Shambala Networks "The Last Winter" 2xCDr
This is for the first time I am going to dive into an ambient soundworlds by an artist coming from Romania. From Transylvania region comes Olivér Dombi, electronic music producer and mastermind behind Shambala Networks. "The Last Winter" double album was originally released as a download on Olivér's own label ADX Records in May, 2010. Since February, 2013, it's available as a 2xCDr and cassette via small Italian label Ozky e-sound. Definitely a good move!!! Shambala Networks' discography include mostly download releases via ADX Records or Kalpamantra, but also "Deep Spiritual Network Connections" CD and "Memories From The Uterus" CDr. Lots of tunes to discover by this Romanian soundsculptor!!!
"The Last Winter" unfolds with "Átszellemülve", a quite mind-bending dark-infused ambience colored by various, gently outbursting radio frequencies, noises, hisses and organic oddments. Moving through intensely increasing elevations as well as through declining stillness, this composition offers a truly immersing listening experience, welcome to Shambala Networks' adventurous sonic paradise!!! "Esö. Évszázad. Tenger" (translated from Hungarian as "Rain. Century. Sea"), which reaches nearly 16 minutes, dives deeply into spectacular cavernous realms, where static drone backgrounds interact with sharper fragments, tranquil field recordings and oscillating pulses. Few unwanted blips appear throughout this track on CDr, but the overall impact is again very powerful and transporting. The following piece, "Fiatal Galaxishalmaz" ("Young Galaxy Clusters"), reaches the most breathtaking aerial domains with ultra low reverberating dronewalls intermingling with occasional cybernetic eruptions and foreboding rumbles. "Lebegés" ("Levitation"), with 12 minutes another longer piece, safely remains in cyberscaping territorries, although crossed with harshly pervading industrial fragments. But guarding above is stunningly gorgeous undulating blanket of warmer panoramic washes. Absolute winner!!! "Olajfestékes Fal" ("Oil Painted Wall") is by far more weird and disturbing with a quite phantasmal and cacophonous touch. The last track on first CDr, "Internet", delves into intensely spiraling drone zones, embellished by briskly swirling effects (chirping cyber birds?...). Harsher noises keep on exploding here and there, while low dronewalls quietly ride on distant horizons and produce a totally mind-blowing outcome!!!
"Skmp" opens the second part, a short minimal piece with subtly tinkling bells and sparse marimba-like melody is the most contemplative part on this double album. "What Life Was Meant To Be" immediately attracts with hauntingly warm drifts, gorgeously expansive and engulfing, while chirping birds tranquilly captivate the listener's ears. The track smoothly floats through few serene elevations counterpointed with embracing silence. This is a pure, 8-minute sonic elixir!!! "World Made Of Dark Matter", as its title suggests, shifts into denser and harsher chasm filled with eeriness. "Idegrendszer", which means in English "Nervous", sounds exactly as it is titled. We are still on the frightening path from previous cut, plus additional undesired blips won't make it more relieving... "Signs Of Insanity" takes it even further into oddly phantasmagorical places. I hope there is a way to return... Fortunately with "Virágvége" (could be "End Of Blossom") I find the trail, although the journey still drifts on strongly mindscaping wings, surrounded by angelic guards and relieving organics, but bizarrely mesmeric circles continue to rise and fall. Stunning conclusion and another big one of this set!!!
Wow, "The Last Winter" is a very strong double album, which deserves a factory pressed CD release. Yes, this Romanian guy left me quite breathless with his extraordinarily colored soundworlds hanging in a deep fissure between ambient and dark ambient!!! Olivér Dombi is releasing music since 2006, so shame on me I didn't locate him sooner than in 2013. Big thanks to Karel/Sonic-Hypnosis for navigating Shambala Networks to my radar. Certainly a big revelation!!!
Richard Gürtler (Mar 17, 2014, Bratislava, Slovakia)