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Innesti "Parenthetical" CDr

Delving deeply into exquisitely balm and intimately immersing terrains, where dreamily enveloping blankets meticulously commingle with gossamery organic quietudes, where infinitely monochromatic glides amalgamate with soulfully introspective traces, where crepuscularly charming serenities bridge with gently cascading reflections... Innesti continuously keeps on carving exceptionally transporting and warmly ethereal images, pure sonic medicine awaits here...

60-minute "Parenthetical" album is self-released by the artist since January 5th, 2020. The CDr features cover photographs by Katia Chausheva, it comes as a 4-panel digipak and the edition is limited to 100 copies. For more hazily engulfing gems, don't hesitate to explore also "In Currents", "Formless" and "Between Worlds" albums released by Innesti since the end of 2018.

Richard Gürtler (Jan 26, 2020, Bratislava, Slovakia)


Aglaia "Astrolabio" CD

Fabulously transporting odyssey filled with transcendentally reverberating helixes, perplexingly piquant meridians, weepingly embracing reflections, balmily euphoric quietudes and biotically crepuscular flickers... Enter now exceptionally fascinating and intriguingly engulfing aural fantasies...

65-minute "Astrolabio" CD is packaged in a 6-panel glossy digipak, it's out on Hic Sunt Leones since the beginning of December 2019 and the release is limited to 200 copies. Credit list includes Arianna Tondo (photography) and Hic Sunt Leones (artwork). Extensive discographies by Aglaia and related projects as Nada Experiences and Momenti Per L'Armonia deserve to be explored!!!

Richard Gürtler (Jan 21, 2020, Bratislava, Slovakia)


Sequentia Legenda "Five" CDr

Glisteningly mesmerizing, invigoratingly infinite, gossamery ear-tickling and introspectively traversing Berlin School-driven sequences persistently commingle with celestially expansive, gracefully sublime and monochromatically engulfing, yet awe-inspiringly transporting luminosities, while insistently euphonious melodies with intangibly organic piquancies pervade across too...

"Five" album is 66 minutes long, the CDr edition comes as a 6-panel digipak with additional 12-page insert, it's designed and self-released by Laurent Schieber/Sequentia Legenda. It's out since December 25th, 2019.

Richard Gürtler (Jan 18, 2020, Bratislava, Slovakia)


Space Megalithe "Ancient Trances" CD

Exquisitely bridging enigmatically expansive drone insignias with intangibly engrossing Berlin School mesmerism and soothingly languid tribal artifacts...

66 minutes long "Ancient Trances" album comes in a cardboard sleeve and it was self-released by Space Megalithe during December 2019. It's another very strong sonic installment by this gifted French duo, don't miss also their previous two CD albums, "Psyché Energy" (2014) and "Abstract Dimension" (2015)!!!

Richard Gürtler (Dec 10, 2019, Bratislava, Slovakia)


Roy Mattson "Music Of The Smoky Rainbow" CDr

Sonic curandero exquisitely amalgamates mesmerizingly primordial rhythms with breathtakingly immersing vistas and tranquilly embracing euphonies...

61-minute album is self-released by Roy Mattson in a standard jewel case featuring front cover image of Ralph Prata's carved concrete "The Enchanter", it's out since July 31st, 2019. For all aficionados of physical editions, highly recommended is also Roy Mattson's collaboration with Steve Brand entitled "Meltstream", this one was released on Relaxed Machinery in 2014.

Richard Gürtler (Jan 08, 2020, Bratislava, Slovakia)


David Helpling "ᛚ" CD

Aural and visual bliss fully unfolds all its magic, lyrically euphonious, lushly pristine and shimmeringly ear-tickling melodies exquisitely juxtapose with introspectively narrative, soothingly embracing and gracefully subaqueous blankets... Bravo, David, and all involved, a true piece of art!!!

