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Messages - richardgurtler

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Hi guys,

yes, that's true, this topic keeps on returning, but I don't care when it can bring some new ideas or improvements based on these discussions, when fans, artists and label/mail-order owners are involved.

My point of view as of a big collector of physical CDs was already presented several times on this forum. And I will repeat again and again, when it comes to a physical product, it should be presented as "all-inclusive" package, to me I will always see each physical product as piece of art. At some point I can accept even a CDr release, but it definitely has to come with more attractive packaging. And the slim jewel case it's at very end of the attractiveness, at least to me. Yes, it probably saves your space on shelter, but I don't care about that if I can't locate it without the spine... I have maybe around 30-40 of these slim jewel case CDR editions in my collection, but there are still many good releases available on this format that I don't buy beacuse of this packaging. Just like "Drone on" said, they somehow slip to the bottom of my want list. I like the music, but I am simply unable to accept this packaging. I think it ruins the music or devaluate, as mentioned by Anthony. Maybe my words are hard, and yes, I understand, the CD sales are very low during these times, however I think this product has much lower chance to be picked up by some other, even small distros/mail-orders. There are many of them across the globe trying hard to spread the music they love and survive. No matter how difficult are the economics during these days, I would never go this way as a label or artist. Well, I am not in their shoes, if I would be, maybe my view might be different, but I hope not!!!

Speaking about CDR editions with slim jewel cases, there are still some other choices, for me much more attractive. For example slim poly case with a full wrap-around insert, printed on both sides, with a spine, as used by Anthony and his DataObscura label. Or the older type of slim jewel case with spine, used by Databloem's Practising Nature or Bluebox editions. Yes, I understand the later is not easy to buy and replace when it arrives broken during the shipping.

10,00 USD for CDR in slim jewel case or 15,00 USD for CD (CDR is acceptable too) in digipak, eco wallet, standard jewel case... My choice is definitely 15,00 USD. Yes, I understand, maybe there are many people who rather prefer cheaper product and don't pay any attention or pay less attention to packaging, 100 people, 100 tastes, however, this is my point of view. I think we are here quite strong community on Hypnos (or Relaxed Machinery), no matter if artists, labels, small distros, reviewers, radios, fans..., so why not to search for the best solutions that will evaluate physical products. I am quite sure there are some printing plants that are able to offer good or acceptable prices for smaller runs of 100, 200 or 300 copies with nice packagings. There are labels and artists going and using this way. So therefore they have some experiences that might be shared with other artists or labels searching for these choices, hopefully these helpful infos would be not "top secret"...

I agree with "Drone on", paying 10,00 USD for download instead of 10,00 to 13,00 USD plus shipping for CDR edition in slim jewel case, is much more reasonable. Bad luck for me, I don't buy any downloads, only physical products...:-( However, I think 10,00 USD per download is too much when comparing to physical product.

Please don't get me wrong, I didn't want to sound bad about these packagings, my big thanks and deep respect go to all those labels and artists releasing CDR editions with slim jewel cases, I know they work very hard, but the bottom line is that I am simply unable to identify with these products.

Keep on enjoying great music!!!


Forum Member Projects News and Promotion / Re: Forrest Fang news
« on: May 07, 2012, 09:40:55 AM »
Just got "Animism" CD through Steve's webshop, a true virtuoso performance!!! You made may day, thank you so much, Forrest!!! Looking forward to more spins...


Thank you so much, Harry, feedbacks are always welcome!!!  :)

Thank you so much, Anthony, excellent music=excellent review, it's easy!!! :)



The Winterhouse "Winter Gardens" CDr

"Winter Gardens" is the 4th album of the collaborative project The Winterhouse, featuring the Canadian-US duo of Anthony Paul Kerby (London, Ontario) and Robert Davies (Ithaca, New York). Released at the beginning of March 2012 on the usual imprint via Anthony's DataObscura. The album opens quietly with pastoral "Winter Hymn", a serenely flowing organic ambience that precisely sets the stage for this deeply panoramic meandering through the serenity of a winter landscape wrapped in a heavy blanket of snow. Ice cold monotonous drones invade "The Depths Of Winter" and are precisely bridged with assorted cavernously echoed effects, gurgles and rumblings. Towards the end the texture moves into more experimental terrains. This must be the exciting soundtrack for your journey into the breathtaking "winter gardens" of underground ice cavern labyrinths with all their fascinating and mysterious ice figures and structures. Absolutely gorgeous!!! Deep, static, but massive drone magic enters the next composition, "This Land Drifts Into Silence", and it's nicely colored by miscellaneous distant winds, hisses and occasional heartbeats. It is gradually progressing and soaring above misty, snow capped trees. Delicate sonic disruptions fly along too. Stunningly immersive snowscapes, great work, guys!!! "We Walk Through Glass" keeps on the aerial, dreamy route, with a richly layered cascading structure offering drama and depth, and where icy drones are merged with diverse hazy sonic experiments, hisses and outbursts. "A Winter Symphony" is crossed with modern classical elements, which attractively interact with deeper drone wizardry created by some strongly absorbing voice magics. A really exciting cinematic-like composition filled with variety and intensity, and always gorgeously fascinating and strikingly picturesque!!! "Solitude" is the 13 minute closing composition and another perfectly fitting title with a richly textured, cavernous feel enhanced by various alien breathings, rumbling noises and water sounds. Another amazing trip into the magnificent subterranean domain. Anthony Paul Kerby and Robert Davies have unlocked for me truly beautiful scenic winter wonderland landscapes and underground chambers. Explore your "Winter Gardens" too!!!

