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Messages - richardgurtler

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Bruno Sanfilippo "Inside Life" CD

"Inside Life" is the newest album by Bruno Sanfilippo, an Argentinian composer with domicile in Barcelona, Spain. Released in elegant digisleeve in the middle of February 2015 through his usual co-owned ad21 label. Being familiar already with the aural part, I must say the packaging precisely levels the quality thanks to the visual artistry of Buenos Aires based Andy Ruggia. As far I remember, this is the first digisleeve packaging at ad21, like it so much, good choice, amigos!!!

The opening composition "Sudden Quietness" unfolds this listening bliss with minimal, but deeply expressive piano, meticulously merged with sparse stringed sadness of guest appearance by cellist Julián Kancepolski. Intangibly spiraling subtleties are continuously guarding above, while gorgeously encircling placidness permeates through these profoundly evocative piano blankets. A true masterpiece!!! Pensive piano magic wrapped by hissy nostalgic moments leads "Freezing Point", touchingly embracing and serenely nuanced. And later gorgeously amalgamated with inconspicuously awaken weeping cello. Certainly another exquisitely poignant composition showcasing the virtuosity of both soundpainters and their sophisticated interaction. On "Camille", dedicated to French composer, pianist and organist Camille Saint-Saëns, euphoniously tinkling crystalline piano is backed by amorphously floating operatic female voice of Mariel Aguilar, all masterly surrounded by elusive monochromatic drone cushion. Bravo!!! A joyful piano evocations announce the next piece, "A Door Opens Forever", which smoothly transform into warmly inviting and tranquilly meandering passages, where elated piano shares artistic brilliance with intensely emotional cello and occasionally emanating clickety-clacks. Wow, the first three tracks were already really outstanding, but this composition is absolutely splendorous, a true piece of art, deliberately merging exceptional piano performance of Bruno Sanfilippo with Julián Kancepolski's cello grandness, all raised into an ultimate sonic equilibrium!!! Certainly one of my all time favorite piano-based efforts by Bruno Sanfilippo, magnífico, Maestro!!! And kudos also to Julián Kancepolski!!! A brief cacophony opens "The Place Where Dying Crows", but placid, more meditative terrains are quickly entered with rather scanty, but deeply embracing piano undulations, quietly minimal, although contrasted with perplexingly scattered string experiments. "Tea Leaves At The Bottom Of A Cup" invites us into gorgeously poetic sceneries with intimately narrative piano playing. A real beauty filled with profoundly enveloping soothingness!!! The title composition "Inside Life", with 7-plus minutes the longest piece, closes this highly enthralling aural experience with deeply suggestive squeaking bowed string finesse intricately coalesced with majestically flatlined drone layer, ethereal piano tracery and magnified by nebulous wordless transcendence of the sole protagonist. A tremendously engrossing finale!!!

To wrap up this review, I will only repeat my words from January 2015, when I was honored to preview this enchantingly fragranced masterwork, which was, by the way, mastered in Tokyo by Ian Hawgood. "Inside Life" immerses the listener into magnificently expressive modern classical realms, tranquilly minimal, yet exquisitely nuanced, abundantly poignant and delicately filigree, where stirringly pensive sadness is masterfully counterpointed with hauntingly embracing stillness, while intensely evocative ambient subtleties are deliberately permeated by yearning haze. A truly fabulous bravura performance by Bruno Sanfilippo and his guests!!!

Richard Gürtler (Apr 03, 2015, Bratislava, Slovakia)

Thank you so much for your kind words, thirdsystem, I really appreciate that!!! Yes, already a very strong competitor for the Best of 2015!!!


Independent Music Reviews / My review of "Anátēxis" CDr by Jarguna
« on: March 29, 2015, 07:34:01 AM »

Jarguna "Anátēxis" CDr

Italian soundexplorer, photographer and ethnobotany adventurer Marco Billi aka Jarguna returns with his newest "Anátēxis" album self-released during January 2015. Recorded between 2013 and 2014 at his Sound Course Studio, the album comes with attractive jewel case design, which include except stunning photos also painted and signed tray.

