Author Topic: Drone On's review of "Sense" CDR by Radiant Mind  (Read 1004 times)

drone on

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Drone On's review of "Sense" CDR by Radiant Mind
« on: July 09, 2012, 10:48:54 AM »
After missing out on the last two Periphery releases (Thomas Ronkin and Within Reason, although I was able to download the Within Reason after it sold out), when this disc was announced I jumped on it.  Radiant Mind is Robert Englis, who has been making EM for years but has finally released some of it via this album, "Sense."  The album was produced and mastered by Steve Roach.  Like the Ronkin and Within Reason, this release is also limited to just 50 copies, so I highly recommend not waiting too long (especially with Roach's involvement I am sure it will sell out quickly).  Also, a note about the packaging:  when I received this over the weekend, it took me about 10 minutes to figure out how to get the disc loose from the packaging.  I was never a big fan of "tins" for CD or CDR releases.  To me, tins should be used to store food, not CD's, OK??? But I digress...oh, and I also had a problem with this CDR for some reason collecting huge amounts of dust between plays.  The playing surface is like a dust magnet!!  I don't know if it's the label that is causing this or what, but the disc was skipping on my home system, and when I de-dusted it it was okay.  Then when I played it later on my portable it skipped again, and there was dust all over it again...OK ok, I will stop bitching and get on to the music...

"Sense" is a quite excellent piece of EM that is obviously inspired by the American synthesists such as Thomas Ronkin, Steve Roach (his pre-tribal 80's sound), and Vir Unis.  Opening track "Inner Dimension" begins with thick waves of analog sounding synths and dark shards of layered effects that reminded me of the German group Hemisphere.  Fantastic opening here!  After a few minutes we get into Vir Unis territory with fractal grooves riding beneath expansive chords and trippy effects.  Track two, "Sense One," takes the Vir Unis sound even further with more intricate fractal grooves a la "Blood Machine" and "Body Electric."  Next up is "Sanctuary in Light," which really has that 80's feel to it, with airy chords, and some bell sounds (which I didn't really think worked on this track, as they seem a bit out of place).  Tracks four and five, "Sense Two" and "Sense Three" really have the Thomas Ronkin feel with gentle sequencing and melodic synths.  Track 6, "Reaching the Beyond," continues this sound to excellent effect.  Final piece "Radiant Mind," clocking at nearly 23 minutes, brings the mostly upbeat nature of the album to a more somber feel with droning chords and quiet spaces; several minutes into the piece some more fractal beats come in with a "hearbeat" like bass drum beat; and then rather quickly the percussion fades out and we are left to continue floating  as the piece began. 

This is a very good album for this kind of music but there weren't many "wow" moments for me, to be honest.  Those into the 80's sound of American EM in particular will find a lot to like, though.  I look forward to hearing more from Radiant Mind and getting an even broader perspective on his music.