Richard Gürtler (Apr 27, 2012, Bratislava, Slovakia)


Justin Vanderberg "Synthetic Memories" CD

Released in November 2011 as Justin Vanderberg's debut on Spotted Peccary label and follow-up to his premiere album "In Waking Moments", released back in 2007 on Hypnos Secret Sounds. While "In Waking Moments" album was strongly focused on deeper, tranquil ambience enriched by fine Timeroom fragrances, "Synthetic Memories" shift towards traditional, warmly inviting cinematic sound of Spotted Peccary family. The opening composition, clocking to 9 and half minutes, "From Below", on which Justin is joined by his label mate Jon Jenkins, perfectly portrays this hauntingly sublime fusion of pristine chill-out melodies and serenely floating organic washes, all amazingly harmonized and wrapped by emotionally moving soundtrack-like arrangements. A really catchy intro I must say, even if holding stronger signature of Jon's collaborations with David Helpling. "When I Walk" dives into deeper, expansive atmospheric realms, charmingly colored by ethereally expressive piano. Elegantly gentle melodies return on "Synthetic Memories", a 13-minute title track, and are freshly blended with swiftly sequenced patterns and tranquil atmozones. Some sharper crystalline effects add a bit of cybernetic feel. "67" is deeply visualizing texture, tranquilly and graciously floating. "The Path" is invaded by strange effects and hisses, which quite disturbingly color strongly imaginative piano lead and washes. But razor-sharp tribal grooves join the stage along with other highly distinctive sounds for absolutely exciting show. A truly fascinating mixture of high-tech beats and evocative soundscapes, stunningly beautiful and mesmerizingly effective!!! "Dusk" enters panoramic desert vastness with spiraling drifts roaming over these vast open territories and recalling the ghosts of Timeroom. This is another side of Justin Vanderberg's artistry, presenting his soundscaping at its most expansive and immersing. Another highlight on this journey!!! "Drops" are truly heartwarming, nicely fragranced with modern classical-infused piano, quite minimal, but strongly imaginative. The closing, 9 minutes long "Cold Brightness", is more dreamy, pastoral texture with tenderly tinkling bells, slowly progressing through slightly more massive, droning paths. A nicely fitting finale of these "Synthetic Memories"!!! Justin Vanderberg, in US, Ohio based artist, definitely deserves his place among the Spotted Peccary team roster. "Synthetic Memories" are electrifyingly colorful, yet complexly constructed and skillfully executed, including elegant 4-panel disc eco wallet packaging.

Richard Gürtler (Apr 22, 2012, Bratislava, Slovakia)


Aglaia "Absolutely Deep" CD

Gino Fioravanti and Gianluigi Toso, the two Italian sonic magicians of Aglaia, have returned in February 2012 with three exciting works, "Absolutely Deep" is one of them. The masters of fascinating nocturnal and daylight atmospheres unfold the journey with "Go Melt Back Into The Night", 11 and half minutes long walk through a grassy forest meadow with stars illuminating this absolutely tranquil scenery. Beautifully radiant and euphoric drones floate with all their graciousness, this is Aglaia at its most relaxing and immersing!!! But the timeless sound magic of Aglaia keeps on spreading, "Dragon Clouds So High Above" is slightly more textured with slowly spiraling depth and spaciousness evoking mesmerizingly soothing nostalgic moments. "The Dusky Light The Day Is Losing" is colored with deeply tranquilizing concert of distant night chirps, a warmly inviting sonic symphony!!! "Whiter Clouds That Swing Down Low" attracts with few crispy disruptions and fragile effects, which complexly enrich highly evocative drones and sound trully enchanting. Aerial, dreamy washes are fully explored through "Twilight On The Frozen Lake", where the listener floats along in a serene and peaceful stream of sound, painting magical beauty of pristine winter landscape at sunset with surrounding trees reflected in the ice. A really beautiful composition producing a tremendous sense of tranquility. The next piece, "Time Passes Slowly And Fades Away" is gently accompanied throughout by more massive, rougher, hissy sounds, but still remaining warmly evocative. "The Rain Beating Down On My Window" closes this deeply mesmerizing walk with pleasantly soothing and refreshing texture. "Absolutely Deep" album will relax your body and your mind will be wandering on a one way trip to luminous and expansive peacefulness. The gorgeous digipak packaging with various tree trunk textures and images helps set the stage for this purely scenic and comfortable listening experience!!!