"Anátēxis" journey reveals with 21-plus minutes long "Lithogenesis", which straightly dives into deeply mysterious subterranean realms, where echoed organic sounds amalgamate with ghostly rumbles and undulating dronescapes. Heavier dissonant layers slowly permeate through before metamorphosing into cascades of industrial-infused rhythm movements. These sonic elevations are soon joined by perplexing voice ventures with didgeridoo howls. Expanding, intensifying and climaxing, then around the middle part relievedly diminishing into quieter terrains, yet hauntingly flavored with assorted cavernous and primordial traceries. Wow, a very immersing exploration awaits here!!! Primal rumbles announce the next piece, "Compression", on which Jarguna is joined by Tucson based soundcarver Nathan Youngblood, who is mostly known for his "Asunder" debut CD released in 2007 on label. Although the overall mood of this composition is rather cacophonous, its soundpalette is richly organic and acoustically hallucinogenic. Don't know exactly who is responsible for what, maybe Nathan might control most of those primordial scrapings. In any case, according to the pictures of Sound Course Studio, Marco is equipped with lost of toys and Nathan's studio is the same story, I can confirm that personally as few jam sessions still deeply resonate. Dense circles of menacing clouds persistently hang above, at times stealing the center stage, but the listening experience of this bridged archaic and technology remains always fascinatingly irritating. "Lithification", the longest 26-minute track, safely retains its mindscaping scenario with swiftly helixing and surging reverberations reinforced by ear-tickling cyber-biotic fragments, which silently alchemize into magnificently transporting cavernous discordances. Expansive drone layers clandestinely pervade through the prehistoric nether sceneries, moving from warmer vistas through tensely crescendoing cinematic sweeps to mind-blowingly enigmatic cybernetic culminations. A magnum opus!!! Shorter "Cooling" blends lush organic manipulations with freakily traversing drone stratums, the sole protagonist of Jarguna again shares his soundsculpting passion on this composition with Nathan Youngblood. The closing chapter "Geodes" explores rather serene panoramic drifts, even if riding on massively undulating waves, where piercing vertexes and consonant vibrations are contrasted with amorphously meandering warm blankets. A really nice outro!!!

With "Anátēxis" album Marco Billi/Jarguna, with the help of his connate spirit Nathan Youngblood, takes each devoted journeyer into unique shadowy wonders, where all ancestral memories are amply awaken and excavated. Full, almost 77 minutes long immersion is guaranteed!!! I think Jarguna still might be unexplored by many ambient/dark ambient devotees, so don't miss this thrilling experience, because the discography of this gifted Italian soundsculptor features no less than 10 solo or collaboration albums plus few additional digital only releases. Available through Marco's Shangri-la Association dedicated to supporting and preserving local cultural traditions in many countries. Keep on adventuring, Marco, and have a safe journey!!!

Richard Gürtler (Mar 29, 2015, Bratislava, Slovakia)

Independent Music Reviews / My review of "Filaments" CD by Robert Rich
« on: March 22, 2015, 11:30:11 AM »

Robert Rich "Filaments" CD

Quite long time has passed since the last album of Robert Rich, "Nest" was released in September of 2012. However, it doesn't mean this iconic soundexplorer was silent during the last two years. On the contrary, in this period of time he resurrected his legendary sleep concert format, which firstly led to his live presentation in Krakow, Poland, in October of 2013 on Unsound festival (his first sleep concert in 15 years), and one year later, "Perpetual - A Somnium Continuum" monstrous 15 hour Blu-ray was released with 8 hours of new soundscapes. In the meantime, Darren Bergstein's Anodize label has released in December 2013 "Morphology" CD, a stellar sonic document from May 15, 2010. On the top of all that, April 2014 saw the release of "Premonitions 1980-1984", a 4 LP set featuring highly treasured pieces from cassette releases, out on German Vynil-On-Demand label. A quite productive silence... Now it's time encounter the "Filaments" odyssey!!! Released during January 2015, the first impression is splendid, no question about that, because the 6-panel digipak comes with gorgeous front and inside paintings by Nad Wolinska and Daniel Cake and photography by Christian Tanimoto III. As usual, the design and layout is expertly handled by John Bergin. This visual bliss is completed by in-depth liner notes by Robert Rich, displaying the title story behind each track, when focusing on cosmology realms. I am holding in my hands a true piece of art!!!