I have been craving for the physical release by this gifted Californian ambient guitar virtuoso since the masterful, digital only album "A Sea Without Memory" (July 2017). My dreams came finally true at the end of November 2019, when Spotted Peccary Music has released "ᛚ". The 68-minute album comes in a stunningly immersing 6-panel eco wallet with additional 8-page foldout insert. The credits for the packaging splendor go to Daniel Pipitone (design) and Joseph Abreu (photography), while the sonic part features Howard Givens (mastering) and Steven Schreier (additional recording and special processing).

Richard Gürtler (Dec 26, 2019, Bratislava, Slovakia)

Independent Music Reviews / My review of "Brittleroots" CDr by Med Gen
« on: January 09, 2020, 02:34:58 PM »

Med Gen "Brittleroots" CDr

Med Gen "Brittleroots" CDr album was released September 22nd, 2018 on Russian label ΠΑΝΘΕΟΝ, as a part of "Autumnal Equinox" handmade box with another two CDr titles, Sun Through Eyelids "Glacial Iridescence" and Dronny Darko & Apollonius "The Sea Of Potentials", but the album is available also separately. I believe the CDr album was released in a limited edition of 50 copies, while 20 of them were included in the box. As usual for this label, driven by Tim Six, each of their releases is a true piece of art, all created with love and passion! It's highly recommended to discover!!! The album itself is packaged in a black cardboard envelope with blue ribbon and front/back cover pictures. Credit for the artwork goes except Med Gen also to Tim Six. Since I was not familiar with this Russian project led by Mikhail Selitsky, who carves immersing soundworlds since 2013, this release was for me a really big revelation.

Secluded hums announce almost 15-minute "Peat Accumulation", which straightly dives into perplexingly engulfing subterranean realms, eerily organic, yet magnificently frightening. Languidly helixing and aeonianly transporting drone layers guard above and persistently coalesce with ear-tickling cavernous field recordings. Towards the last third slowly paced tribal beat sneak in along with ephemeral cinematic traceries. "Thallophyta", another longer piece clocking past 11-minute mark, dives into abysmal sceneries, although illuminated by glimpsing subaquatic gurgles and intangibly echoed throbs. Later metamorphosing through slightly calmer, but ghostly roaring domains into massively enveloping stratums. "Nelumbo" safely glides through gracefully lachrymose and sonorously immense realms with inconspicuously permeating mysterious howls and swampy rattles. "Man From The Bog" maintains its enigmatic trace, but this time the biotic rumbles and calls juxtapose with twisted cyber-tech glimmers and subdued beat. "Silt", at 5:01 by far the shortest track on "Brittleroots", merges nebulously undulating crepuscular vistas with mesmerizingly low-pitched drumming. 18 minutes long "Oxalis Poisoning" drifts towards voluminously spellbinding and euphoniously blossoming euphoria, after 7 minutes transmuting into amplifying tides of drone billows softened by abundantly organic sparkles. Then evanescing through thrillingly vertexing magnitudes reinforced by tenebrous voice samples, indeed an epic ride!!! Closing "Typha" keeps the denser scenario, where reverberating, rising and ebbing monochromatic drone sheets amalgamate with chirping consonances and transient hazy rhythm fragments.

79-minute "Brittleroots" album is a strikingly immersing journey, masterfully amalgamating heavier drone signatures, ambiguously monolithic, with lushly surrounding and tranquilly shimmering wetland symphonies, coexisting in balmily resonant equilibrium. A superb recording by Med Gen, big applaud to Mikhail Selitsky!!! It's one of my fave albums released by ΠΑΝΘΕΟΝ! Med Gen's discography features more than ten other albums plus one collaboration with lost-radio project, all available in digital formats, but I hope for more releases in the future on a rounded silver object. And by the way, the digital edition of "Brittleroots" includes a bonus track, over 21-minutes long "Fallen Woods". Keep an eye and ear on this gifted soundsculptor from Russia!!!