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


Landru "Neurotransmitters" CDr

Wow, this is a really nice surprise for me, discovered only few weeks ago through newly launched Altera Orbe website. Landru, based near Barcelona, Spain, is a solo project of Patxi Hernández. He is also one of the creative forces behind Altera Orbe, together with Ran Kirlian. Landru was before focusing more on dance or chillout oriented electronics, but when I entered into "Neurotransmitters" territory through introducing "Serotonin" composition, my eyebrows were raised right away and brand new sonic dimensions were awaiting to be explored. Yes, "Neurotransmitters" is the first purely ambient-infused album of Landru, released in November, 2011. As mentioned above, this exciting excursion begins with "Serotonin", an icy cold dronescape colored with various, sharply hitting and erupting high-tech percussive sounds. Quite an electrifying performance I must say, introducing Landru's ambient soundscapes at most scientific!!! Important to mention, this album is a strongly conceptual work based around various neurotransmitters, the chemicals which allow the transmission of signals from one neuron to the next across synapses. Now that's a challenging theme to express through sonic visions by an artist who freshly ventures into ambient genre!!! "Acetylcholine" keeps on strongly futuristic route, but this time with more rhythmic approach, while the next piece, "Histamine" unites rather experimental, cacophonic sounds with atmospheric soundscapes. Low drone work, invading "Glycine", is soon joined by various razor-sharp effects and mechanized movements and shifts into coldly pulsing industrialized ambience, amazing!!! "Dopamine" immediately strikes with beautifully crystalline melody, crossed with harsher cybernetics, I really enjoy this catchy blend of nicely balanced softer and rawer passages, filling this journey with imagination and curiosity. "Epinephrine" hits with ice cold spiraling drones, spiced by assorted bleeps and hums, all backed by cavernous sounds. A truly immersing cybernetic dreamscape!!! But "GABA" dives even deeper with sonar-like pings and few eerie high-tech effects, slowly submerging into more massive drone walls before few slightly tribal-spiced grooves are thrown in. Audible ecstasy is guaranteed!!! "Aspartate" evolves into the most upbeat sculpted piece on "Neurotransmitters" with cold, industrialized rhythms. Various noises, rumblings and signals are nicely bridged with deeper atmospheres, evocative melody and ethereal voice-like sounds on "Glutamate". "Melatonin" closes this amazingly adventurous ride with richly sculpted and sharply sounding texture, assembled with hazed factory-like breathings, harsher distortions, catchy metallic implements and warmer, nearly cinematic drifts. "Neurotransmitters" is a very impressive ambient debut by Landru!!! I definitely will keep en eye on this Spaniard, because his co-work with Ran Kirlian entitled "Waterfront" is in the pipeline and his next ambient album "Fimbria" is in the works too. Until then, "Neurotransmitters" album gets my highest recommendation!!!

Richard Gürtler (Apr 14, 2012, Bratislava, Slovakia)