I am taken on the board as quick as the opening track title, 5-minute "Filaments" spreads across the listening room. The journey has been ignited with utterly immersing and spellbindingly expansive driftscape, gorgeously nuanced with cinematic climaxes, spacious quietudes and cyber-tech biotics, all intriguingly shaped by Robert Rich's innate wizardry. I would say this grandiosely stellar composition is slightly untypical for Robert Rich's soundforging. I am weightlessly drifting into ultimate sonic Heaven!!! "Majorana", with 10:45 the second longest composition, remains on the immense spacefields, cinematically undulating and guarding above euphorically swirling sequences, which continuously counterpoint with piercing lap steel cries. Also utterly gorgeous transitions emerge over the course, when celestial choir-like insignias guide the voyage, before entering breathtakingly unfathomable depths toward the end. Wow, another triumphant aural adventure showcasing musical genius of Robert Rich in full bloom!!! Shorter "Scintilla" effectively merges unmistakable sequencer work with stunningly evocative siren weeps and ear-tickling clinks. "Aetherfields" invade straightly with enigmatic reverberations, gently cacophonous and mindscaping, but wistful piano motif serenely meanders across and meticulously softens this delicate perplexity. "Entangled", the longest track clocking to nearly 11-minute mark, embraces the listener with its peaceful, but gently expressive piano, while lap steel whines ride atop along with distant pulses, which slowly permeate through the nostalgic blankets, transmute and steal the center stage as earmarking melodious meridian, sublimely joyous that is only Robert Rich, before silently fading away into infinite paradise of stillness. But my ears won't get any rest of this delight, because "Eulalia" keeps the attention with its sequencing signature wizardry, again cheerfully shimmering with distinguishingly exuberant cyber-organic percussive layer, all virtuosically reinforced by gorgeously yearning lap steel guitar imagery. Yes, the lap steel sounds in this wonderfully evocative composition are absolutely magnificent, a pure sonic bliss awaits here again, bravo, Maestro!!! With "Laniakea" some exquisitely mysterious horizons reveal, although safely floating on the waves of brightly shinning sequences. The next piece, "Aetherfolds", bridges nearly reverberating, squeaked-like sound ventures with poignantly flavored sparse piano subtleties. Stunningly peculiar, yet deeply contemplative sound collage!!! 10-minute closer "Telomere" gets back to fresh sequencer-driven domains, hauntingly winding and crescendoing through wide-screen, warmly fascinating space expanses. A very strong conclusion to this highly accomplished recording!!!

"Filaments" album is another proof of Robert Rich's musical superiority and a tremendously essential addition to his already glorious discography. Each of his new releases is worth the wait, no matter how long it takes. This album is, as always, filled with Robert's many signature sounds, even without his flute artistry this time, and trademarking perfection is displayed in every single detail of this album. Even the way the transparent tray is glued to the digipak is absolutely flawless... Aural and visual thrill is served here in huge doses, certainly another tour de force by this Californian sound aficionado!!! And don't forget, by the time I am publishing these lines, Robert is optimizing dates for his North American spring tour, with most dates during April and May, so if you have a chance, don't miss another spectacular experience!!! For those based not far from Copenhagen, Denmark, note that April 18th is a date for Robert's another sleep concert taking place in the beautiful former church of Nikolaj Kunsthal. We couldn't ask for more!!!

Richard Gürtler (Mar 22, 2015, Bratislava, Slovakia)

Forum Member Projects News and Promotion / Re: Forrest Fang news
« on: March 13, 2015, 11:09:59 PM »
Hi Forrest,

I just sent to you personal message via Hypnos regarding your "Letters To The Farthest Star" CD, so hopefully it arrived. All the best and I stay tuned!!!

With friendly greetings, Richard :)

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Robert Rich - Filaments
« on: March 08, 2015, 02:04:16 AM »
Yes, I'm biased, being a friend of Robert's, but I think it's a really good one, especially for those who like the sequencer-based style of his earlier work.  But there's a difference-- Robert told me that the individual parts were played by hand.  The work also has a minimalist feel, too, in the sense of Terry Riley's cyclical works--very hypnotic but with quite a bit of movement.  Interestingly, I don't remember hearing any flute on this one.  Another reference point might be Gaudi.


