from lushly twinkling to high-tech piercing. Uniquely yearning and reverberating. "Past Tense" incorporates a slightly cavernous feel, but soon harsher drones invade, again augmented by various fragments like tinkles, sparks, groans, stringed tensions or noisy swells. 10 minutes of quite bizarre soundsculpting. "Virtual Image" opens with windy restless drones bridged with trickily arising sonic subtleties and nostalgically permeating picturesqueness. "Gathering Evidence" dives into soothingly floating realms, but too ephemeral, because diverse voice fragments step in along with piano morsels and various, nearly ear-splitting tinkles. But the closing part returns again into pure tranquility, and is hauntingly embracing. "Tesla", with 10-plus minutes the longest piece, opens with cavernous drone, progressing and creating resonating spirals, perforated by crystalline tinkles, enigmatic echoes, dissonant circuits and jarring outbursts. Weirdly mindscaping!!! "Empty Verandah" closes this album and it's another, slightly longing composition precisely merging background monochromatic drift with touching crescendos.

"Middle Distance", nearly one hour long, is certainly an amply flavored joint release requiring deeply perceptive listening, so plug in your headphones and explore this unconventional soundcarving. Always fully ingenious with many rewarding entrances into uncharted drone ambient territories. Immersing, disturbing, transcending!!! Together with this physical CDr album was released at the same time on Bandcamp a digital download only EP featuring 6 additional tracks from the same sessions, entitled "Different Perspectives". And last but not least, both artists have now in the pipeline their new releases. The Circular Ruins "Full Circle" CDr has been announced already by DataObscura, release date in November 2014. And Devin Underwood will return too, with his second collaboration with Jacob Newman, "Sending The Past", on Carpe Sonum Records. So stay tuned, but in the meantime make sure to discover treasured "Middle Distance" recording!!!

Richard Gürtler (Oct 20, 2014, Bratislava, Slovakia)


Shane Morris & Mystified "Evolution" CD

After "Epoch" (April 2012) and "Emergence" (June 2013), here comes the culmination of "Inspired Evolution" trilogy, entitled "Evolution" and released on Spotted Peccary Music during August 2014 in catchy 4-panel disc eco wallet featuring original photography, layout and design by SPM/Lotuspike visual stalwarts Jourdan Laik and Daniel Pipitone. First there was the Epoch of reptiles, then followed the Emergence of mammals, while this final installment focuses of the Evolution of early humans. So another adventurously transporting journey reveals...

"Fire Gathering" instantly calls back the memories of mesmerizingly mindscaping percussions and mysteriously dissonant rumblings explored on "Emergence", the transition into a new era has just begun. Intriguingly wrapped by tensely nuanced atmospheres, which brilliantly display peculiar insignias of both soundcarvers. With your headphones on, a powerfully immersing listening experience awaits!!! "Growing Into New Territory" quickly shifts into warmly relieving zones, quite panoramic, reinforced with subtly pulsing synthetic sounds, while additional piercing fragments slowly emanate and alternate with array of organic flutters. Delicious tribal-like rhythm inconspicuously sneaks in and meticulously amalgamates with hypnotic pulsation. Stunningly spellbinding transmutation continues, bravo, gentlemen!!! "Waiting For The Storm To Pass", the longest piece on the album with 13 and half minutes, merges undulating expansive drifts, continuous flow of strongly mesmerizing repetitive helixes and occasional spasmodic outbursts. Tranquilly high-tech, trance-infused shamanic performance with ear-splitting climaxes thrown in!!! The next cut, "Hunting In The Hills", moves into shadowy drone terrains, rather unfathomably monochromatic on the back, exquisitely bridged with warmly embracing crescendos, persistently mesmerizing twinkles, ear-tickling pandemoniums, glimpses of tribal origins and ephemeral shaking subtleties. This is nothing but truly phenomenal sonic chamaeleon and most likely, a magnum opus of the whole trilogy!!! And the track title is exactly chosen too. The final piece, "The Trials Of Evolved Man", quickly metamorphoses and follows the path of swiftly pulsing crystalline endurances punctiliously coalesced with gently nuanced sky high drones. Filled with warm velvety mesmerism, this is your everyday dose of trance-imbued elixir!!!

About 10 months ago, after recapitulating "Emergence", I didn't have any idea how these guys want to top first two parts of the trilogy with their closing chapter. But now, I can confirm that Shane Morris & Mystified (aka Thomas Park) have achieved their challenge. Yes, they did it, because they are amazing sonic storytellers and "Evolution" is a genuinely virtuosic accomplishment, strongly distinguishing and stirringly entertaining!!! Certainly another must-have, but in case you have missed "Epoch" and/or "Emergence", then I strongly recommend to complete the whole trilogy and fully experience this spectacularly immersing primordial escapade!!! To wrap up the credits for this album, the mastering duties were handled again by Lotuspike guru Ben Cox at The Armory studio. "Inspired Evolution" trilogy is undoubtedly a milestone!!! What will be the next chronicle?