Amongst Myselves "Ambient, Landscape And Space" CDr/DVDr

It's always very interesting and challenging to see an ambient artist who pays attention also to the visual part of his compositions. But a CD/DVDr combined release is nothing new for Australian Steve Roberts, the protagonist of Amongst Myselves. Back in 2007 he has released his album "Auburn Silhouette" with bonus DVDr featuring 3 short films. Now he returns again with this format, only pressed CD is this time replaced by a CDr, but again nicely packaged in standard 2CD jewel case with printed 6-panel front cover. The album, released at the beginning of March 2012 through Steve Roberts' own Amongst Projects label, consists of 12 tracks, 9 of them are remixes of previously released pieces plus 3 unreleased. Even is solo project, Steve Roberts is joined on this album by Bernard Haseloff on guitar synth and Garry Roberts on electronic percussion. The journey opens with "Greybox Shadow (Into The Light Mix)", serenely washing organic ambience, here and there spiced by drums or electric guitar as well as by some gracefully floating celestial choir-like sounds. A very tranquil and relaxing intro! "Bay Of Dreams (Through The Memories Mix)" merges all kinds of environmental recordings (bird calls, child's voices, everyday's rumlings...) with smoothly drifting soundscapes, various buzzing and tinkling sounds and heavenly choirs. Richly colorful and enchanting piece of organic ambience! Recordings of ocean waves lead "Shoreline Fading", a short, transitional piece. "Argo Navis (Blinded Mix)" opens with buzzing effects, then the texture gets more richer, mysteriously droning on the back, with melodramatic expressions on the fore, although the piece remains rather minimal, but still quite effective and evocative. "Southern Lights (Black Hole Mix)" invade the journey with deeper, aerial drones enhanced here and there by high-tech effects, distant choir-like sounds. The texture keeps on expanding until it changes like chamaeleon into rhythm-infused, tribal adventure colored by few catchy sounds of birds. A very nicely bridged serenely gliding cloudscapes with stirring allegros. "Interstellar Message" is the next filler, sculpted with cybernetic experiments. "Ship Of Dreams (The Journey Continues Mix)" is invaded by crystalline tinkling and buzzing sounds, interplaying with the moments of silence. The piece keeps on cascading until it reaches fully orchestrated and cinematic feel leaded my marching rhythms. "Syene (A New World Mix)" holds its soundtracking mood, based on slightly distorted lazy, Mediterranean melody, with ocassional voices and shoutings appearing on the back. A very unique composition within ambient genre!!! "Demon Haunted World - Somnium" fits precisely its title, organic drifts are joined by sharper industrial rumblings, distorted grooves, alienating sounds and children's cryings. Another really strange, nearly cacophonic piece!!! "Interlude - The Dark And Cold" is painted by rainy, thunder and windy sounds as well as by assorted sonic experiments, rumblings and creakings, and strange voices. "Up Into The Air And Over The Edge (Between The Trees And Clouds Mix)" starts with arctic, windy atmospheres, slowly elevating into more massive and immersing level, enriched by expressively tender strings and fragilely tinkling bells, to capture a beautifully picturesque experience!!! The album reaches its finale with "Tales (It's Been A Good Trip Mix)", a truly ear-catching, melodic piece with its euphoric rhythms and atmospheres, infectiously blending synths, guitar and drums. Absolutely stunning closer, the name of the mix fits perfectly!!! Hats off to these Aussies for their highly distinctive, unique and courageous approach, when combining elements of various styles into richly sculpted and enormously diverse recording!!! And I am awarding this work with extra points also for audiophile sound quality.

I would like to pen few words also on the visual content. According to the infos, the visual pieces on the DVDr were created by Amongst Myselves' leader, Steve Roberts and visual artist, musician Bernard Haseloff. Loaded with 75 minutes of visuals, mostly based on time-lapse technique used by Steve Roberts and supported by oil paintings by Bernard Haseloff. Some pieces are leaded by time-lapse sceneries, presenting spectacularly beautiful, vast Australian landscapes, but also scenes from Egypt or Paris for example can be seen, some visuals are drifting into deeper space, some capture shadowy nocturnal beauty, while some others feature manipulated images. Few spooky paintings enter the show as well. The more rhythmed parts feature also some live performance footage. There are also polyhedra and rudimentary 3D graphics, created by Steve Roberts, and appearing on "Tales" track, on the first version interacting with live performance footage and time-lapse technique, while on the later version the 3D graphic take the dominating role, with time-lapse landscapes, but without live footage this time. I must say the visuals magnificently portray the music, a very nice work, guys!!!

"Ambient, Landscape And Space" is an all-inclusive audio/video package, explore it and be transported to many different adventurous places, a must have!!!

Richard Gürtler (Apr 10, 2012, Bratislava, Slovakia)

Play list nuun 11 called "Spiritual"
Drifting across ancient and spiritual worlds with pulsing tribal acts and hypnotic ritual atmospheres from germany.

Mario Konrad - Some distant shadows (Spirit cave, Frequency Lab)
Arbre Noir - Pulsar (Beyond, Polymorph Records)
Temps Perdu ? - Rano raraku (v/a Twilight earth, Timebase)
Solitaire - Spirit cave (Nocturnes, Arya)
Grassow / Gleisberg / Baghiri - Pullmoon gleaming (Arcanum, Arya)
Temps Perdu ? - Timanfaya (Earth story, Amplexus)
Mario Konrad - Hidden path (Spirit cave, Frequency Lab)

Best listenings

Wow, a truly magnificent "Made in Germany" journey!!!