Yes, Forrest, you are right, no flute this time.

Btw, a bit off topic, I am going to order soon your newest CD "Letters To The Farthest Star", really looking forward to fully explore it!!! I am sure it's going to be a big one!!! All the best!!! ;)


Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Robert Rich - Filaments
« on: March 08, 2015, 01:58:31 AM »
I'm still not sure whether to order this. Seems like people have mixed thoughts on it. The audio samples are too brief for me to really gauge it well. Any more thoughts from those who have had some time to digest it? Is it still getting a lot of play in your life?

My comment is brief, go for it, you won't be disappointed!!! As usual for Robert, filled with his signature sounds and trademarking perfection.



Byron Metcalf - Steve Roach - Rob Thomas "Monuments Of Ecstasy" CD

Long time kindred spirits and collaborators Byron Metcalf and Steve Roach have been constantly challenging their extraordinaire musicianship. Now their tribe has expanded as Rob Thomas of Inlakesh duo (with Tanya Gerard) returns after acclaimed "Medicine Work", a high-spirited cowork with Byron (June 2013) and his guest performance on "Intention" by Byron & Mark Seelig (April 2014). Steve and Rob, if I am right, haven't collaborated since 1999, when Steve delivered some groove magic to Inlakesh's "The Gathering" album. So all in all, we have here a tribal super group to fire up some of the most adventurous shamanic performances. The team is joined also by Stan Yeatts, who is responsible for the photographic bliss, the inside 3-panel panoramic picture is absolutely stunning and provides as much monumental input to this groundbreaking work, which was released in 6-panel digipak at Projekt during January 2015. Additional credits include Sam Rosenthal (design) and Spotted Peccary's Howard Givens (mastering).

The journey unfolds powerfully with 11 and half minute piece, "Archaic Layers". Steve's expansive desert drifts and engrossing grooves are quickly joined by Byron's passionate drumming magic, a quite razor-sharp. Unmistakably tribal-driven, but this time heavy pounding with nearly industrial touch. Along the way, Rob's didgeridoo droning spirals infrequently keep on arising. A truly hyper-active blend exhibiting the very best of each tribesman, welcome to their spectacularly multi-dimensional performance!!! "Monuments Of Trance", with 16:31 the longest ecstasy, slows down a bit, fronted by continuously encircling didge drones and barks, but the intense drumming quickly ties the score while distant glimpses of Southwest stark landscapes occasionally pervade. After 10-minute mark a tranquil transition awakes, before locomotive-infused tribal grooves and winding didge transcendence steal the center stage and navigate the final ride into the mesmerizing, mind-transporting trance paradise. No way to argue about the track title... "Primal Analog" dives straightly into sequencer-driven realms, but safely remains on the path, tirelessly opiating and reinforced by remote scanty beat and oscillating whizzing drone pipe. Perpetually spellbinding listening experience is guaranteed!!! The next piece, "Molecules Of Momentum", incorporates an array of ecstatic aboriginal sounds, hauntingly evolving infectious rhythms and diaphanously floating layers. Perfect blend of strongly mesmerizing Dreamtime artifacts and shamanic rites of the Americas bridged with modern sound artistry. Then comes the title track "Monuments Of Ecstasy", which clocks just over the 15-minute mark. The first 4 minutes transport the listener into unique amalgamation of primordial carvings with cyber-trance-induced grooves. But then Steve takes over the torch, when thrillingly awe-inspiring expansive melody sneaks in. This was absolutely unexpected, what a jaw-dropping transformation!!! I am deeply fascinated by this composition since the very first time it was officially introduced. The limits have been pushed once again, when already highly distinctive tribal-trance ambience is confronted with some electro-industrial flavorings. The track title fits more than precisely, a pure eargasm awaits here, no question about that!!! Shorter closing composition, "This Place On Earth", is under Steve's dominion and it soothes my ears with gracefully immense drifting panoramas reaching the eternally magnificent portal of atmospheric blissfulness. While delving into the deepest zones of monstrous calmness, delicate cyber-tech fragments inconspicuously permeate through. A massively embracing meditation!!!