Richard Gürtler (Oct 19, 2014, Bratislava, Slovakia)


Annemarie Borg "In Nomine Cetus" CD

Annemarie Borg, born in Paris with French/Swedish background and based in London, is the main protagonist and founder behind Antara Project focusing on strong connection between various artistic languages and the world we live in. Annemarie's musical explorations cover a quite eclectic range of terrains, stretching from poetry/modern classical through environmentally infused euphonies to deep drone reflections. For the first time I came across Annemarie's name around 2010 on richly flavored collaborative project Thamnos "WIR", which featured also Tomas Weiss, but this is a closed chapter. "In Nomine Cetus" CD, self-released during June 2014, is, I believe, 5th album by Annemarie Borg, including above mentioned Thamnos and "Breaking Through" compilation presenting tracks, collaborations, poetry and visuals by various artists such as Bruno Sanfilippo, Aes Dana, Nicolas Meier, Marc Yeats, Ann Schmitz, Keith Farnish, Philip Wells and others. The other two are "Secrets", a classically orchestrated collaboration with John Wilson (2003) and first solo album by Annemarie, ambient/drone/contemporary driven "Iridescent Perceptions", released at the end of 2012. Back to "In Nomine Cetus", as mentioned in the liner notes, the album is dedicated to all Cetaceans across the oceans and the Island of Hawaii.

"Clamo Oceanus" reveals this fascinating odyssey with deeply submerging dronescape, enhanced by assorted whale sounds ranging from eerily emerging to transcendentally shrilling, while continuously guarded by Annemarie's moaning voice magics and surrounded by soothing sounds of ocean waves. Graciously immense cover images of 4-panel disc eco wallet (pictures and artwork by Annemarie) closely interweave with symphoniously encircling faint underwater zones. 13-minute "Closer In The Distance" safely cruises through magnificently graceful horizons, hauntingly colored with natural subtleties, deeply evocative voices and bioacoustics, and serenely nuanced epic climaxes. Colossally majestic masterpiece!!! "Lacrime" is filled with orchestral sadness, cautiously meandering and crescendoing through touchingly elegiac expressions. No wonder, this composition brings into the spotlight Japan's controversial annual dolphin slaughter, which begins in the infamous town of Taiji in September and lasts until the end of February."L'Adieu Au Jour" dives deeper into the unfathomable depths, where massively monochromatic drifts are bridged with intangible voice-like drones and diverse repertoire of singing Cetaceans. Fascinatingly intense and monumental, before inconspicuously transmuting into warmly cinematic and captivatingly expansive realms melted with some hazy piano fragments and pierced with additional underwater dissonances. This might be the pinnacle of the whole album, a truly magnificent listening experience!!! It's a pity here and there the track is permeated by some unwanted hiss. "Miserere" unfolds with bizarrely circling industrial-like breaths, which are later shifted slightly to the back and the center stage is invaded by ethereal voices. But still the interactions between the voices and rumblings are absolutely stunning, strikingly contrasting, yet aurally symmetrical and deeply mesmerizing!!! The next piece, "Kealakekua Bay", Annemarie dedicates to her Hawaiian friends and it pays tribute to the natural beauties of this treasured coastline (Kona coast, Hawaii), where the coral reefs slope gorgeously from the shore into the water. Tranquilly floating and cascading with perplexing whisperings and whale sounds, balsamic sea recordings and all subtly wrapped by orchestral drama delicacy. I should add that all whale sounds on this album are used, altered and edited with kind permission from Whale Songs by iWhales."Cantiques Des Etoiles - Antares" closes this journey with distinguishably sculpted chants and wistful drones. Annemarie's chants are truly mindscaping, at times nearly crumbled when listening on my headphones, I even thought it was a sound issue, but this might be all intentional. Evocative, spellbinding and most of all powerfully transcendental!!!

"In Nomine Cetus" takes the listener to some of the most beautiful and majestic aquatic sceneries, but unfortunately also to some sorrowful ones. It certainly deserves to be explored and supported, because Annemarie Borg is deeply focused and utterly talented composer and singer. "In Nomine Cetus" is made from the heart!!! My only complain is the soundquality, the overall sound is a bit flat to my taste plus some extraneous hissing sounds need to be removed. Otherwise, bravo, Annemarie, keep on creative soundsculpting and I really look forward to your future projects!!! By the way, a new album is planned for spring 2015...

Richard Gürtler (Oct 15, 2014, Bratislava, Slovakia)

So I'm guessing that Wollo release was so limited they put it on a cdr(?)

Yes, Chris, "Tundra" CDr EP by was released as a limited edition of 200 copies, now sold out. But for example one year ago Project released Stratosphere with Dirk Serries "In A Place Of Mutual Understanding" CD, edition of 200 copies, but this one was glassmastered. Anyway, I think artist like Erik Wøllo doesn't deserve a CDr or pro CDr edition. To me, a really strange decision. But, okay, if the label economy somehow doesn't allow a glassmastered version, I accept even a pro CDr, don't have a problem with that, but I definitely want to be informed about it before pushing the pay button on paypal. I would order "Tundra" even if it would be advertised as a CDr, but at least big disappointment after receiving it would be avoided. To make it short, you simply don't expect anything like this from a label like Projekt. Unfortunately, lots of CDrs sold via Bandcamp are advertised as CDs, it's quite common these days. I think it's not fair to the customers who support their artists or labels.


Pages: 1 2 [3] 4 5 ... 27