Author Topic: My review of "Vestiges" CD by Robert Rich  (Read 1901 times)


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My review of "Vestiges" CD by Robert Rich
« on: September 02, 2017, 09:29:58 AM »

Robert Rich "Vestiges" CD

With "Vestiges" Robert Rich continues his tremendously enrapturing aural venture into tenebrously reflective terrains distinctively mirrored on magnificent "What We Left Behind" album. Precisely displayed by stunningly immersing cover images by photographer Brad Cole with additional design by John Bergin, both truly amazing kindred visual artists, who are tightly connected to Robert Rich's soundworlds for few decades already. Packaged in a really elegant 6-panel digipak, the album was released during November 2016 and as usual for each of Robert Rich's releases, the listener gets a true piece of art! So obviously I have to send kudos to all involved!

6-plus minutes long "The Fading Shore Of Memory" reveals the journey with nebulously meandering texture commingling nuanced expansive driftscape, signature lap steel guitar weeps, balmy organic quietudes, vague cyber-tech deflections, glimpsing introspective patterns and intangibly peculiar slams. The track precisely follows its title. "Night Seas Luminesce", clocking to 7-minute mark, seamlessly invades and shifts into slightly intenser drone cascades, yet exquisitely counterpointed by filigree stringed magic and poignantly engrossing piano minimalism. "Spectre Of Lost Light", running over 15 minutes, is I believe the track Robert Rich has composed as his own musical interpretation of the old Slavonic ritual of the Forefathers’ Eve for a special live performance on November 15th 2016 in Krakow, Poland. Intense desolate drones masterfully amalgamate with lower end abyssal magnitudes and hissy cyber-biotic scatters. The gates to the transcendental realms are fully unlocked, but then the ethereal voice clouds by Chari Chuang (also known from "Medicine Box" and "What We Left Behind") soften a bit the whole spectacle, before again diving into unfathomably engulfing sceneries reinforced by persistently towering and titillating tapestries. Towards the end deep drone hums resurrect and culminate with utterly mind-blowing voluminousness. A truly jaw-dropping epic listening experience awaits here, meticulously filled with intriguingly sinuous enigmas and staggeringly crescendoing meridians!!! Additional credit goes to Dimitris Menexopoulos, for using his Cretan lyra clouds. "Obscured By Leaf Shadows" is propelled by rather monochromatic layer, gliding through sublimely spacious zones, guarded by Chari Chuang's celestial voice-like washes with glancing ear-tickling reverberations, thrillingly coalesced with rattling natural symphonies and solitary deep bass undulations, and all marvelously bridged with gorgeously poetic piano glimmers. Another aural bliss and an ultimate Hall of Fame composition!!! Nearly 9 minutes long "Equipoise And Dissolution" unfolds with more ambiguous tiding motifs, permeated by remote voice samples with shattering fragments, while primordial flute curtains, contemplatively engulfing bells, diaphanously gentle chinks and outlying low-pitched sonorousness clandestinely sneak in and join this soothingly sweeping and majestically enrapturing scenario. Pure magic! Ambrosial natural sounds juxtapose with sequestered labyrinthine drones on "Reborn In Brackish Pools", with 3:40 the shortest track on "Vestiges". Auxiliary lap steel wails emerge as well and delve deeply into venturesomely perplexing subterranean domains. 16-minute closing "Anchorless On Quiet Tide" is fastidiously exhibited by its name, when ingeniously blending sparse piano musings and pristine littoral serenities with vaporously caliginous and euphoniously pondering images. A delightful sonic postcard painted by calm reminiscences and blurred horizons.

Over 62 minutes long "Vestiges" album is another virtuosically polished monument by this Californian mastermind! Yeah, and the sound quality is, as always, top-notch! We all must be enormously grateful for such artistic gift, brilliance and consistency, thank you so much, Robert!!! Since I am quite slow with my review schedule, Robert Rich has released in the meantime another two recordings, the first one is a collaborative effort with German touch guitar wizard Markus Reuter and it's entitled "Lift A Feather To The Flood". It was released during April 2017 on Robert's Soundscape Productions, 10 years after their first chapter "Eleven Questions". And the most recent is a double CD document "Live At The Gatherings 2015", this one is out since June 2017 on Industry8 label.

Richard Gürtler (Aug 31, 2017, Bratislava, Slovakia)


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Re: My review of "Vestiges" CD by Robert Rich
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2018, 07:13:36 AM »
A wonderful album for sure - which, of course, is true for any of Robert's albums I have heard so far (and by now, I heard most of them...  ;) )

"What We Left Behind", this one and "Lift A Feather To The Flood" (with Markus Reuter) from a very pleasant "trilogy" - and I found that "A Troubled Resting Place" is a perfect prelude to it, when listenend in a row (which I do sometimes while working at my daytime job...)

M I C H A E L  B R Ü C K N E R

Ambient & Electronica since 1992