This is certainly not just another rather ordinary tribal ambient journey, this is a genuine sonic (and visual) elixir approaching and achieving a new level in the collaborative evolution between Steve Roach and Byron Metcalf, this time with an enormous contribution of Rob Thomas, the master of the didgeridoo (player, teacher and crafter). Bravo Gentlemen!!! I just can't imagine where these curanderos want to shift their next chapter, it will be a quite tough task, but I am sure this will again challenge innate visionaries of these shamanic powerhouses. For now, explore, feel and absorb all the magic of these "Monuments Of Ecstasy"!!!

Richard Gürtler (Jan 31, 2015, Bratislava, Slovakia)

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Robert Rich - Filaments
« on: February 01, 2015, 06:14:54 AM »
Robert Rich is another one I would take a road trip or fly out to see live.

Confirmed date, April 3rd 2015, Robert Rich at the Solar Culture Gallery, Tucson.

Actually here is the complete list of Robert's spring tour:

(Late March - unconfirmed)
San Francisco, CA
Possible Sleep Concert
April 3 - Fri.
Tucson AZ
Solar Culture - Galactic Center
31 E Toole Ave, Tucson AZ 85701
April 5 - Sun. 
Dallas, TX
Bishop Arts Theater
215 South Tyler Street
Dallas TX 75208
April 9 -  Thurs.
Arden NC (Asheville area)
Streamside Concerts
Arden NC 28704
Information: salire@yahoo.cin
April 11 - Sat.
Philadelphia PA
The Gatherings, at St. Mary's Church
April 14 -   Tues.
Marshfield MA
Sanctuary Church
185 Plain St., Marshfield MA 02050
April 18 - Sat. - NOT YET CONFIRMED
Copenhagen, Denmark
Sleep concert
April 24 - Fri.
Sturgeon Bay WI
The Sanctuary, Studio 330
330 N. 3rd Ave. Sturgeon Bay WI 54235
April 25 - Sat.
Sturgeon Bay WI
Production Workshop
The Sanctuary, Studio 330
330 N. 3rd Ave. Sturgeon Bay WI 54235
May 1 - Fri.
Louisville KY
Rauch Planetarium - Gheens Science Center, University of Louisville
May 8 - Fri.
Parker CO (Denver area)
House Concert
Reservations email:
May 23-24 (Sat. or Sun.) - ?
San Jose, CA
Mexican Heritage Plaza Theater


Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Robert Rich - Filaments
« on: February 01, 2015, 06:07:13 AM »
Was unaware of this so thanks for posting. It is not even on the front of Robert's website yet, had to go into his shop to see Filaments.

The best way is to subscribe for Robert's newsletter, the last one from January 13th features info on "Filaments" as well as confirmed tour dates for his upcoming spring tour.


Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Robert Rich - Filaments
« on: January 31, 2015, 10:41:08 AM »
Can't agree more, Robert!!! "Filaments" CD is another milestone from this genius soundscaper, aural and visual bliss awaits, absolute perfection in every detail!!! Robert, you can be sure you will love the digipak as soon it reaches your mailbox. Once again, after "Perpetual - A Somnium Continuum" Blu-ray, another hats off to Robert Rich!!! We all can be lucky to have him on the board.


Independent Music Reviews / Re: PDFs of Wind and Wire, the magazine
« on: January 31, 2015, 12:08:18 AM »
Yes, great old memories awake, Bill!!! Printed copies of Wind and Wire magazine belong to the most treasured items in my ambient collection!!! Thank you and all the best, my friend!!!


I will be there too, for both shows. By the way, I still keep in mind, dreamin4ever, your nice report from last year's trip to Tucson. Definitely "Toward the Dream" journey for myself!!! According to Steve's FB account, around 20 tickets left for each show. See you soon, folks!!!