Strom Noir "Standing Out Against The Sea" CDr

A busy release schedule for Strom Noir's Emil Maťko, who has released four EP's during the last six months, and culminated in March when his debut work for sympathetic Canadian label DataObscura became a reality. Since we are country mates, for me it is a little miracle seeing this Slovak drone ambient project released on the consistently productive DataObscura label ... my dreams definitely came true!!! The first release outside Europe for Strom Noir as well. The album unfolds with motionlessly flowing looped drones on "Poppy Seeds", presenting Strom Noir at its most serene!!! The title composition "Standing Out Against The Sea" moves towards more typical guitar-based soundscaping, with a stronger acoustic feel and a repetitive, slightly more melodic structure enriched later by harsher hissed soundwalls and natural sounds, but always keeping within the signature of Strom Noir. This composition showcases a precise synergy and balance between fragile, melancholic warmness and louder, more massive passages. "In All The Wrong Places" begins with deeper, slow-motion drones, which fleetly shift into gradually progressing, intense and interplaying cascades covered by misty hiss. This richly sculpted and deeply evocative masterpiece holds all the finest "Made by Strom Noir" essences!!! The monotonously spiraling, but shimmeringly exquisite drones of "The Passage Of Truth" move again through multi-dimensional passages, backed by catchy voice-like sounds. The next composition, "Rearviewmirror", slips into a rather rawer, exotically sounding adventure, with distinctive sounds and intense, expressive strings. An all-inclusive piece with a deeply stirring and mesmerizing effect. Certainly another highlight on this highly challenging ride!!! "Digital Saturn" glides through more aerial, tranquilly soothing spaces with a slowly expanding structure, becoming more massive and profound, and always strongly imaginative. "Haanah" is dominated by heavier, repetitive drone, and colored by some distant rumblings at the back. The overall feel of this track is quite monumental, nearly mind-bending. By the way, "Haanah" also features the Fujara, a traditional folk flute of Slovak shepherds, but it's hardly recognizable throughout the piece. "Kalimagdora" quickly brings the album back into a warmly inviting blend of tender acoustics and cheerful organics crossed with nostalgic glitches, and allows the listener to float smoothly in a state of being deeply relaxed. Beautifully captivating closer!!! "Standing Out Against The Sea" is filled with sensitivity, richness and poignancy, it must be experienced to be appreciated!!! I am so proud to know this wonderful and talented artist!!!

Richard Gürtler (April 08, 2012, Bratislava, Slovakia)


Ran Kirlian "Dissolution" CDr

First time I noticed this Spanish ambient sculptor few years ago through ad21music links, at that time several download only albums were available via Ran Kirlian's website. Since I was always a big collector of plastic objects only, the time was slowly passing until the March of 2012, which marked the birth of Altera Orbe label and website, run by Ran Kirlian with other Spanish electronic artist, Landru. So I was back again to start focus on Ran Kirlian's music, more especially when one of his albums, "Dissolution", was available on CDr format. Originally, the album was released back in 2009 and it features 11 tracks recorded during the period between 2005 and 2009. The album unveils its secrets with "Amalgama", a dark ambient soundscape enhanced by larger dose of assorted spooky sounds on the background that irregularly step in and fade away. Drones of much heavier caliber invade "Dark Matter", no wonder, a piece with this name is ready to drift the listener far away from reality. The soundwall is quite massively constructed, but on the back few deep heartbeats, tribal ingredients, noisier eruptions or celestial voices emerge from time to time. Nicely unsettling piece!!! Abyssal drones occupy the next piece "W-M31", and even if I have no idea what means this title, I keep on drifting away. The piece is in its last third more elevated, again with all kinds of otherworldly effects and disruptions. The name of the next piece, "Atmosfear", easily suggests what is to come. Soaring drones, mysterious voices, on-site recordings of thunderstorm, various cavernous or industrial rumblings, an all-inclusive journey into your most obscure imaginations!!! Exploration of unfathomable spaces continue on "Syrtis Major", freezing, heavy drones are fuelling your spacecraft on this breathtaking odyssey, amazing!!! You are passing "Dissolution", the title track, emphasized by cave water falling drops. A truly exciting exploration of the damp, shadowy world of underwater caves. A real stunner!!! Now comes "Deflection", the heavy drone is still there, but this time some fine flute work joins this deeply immersing journey to explore the mysteries of prehistoric cave art. Another fascinatingly beautiful excursion!!! "Labyrinth" is quite unsettling with its freaky effects, but the hazardous search for majestic and ornate cave decorations and structures continues. "Selenium", the longest piece on "Dissolution" clocking just over 12 minutes, returns to more solaced, slightly less monstrous state with tranquilly floating, but still monumental ambience. "Inconnu" marks the return to rather abyssal, colder waters, blending mammoth drone wizardry and organic ingredients with industrialized breathings and frightening rumblings. Another big one, and spooky one!!! Scary drone painting of closing "Ágora" dives even deeper with mysterious whisperings and ocassional metallic creakings and eruptions. "Dissolution" is sculpted with finest essences of dark ambient genre, but don't be scared of it, it surely requires more listening sessions, but then it reveals all the ghosts of subterranean and primordial worlds. Mágico & delicioso!!! I hope Ran Kirlian will release in the near future more of his downloads on physical formats. In any case, I will keep an ear to the ground...

