David Parsons "Puja" CD
One of the most respected doyens and original voices within the ambient drone scene returns in a jaw-dropping condition!!! That's "Puja" by New Zealander David Parsons, who has found his new home after three decades with Arizonian label Fortuna Records/Celestial Harmonies on sympathetic Swedish label gterma, where he debuted during 2013 with "Stupa" album. I have been always deeply fascinated by David Parsons ability to transform his long exploratory experiences into absolutely breathtaking sonic tapestries, meticulously transporting each listener into thrillingly enigmatic Middle and Far East realms. "Puja", which is in Hinduism a religious ritual, is certainly no exception!!! Released during March 2016 in standard jewel case with 8-panel front insert featuring photographs of Hindu and Buddhist rites by David's wife Kay Parsons as well as by gterma's driving force Johan Rehn, who is credited for additional design. As usual, the mastering duties were given to A.P aka Anders Peterson of GS Mastering & Post.
Divided into seven "Offerings", clocking between 8:35 and 16:24 in length, this utterly mysterious ride is ignited by "Offerings 1", the shortest, yet stunningly transporting transcendental journey through Indo-Gangetic Plains and Tibetan Plateau!!! Oracularly circling drones are continuously pervaded by mind-bending high-pitched clickety-clack vertexes, mesmerizingly intangible chant vistas and trance-infused throat-singing of Tibetan monks. Wow, a powerfully enrapturing listening experience awaits here as David Parsons activates all his strikingly immersing insignias and returns at the very top of his extraordinarily perfumed soundcarving wizardry, bravo, Maestro!!! "Offerings 2" moves into more contemplative terrains, where panoptic expanses, both enigmatic and embracing, are masterfully bridged with gathering of hypnotically helixing chants. "Offerings 3" safely glides through enthrallingly mindscaping sceneries, where variety of mediative bells melt with rumbling traceries, rain-charged location recordings and exquisitely monochromatic stratums. Unearthly chanting joins this spectacle as well for a trully spectacular travelogue. Another deeply fascinating soundscape reaching and entering the gates of spiritual serenity and mysterious beauty of some of the most remote monastic grounds. "Offerings 4" is driven by mind-expanding, eternally oscillating chants, which are firstly juxtaposed with elusively tinkling contemplations, then clandestinely transforming into balmily introspective realms counterpointed with additional display of male and female payerscaping horizons. Meandering, gliding, spiraling, reflecting, mindscaping..., a masterpiece!!! "Offerings 5", with 16 and a half minutes the longest endeavour on "Puja", shifts into utterly monochromatic landscapes, filled with nebulously towering drone circles. Around the middle of its length, infinite helixes are penetrated by tenaciously ear-tickling dissonant subtleties. Nearly 10-minute "Offerings 6" safely glides through magnificently dronescaping sceneries, brilliantly reinforced by a potpourri of metallic percussive enigmas, biotic glimmers and voice fragments. A drone tour de force, don't miss this thrillingly listening experience!!! 12 minute long closer "Offerings 7" is..., I won't beat about the bush, a grand finale taking its predecessor into even more mysterious level, by bridging buzzing expanses, tiding blankets, meditative meridians and mesmeric frog symphony, afterwards inconspicuously metamorphosing into warmly crescendoing and diminuendoing picturesque grasslands, holding unmistakable signatures of its crafted originator.
"Puja" is no one else but David Parsons!!! Since "Stupa" we have been waiting for more than two years, but the wait was certainly worth, because as mentioned in the opening sentences, David Parsons is back at the very top of his grippingly peculiar soundcarving. I don't know exactly David's age, but I guess he might be around 71 years old now, so I take my hat off to him for such wonderful, all-intensive 74-minute album!!! No matter if fading away and traversing colossal snow-capped peaks, majestic isolated monasteries, alpine forests, glacier fed rivers, pilgrimage sites, nomadic panoramas or sun-bathed green valleys, the journey is always monumentally immersing, breathtakingly authentic and fascinatingly ethnographic!!! Thank you, deep respect and keep on going, Maestro, we can't wait for your future, uniquely scented offerings!!! And huge kudos to Johan for taking this Grandmaster under gterma's wings few years ago!!!
Richard Gürtler (Jul 10, 2016, Bratislava, Slovakia)