Independent Music Reviews / My review of "Broadcast" CD by Spuntic
« on: January 24, 2015, 10:43:07 AM »

Spuntic "Broadcast" CD

Databloem's Dennis Knopper is always very good in bringing into the map some new unknown names and Spuntic is certainly no exception in these adventurous explorations. Mehdi Saleh aka IX, the driving force behind Spuntic, is an Iranian soundscaper, based in Tehran, who belongs to the leading forces of the growing electronic scene in this country. Actually, although Spuntic has released so far several albums, mostly on Portuguese netlabel Enough Records, I believe Mehdi is rather known for his dark ambient infused project Alphaxone. But back to Spuntic, "Broadcast" was released during May 2014 in traditionally tasteful Databloem's digifile packaging with exceptional design wizardry by Theo Rabou. Let's ignite this 68-minute transmission now...

"Alternate" transports straightly into nocturnal rainy street with circling texture bridging enigmatic layers with smoothly soaring swells. At times slightly piercing, yet hauntingly percolating. Gorgeously cinematic fragments quietly sneak in and continuously undulate throughout. Organic, surreptitious, exquisite... A very strong introduction by Spuntic. "Piramoun (Interlude)" dives slowly into desolate drone reverberations, reaching nearly unfathomable depths and then astonishingly transmuting through soothing acoustics of the environment into gracefully expansive skylines. Thrillingly transporting odyssey awaits here!!! But the journey continues with "Hybrid Snow", which should be cold, but the distant spirals of sky high choir drones are uniquely warm, masterfully counterpointed with extremely polished and utterly magnetising hissy/glitchy blankets and delicately piercing cybernetic subtleties. Deeply mesmerizing and spectacularly embracing composition, bravo Mehdi, to me, certainly an Ambient Hall of Fame piece!!! "Erosion" is driven by nature sounds and tidal drifts bridged with contemplative tinkles, rumbles and retrospective scenic vistas. Gently crescendoing and tranquilly engrossing!!! Monotonously twinkling "Convergence" is rather inconspicuous while the next one, "Beneath", integrates persistent organic sounds with softly discordant nuances. Subtly minimal, yet richly flavored with an array of crystalline bleep-like sounds. "Spread" shifts into beautifully halcyon terrains, calmly floating and waving through enchantingly reflective panoramas. "Island Of Reil" returns to more undulating pathway with slowly emerging expansive layers crossed with sibilant driftscapes and warmly inviting cinematic quietudes. Delightfully evocative!!! "Omniscient" with heavier and darker drone sorcery easily evokes barren sceneries, although later joined by strangely circling bleeps, while the dronescaping scenario stealthily metamorphoses into spellbindingly grandiose drifts. "Limitation" remains floating in celestial spheres, majestically transporting and reinforced by intangible tinkles and placid sounds of nature. "Visual Light" incorporates euphoric sequences bridged with ongoing organic embellishments. Toward the end the composition changes like a chameleon into serenely contemplative outro. "Horizon", with 8:20 the longest piece, closes this broadcast with drones that could be easily abyssal-benthic, strongly monochromatic and mind-bending, yet illuminated with sort of sonar pulses and noises, but emanating rainy sounds swiftly shift the whole scene just near the surface of a mysterious ocean tunnel leading to an awe-inspiring water cave realm, stunningly immersing!!! Additional eerie scraps widen the sonic spectrum throughout this magnificent subterranean odyssey. But don't be scared, even if journeying through this breathtaking watery wonder, you can still safely catch a glimpse of the ocean horizon...

"Broadcast" is undoubtedly a really strong debut CD album, a true revelation and a very fruitful addition to the expanding international roster of Databloem's artists. I will definitely keep an eye and ear on this highly gifted soundsculptor. For now, great job Spuntic & Databloem, keep on going guys!!! And by the way, in case you belong to the dark ambient aficionados, then don't miss two new CDs by Mehdi's Alphaxone project, which are most recently released on Cryo Chamber label and entitled "Altered Dimensions" and "Living in the Grayland".

Richard Gürtler (Jan 24, 2015, Bratislava, Slovakia)

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Sean Washburn - Wave mantra
« on: January 11, 2015, 02:55:09 AM »
I just have found this news (announced yesterday) on FB page of swedish gterma label run by Johan Rehn, who is responsible for many wonderful releases on his label since 2011.