Richard Gürtler (Apr 08, 2012, Bratislava, Slovakia)


Between Interval "Secret Observatory" CD

I always wanted to put down few lines on this breathtaking beauty by Swedish Between Interval project of the sole creator, Stefan Strand. Recorded and released in 2005 on Spotted Peccary label, under his previous family name of Stefan Jönsson and at the age of 23 only!!! The flow of this enormously absorbing odyssey begins with "Garden Of The Divine", longer composition clocking over 18-minute mark. The listener is immediately transported into unexplored and infinite realms filled with drama and depth, where Stefan paints magnificently immersing textures with gradually rising, cascading or ever-changing intensity. The richness and power of these aural atmospheres is absolutely thrilling and immense. Outer space explorations have never sounded better!!! For me, "Garden Of The Divine" can be easily considered a milestone in the genre of deep space ambient. Ultra deep, monstrous drones invade "Surreptitious Ritual", a 15-minute piece, and graciously soar through many, carefully sculpted movements and levels to discover secrets of mysterious planets. This genius performance continues also on the next, again longer composition, "Forested Veins", dominated by unfathomable drones and circling humming sound, with additional sharp sonic eruptions and high-tech pulses precisely integrated into this highly spectacular cybernetic escapade. Stefan again masterfully succeeds in reaching harmony between dark and light images. Abyssal, slow-motion drones invade "Entropy", the shortest piece reaching nearly 9 minutes, and are gently enriched by distant alien breathings and mysterious voices. The closing 3 minutes slip into more peaceful, celestial mood, yet still gradually progressing and holding the attention to the very end. A truly grandiose finale!!! "Secret Observatory" is crafted with refined artistry, richly packed with both, darker and brighter sonic visions, which gracefully swirl around your ears and will surely mesmerize your imagination. For me, one of the most sophisticated masterworks in deep space journeying!!! Could be described as a magnum opus for Between Interval, but "Secret Observatory" was followed by another two phenomenal albums in 2006 and 2009. But that's a different story...

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


Max Corbacho "BreathStream" CD

I remember that I was quite disappointed back in December 2008 when this album came out, not because of its sonic or visual content, but because of the fact it was available as download only release. Fortunately, nearly one year later, at Nov 1st, 2009, my dreams came true when a CD version of "BreathStream" was released. Definitely a great move for all aficionados of physical items like me!!! Spanish master of free gliding tranquil ambience ignites the departure of this odyssey with "This Luminous Space", a graciously floating washes, here and there gently emphasized by fragilely swirling distant space rumblings and serenely cascading through various movements, but always keeping within its deeply relaxing, elegant and mesmerizing mood. "This Luminous Space" takes you to breathtakingly wonderful immense places!!! "Act Of Light" unfolds with few sharper space effects and deep monumental drone, gradually evolving into colossally fascinating soundwalls and precisely interacting with more peaceful adagios. A really big one, an exciting journey into the infinity continues!!! "The Great Breath" is slightly more organic, but again colored with ever-changing magnificent dreamscapes. "No Day Nor Night" immediately excels at its grandiose and tranquil waves, washing over the listener's head and navigating him/her into absolute sonic bliss. In the second half the composition is invaded by few disrupting moments, when some strange noises fly by, it's a fascinatingly beautiful excursion!!! "No Form Nor Colour" is the longest piece, reaching nearly 16-minute mark, and a rather more active, continuously progressing texture featuring also few natural sounds, but still richly intense and expertly layered. "Temple Of Dissolution" is another masterpiece that promptly left me breathless with its grandiose, spiraling ambience, spectacularly evoking spatial emptiness and loneliness. Could be a "creme de la creme" of this album!!! A great moment of interplanetary exploration awaits!!! "Pure Being" is closing this utterly captivating and immersing audio journey with more euphoric, dreamy finale. Really gorgeous cover artwork magnificently displays this lifelong experience too. A giant performance by Max Corbacho, showcasing his bravura in creating pure atmospheric soundscapes, a landmark recording in space ambient genre!!! And "Ars Lucis" was yet to come...

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

Independent Music Reviews / My review of "Lithea" CD by 36
« on: April 07, 2012, 11:41:34 PM »

36 "Lithea" CD

"Lithea", released at March 14th, 2012 in limited edition of 200 copies, is already the third full length album and the closing part of triptych album series together with "Hypersona" and "Hollow" CDs. 36 is the project of UK based Dennis Huddleston, who releases his music through his own 3six Recordings label. Unfortunately, I didn't know anything about this extremely talented artist until few weeks ago when Kev of Stormloop pointed rM community to this project. Big shame on me for not locating 36 much earlier, however, it's always better later than never!!! Anyway, it's time to unwrap this beauty. Visual part of "Lithea" strikes right away, a very nice matte-laminated 4-panel folded cardboard sleeve case with spine. Funny accented navigation communication between pilot and tower control perfectly introduces the name of the project. Warmly inviting drone with beautifully disturbing hiss on "Cocoon" is absolutely breathtaking, what a prelude!!! Spiralingly euphoric sonic bliss at its most evocative!!! I should mention the album is comprised of no less than 18 tracks, but some of them are rather shorter, transitional passages connecting longer movements. More minimal, frosty with hints of nostalgia "Susurrus" belongs to the longest pieces on this journey. The title track, "Lithea" hits with its melodramatic intensity, it's a pity it clocks to 2 and half minutes only. Nostalgic warmness is gracefully floating through rainy "Deluge" with heavenly touch of distant choirs, organic and angelic stunner!!! Glitchy, but restful "Radio" nicely bridges "Deluge" with the next masterpiece, "Reunion". Filled with warmhearted feelings and again enriched by ethereal femme choirs. Gorgeously absorbing!!! Shorter, slightly more experimental "1983" with children's voices brings back long forgotten memories from a childhood. "One" attracts with its deeply imaginative and relaxing dronescape while the following short, "World After April" invades with mysterious voice samples. Both, mechanically clocking "Seance" and warmly tinkling and drifting "Dreamscape" evoke a very intense and intimate moments. "Dayasan" keeps its enchanting quality while colored by hissy atmospheres and distant voices. Bridging "Broken Toy" is by far the most experimental piece here. Now it's the time to enter the darker terrains with "Leviathan" and "Levitate". Deeply mysterious femme voices on "Levitate" soar over the deep dronescapes and reach the shores of purely visualizing sonic paradise!!! Glitchy drone ambience of "Saphron" follows the footsteps of "Levitate" with choirs of angelic beauty. Nearly 11 minutes long epilogue "Another World" is the next peak of "Lithea" with its slowly evolving, intense and evocative euphoria, peppered with factory-like clocking sounds. A truly grandiose finale!!! "Lithea" is loaded with magical beauty and emotional richness, and it captures the true essence of nostalgia, intimacy and warmness in each of the 18 tracks!!! An ultimate masterwork deserving my highest recommendation!!! Bravissimo, Dennis!!!

Richard Gürtler (Apr 07, 2012, Bratislava, Slovakia)

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Bvdub - where to start?
« on: April 07, 2012, 06:52:31 AM »
Hej Daniel,

give a try to both Bvdub's releases on Glacial Movements, I think you can't go wrong with "The Art Of Dying Alone" or with "I Remember (Translations Of Mørketid)" CDs. I am just not sure if the first one is still available, because it's marked as sold out on GM for longer time. But some more expensive copies might be still available via Discogs.


Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: March 31, 2012, 01:45:21 AM »
Dave, that 36's Lithea CD is a real beauty !!
i'm glad i grabbed a copy as it's almost OOP (see his bandcamp)

Can't wait to receive my copy of "Lithea" CD along with "Hypersona" and "Hollow". Yes, it sells very fast, it shows 8 remaining copies, so act now if you are not decided yet...


Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Cans.....Whats on your head?
« on: March 27, 2012, 09:39:17 AM »
Enjoy these beauties, Daniel!!!