[gterma043] : Sean Washburn - Wave Mantra (forthcoming)

We step into the year of 2015 with a retrospective look on an album that has since become quite scarce in the marketplace. Wave Mantra was originally released by Sean himself on this very day, fifteen years ago. It is best described as a sonic journey through an enigmatic and absorbing soundworld with a very rich organic flavour. A beautiful tale that we are very happy to see back in print again. This reissue has, like so many other gterma titles, also been gently remastered by Anders Peterson.


1. To Thee Homage
2. Hemlock Grotto
3. Cirrus
4. Trans-World India
5. Welcome
6. Inner Gate
7. Low Barometer
8. Between The Heartbeats
9. A Sacred Voice - Cloud Tree

Here is the link to gterma, although "Wave Mantra" CD is not listed there yet. All gterma releases are usually available via Discogs or through direct e-mail contact with Johan.

All the best!!! :)



Neu Gestalt "Inside The Rain Chamber" CD

The sole protagonist behind Neu Gestalt, in Edinburgh, Scotland based ambient downtempo sound wizard Les Scott has released his 3rd album "Inside The Rain Chamber" on domiciliar, Paul Croan's label Alex Tronic Records, just like his previous two albums "Altered Carbon" (2008) and "Weightless Hours" (2012). Out since December 5th, 2014, and packaged in catchy 6-panel digipak designed by Neu[e] (aka Les Scott) with additional front cover and disc photographs by Natashah Azim. The mastering duties were handled, as usual, by Paul Croan.

Known for his quite unconventional high-tech sculpting alchemy, Les Scott again brings to his listeners a truly energetic, crystalline polished synthesis of pulses, glitches, break-ups, voice-like fragments (evoking Japanese words) and haunting melodies with nostalgic reminiscences. Comprised of 12 tracks, mostly clocking between 4 and 5 minutes, the album opens with "Voyager" that immediately sets the feel for the upcoming 52-minute trip. Hissy reflections, cyber-tech rhythms, broken Japanese female wordless fragrances, all texturally rich, strongly polished and uniquely interwoven. Slightly lazier, downtempos dominate "Sagarmatha Before Falling", yet abundantly undulating with attractive piano-like evocations. "Capsule" again focuses more on voice-like fragments, which are juxtaposed with sharper, synthetic pulses and swirls. A truly magnetic mixture. And that's the case of the following piece too, "Luminance". Based on bouncing rhythms, amply flavored with assorted glitches and hisses. The next piece, "Landing Lights", precisely bridges slightly distorted beats, enchanting backgrounds, although rather scattered and female voice scraps, this time sounding almost earthy. "Islands" shift straightly into soothingly poignant terrains, gorgeously organic and cinematically embracing. Very refreshing!!! "Neon East" quickly returns into ear-tickling passages, hypnotically whirling with occasional piano wistfulness sneaking in. Slower tempos on "Hidden Leaves" are hauntingly melted with signature voice fragments and distortive outbursting subtleties. "Tokyo Tipping Point" is strangely fragmented and nuanced, yet surprisingly enchanting and euphonious. "Twilight Of Tears" is fragile, hazy, enigmatic, exotic, dubby... Definitely one of the highlights on this ride. "A Year Without Sun" shifts into a deep cyber-biotic realms while the closing "Weightlessness" mesmerizes the listeners with its delicately pulsing, blipping and tinkling texture.

Musically and aurally again a very strong and distinguishing work by this Scotsman, but that's quite obvious for Neu Gestalt since "Altered Carbon" and "Weightless Hours" albums. Regarding to this, I should also mention that the main sound source used on this recording are two shakuhachi flutes, but these sounds have underwent lots of processing, so I wouldn't recognize them without seeing them among used instruments or mentioned them in the creative process of carving the album. Although I might prefer more variability this time, even if all details are enough diversified in each track, to me, the overall feel is a bit repetitive throughout. Few extra hooks in the vein of brilliant "Twilight Of Tears", "Islands" or "Sagarmatha Before Falling" would certainly more reinvigorate the album on the long run. Maybe it's the case of generated vocal sounds, maybe I would appreciate more drifting glimpses across. Nevertheless, "Inside The Rain Chamber" album is a must-have for each connoisseur of peculiarly crafted downtempo cybertronica!!!