Groupthink "Of Microcosmic Origins" CDr

The driving force behind One Thousand Pulses series of electronic festivals and in 2011 launched Periphery label, Darren Bergstein, is joined here by Edward Yuhas and both of them present their debut work as Groupthink. Packaged in nicely looking round tin and limited to only 50 copies, but the sonics are definitely enough challenging as well. The album unfolds with euphorically flowing ambience entitled "Peeking Over The Horizon". Warmly inviting, nearly cinematic atmozones are later exquisitely peppered by some quite unique, ear-catching sounds. A very strong overture by Groupthink!!! "Region Of Mirrors" is immediately invaded by distinctive sonics, layered in rather eclectic manner, all kinds of nearly odd and weird moods, noises or even voices are featured, but the overall effect is suprisingly very attractive. Call it tribal experimental escapade at its most bizzare!!! Mesmerizingly repeating crystalline pulses of "Bullet Train To Oslo" perfectly evoke a high-speed rail journey filled with joy, curiosity and adventure. Time to explore marvelous vistas of panoramic landscapes, absolutely gorgeous!!! Highly technological feel overlaps also to the next one, "At The Southernmost Tip Of Basking Falls", which is based around various sharply buzzing and erupting effects backed by deeply imaginative tranquil washes and magnificently mysterious wordless voice magic. Another absolutely stunning composition displaying creative talent of Groupthink!!! "Absolute Doubt", moves to more celestial realms, again spiced by various freshly sounding and shimmeringly passing high-tech ingredients. This closing piece is sonically inventive and strongly evocative with delicate nostalgia and cinematic feel to it. Yes, it's not easy to fully appreciate this recording during the first listening session, but every repeated exploration is spectacularly rewarding, because "Of Microcosmic Origins" is packed with enormously stimulating, compelling and intriguing ambient electronica!!! And give a try also to a headphone listening, it will provide you with an exceptional and adventurous ride!!! Final mastering by Gregory Kyryluk and released at the beginning of March 2012. For me, a truly masterful and extraordinary debut, Darren & Edward, long life to Groupthink!!!

Richard Gürtler (Mar 25, 2012, Bratislava, Slovakia)

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Cans.....Whats on your head?
« on: March 25, 2012, 01:04:45 PM »
I'm expecting some new gear to arrive tomorrow. Beyerdynamic's best offering; T1. Along with headphone amplifier and DAC from Meier-Audio. It all landed on €1900. I hope it'll give Mr. Roach a new dimension :-)

Wow, nice upgrade, Headonist!!! Have a breathtaking journey!!!



Bvdub "I Remember (Translations Of Mørketid)" CD

Prolific and applauded sound explorer Brock Van Wey aka Bvdub offers to us his second album for Italian Glacial Movements label, based around his own feelings and memories, which were evoked when exploring Netherworld's album "Mørketid". I must say the result of these "translations" is absolutely stunning, transporting each listener into pristine, misty regions and achieving the status of one of the most beautiful and imaginative works of 2011. "This Place Has Only Known Sadness", a 16-minute prologue, opens with spiraling, colder drones, which are enriched by delicate strings and above immense snowy landscapes floating dreamy femme voices. The second half of this amazing piece is gradually evolving and it reaches more intense and massive soundwalls. Colossally magnificent composition!!! "We Said Forever" unveils more poetic and tranquil terrains, at least for the first 5-plus minutes, again masterfully spiced by acoustics and heavenly choirs. This longer, clocking to nearly 15 minutes, and blissful sonic exploration slowly moves into heavier, stormy texture with hidden dub techno ingredients. Epic soundscaping at its finest!!! The next longer piece,"The Promise (Reprise)", features David Williams as guest and creates with its looped structure mesmerizingly picturesque and sentimental feel, less dramatic, but as much grandiose!!! Nostalgic piano leads "Would It Be The Same" into truly poetic territories, but soon it traverses into realms colored with hypnotically pulsing dub elements. Rapidly moving, sharper beats are precisely interacting with slowed-down, but more monumental parts. Celestial voices invade the stage and enrich this piece towards the end. Fully enjoyable and definitely the most uplifting passage of this journey. "There Was Nothing But Beauty In My Heart" unwraps with another poetically beautiful atmosphere carefully spiced by various hisses. Soon tender acoustic guitar wizardry and warmly expressive femme voices enter the show to bring this composition into not only heavenly, heartwarming realms, but for me, also into an ultimate position of a milestone!!! Now Glacial Movements are bridged with slight 4AD vocal reminiscences, Bravo Maestro!!! The final piece, "A Taste Of Your Own Medicine" is the only rather shorter piece on this album clocking to 6 and half minutes. Based on monotonously repetetive and rough ambience. Nicely fitting outro! As usual, Bjarne Riesto and Keep Adding joined their forces for fully rewarding visual immersion. To be honest, I am quite an outsider to lately emerging Bvdub's discography, I am familiar only with his previous Glacial Movements release, the essential "The Art Of Dying Alone" album, but "I Remember (Translations Of Mørketid)" excels in every aspect and is packed with 79 minutes of musical virtuosity and listening pleasure. A true masterpiece!!!

Richard Gürtler (Mar 25, 2012, Bratislava, Slovakia)

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