Richard Gürtler (Jan 05, 2015, Bratislava, Slovakia)

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: January 08, 2015, 09:08:52 AM »
In addition to the new Alio Die on Projekt, there's also a new Steve Roach/Byron Metcalf.  I dunno, is it just me or does Metcalf's drumming sound like someone pounding on the hood of a car?

I love it!!! I have heard only two tracks so far from "Monuments of Ecstasy", the title track is absolute milestone, these guys have pushed the limits once again. Bravo Byron, Steve & Rob!!! Can't wait to explore the CD!!!

And Chris, don't miss 2CDr set "The Time Collection" by Altus, released yesterday in limited edition of 40 copies. A true sonic Eden awaits here too!!!

All the best!!!  ;)



The Circular Ruins "Full Circle" CDr

Two years have passed since the previous solo TCR release "The Birth of Tragedy", but in the meantime Anthony Paul Kerby (APK) has been quite busy collaborating with Specta Ciera and Mystified, as well as with his Lammergeyer project and also focusing on his co-works with Robert Davies (as The Winterhouse), and Tomas Weiss. The brand new album "Full Circle", released at the beginning of November 2014 in the usual slim poly case packaging, also introduces a new design concept realized by the artist himself. Full wrap-around insert printed on both sides looks again very elegant, so no wonder the previous design, which featured photographs by Angela Weiser and paintings by Robert Davies, became DataObscura's hallmark. Nice job!!!

The album unfolds with the 10:30 title track, "Full Circle". Serenely meandering primal drifts are permeated with fragile transparent glitches, tickling the listener's ears, while a nostalgic melody placidly floats throughout along with reverberating layer and soothing tinkles. An array of additional sonic accompaniments keep emerging and fading away, always in a very gentle way, which makes headphone listening a truly rewarding exploration. Gorgeously embracing opening!!! Short "Protozoan" remains safely on the tranquil path, although led by mildly pulsing euphoria. The next piece, "All Your Questions", hangs on joyful tracks with its richly tinkling structure, yet always warmly refreshing and engulfing. "Slipstream" incorporates repetitive and progressing rhythm surrounded by evolving crescendos, which transmute occasionally into lushly colored escapades of bouncing pitched bleep-like sounds. Again with each detail precisely polished. "Hall Of Mirrors" returns to delicate glitchy terrains bridged with stunningly gorgeous poetic horizons, utterly warm and longing expansive drone beds, joyous melodic patterns enthrallingly percolated across, silently emerging nuances, all meticulously coalesced together into a blissfully harmonious and immersing sonic Eden that can only be The Circular Ruins. Hats off!!! Brief "Sublimation" floats on the immense retrospective clouds of its predecessor, while the longest, 11-minute "The End Of Everything" shifts into richly organic realms, distinctively intensified with trumpet-like infusions, sparse flimsy tinkles and continuously perceptible hissy wistfulness. "Delayed Gratification" resurrects euphoniously spacious landscapes, magnificently grandiose and soothing, which are inconspicuously intermingled with the vague clickety-clack of machinery-like sounds. "In Memorium" dives straightly into breathtakingly infinite and sorrowful choir-infused drone expansions, masterfully conjugated with miscellaneous biotic grumbles and ear-warming chimes. Definitely a gracefully embracing conclusion awaits here!!!

Nine individual chapters generating totally exquisite "Full Circle"!!! I can't help it, but I have always been deeply fascinated by APK's ability and sense to precisely insert all kinds of highly sophisticated embellishments into his soundscapes, without being too disruptive or too fragmented. Every time a true sonic elixir unfolds when taking active listening involvement with your headphones on. Top-notch sound quality "Full Circle" is again no exception, your deeply focused attention is required and even if my following words might sound cliché, this album must be labeled as a magnum opus of The Circular Ruins. Thus my nomination for "The Best of 2014" Award is quite obvious in this case. Bravo, Anthony, this is a true virtuoso performance!!! And thus "Full Circle" album is another shining pearl in the already admired body of work of this proficient Anglo-Canadian soundcarver!!!

Richard Gürtler (Dec 28, 2014, Bratislava, Slovakia)

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!!!


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