Richard Gürtler (Jan 06, 2020, Bratislava, Slovakia)

Independent Music Reviews / My review of "Lie Symmetry" CD by Aperus
« on: January 04, 2020, 04:24:36 AM »

Aperus "Lie Symmetry" CD

The sole protagonist behind Aperus, Brian McWilliams, has released this album through his Geophonic Records during June 2018. I had the great pleasure to meet Brian a few months earlier in Tucson and Santa Fe when he showed me some of the accidental landscape photographs to be used for this recording, so I was really curious about the final outcome. Yeah, no matter if Aperus or Remanence (sharing on this one creative insignias with John Phipps), both these projects were always exceptionally distinctive in their sonic and visual expressions. "Lie Symmetry" is no exception, the glass mastered CD, limited to 300 copies, is packaged in a double pocketed plastic sleeve featuring two separate 6-panel fold-out inserts, one matte, one satin, with extensive liner notes and already mentioned photographs. Mastering credits go to Ron Sunsinger, Jan Roos and Jason Goodyear.

6-plus minutes long "VLA 1" reveals this thrillingly exuberant journey with an array of marching percussive elements, some nearly jazzy-infused, blended with radio transmission field recordings and monochromatic drone gliding serenely above. I believe VLA means here Very Large Array, a radio astronomy observatory located in central New Mexico. Another coincident here, I visited this breathtakingly immersing place with 28 colossal radio telescopes on the Plains of San Agustin only a few days after meeting with Brian. "VLA 1" is uniquely immersing and intricately disturbing. "Frozen, Broken" sounds quite appropriately to its name. Meditatively engulfing bells are exquisitely juxtaposed here and there by some intangibly arising intrusions, while the remote drone is hanging and nuancing atop. "When The Mountains Wear Black Hats", I love this title so much, moves to more perplexing, yet minimal sceneries, where quietly emerging murmurs are delightfully illuminated by unfathomably vague rumbles as well as by introspectively cinematic beacons. Wow, this is a really jaw-dropping listening experience, awesome soundsculpting, Brian! Shorter "Himalaya" is driven by high-pitched rhythmic patterns, mesmerizingly spicy and ear-tickling with a gentle touch of Tibetan fragrances. "VLA 2" continues the ride mapped on "VLA 1", but the flatlined drone is more buzzingly disruptive. At 9:02 the longest track on the album, "Marsh Lake, October" delves deeply into subaqueously echoed and ambiguously traversing domains, mysteriously submerging, where various metallic rumbles and eerie squeaks bridge with softly glimmering and elusively secluded clickety-clacks. "Ephemeral River" is propelled by enigmatically isolated heartbeats, while permeating cyber-tech sparkles, transient locomotions and escalating tensions add a peculiarly flavored feel. "Unfrozen, Unbroken" closes the ride with shadowy bells, warmly gliding meridians and glimpsing bass reflections.

48 and a half minutes long "Lie Symmetry" is spectacularly transporting recording with a massive amount of rewards, it's extraordinarily colored exploration just like all those unexpectedly occurring photographs. Abstractly enveloping and sophisticatedly polished, yet organically provoking! Top-notch sound quality with fascinatingly engrossing visuals on top of all that. Maybe I am not the biggest fan of the type of packaging chosen for this release, but "Lie Symmetry" CD is a truly magnificent release from beginning to end! And the same can be easily written about the complete discography of Aperus and Remanence. Another great job, Brian!!!

Richard Gürtler (Jan 02, 2020, Bratislava, Slovakia)


Radiant Mind | Steve Roach "HelioSphere" CD

Anonymous project Radiant Mind found its safe home at label back in October 2014 with his applauded second album "Strands". Now teaming up with the Master himself, "HelioSphere" CD is out since February 2019 in an immersing 4-panel digipak designed by Sam Rosenthal. Howard Givens gets the credit for his mastering expertise.

Divided into 8 untitled parts, "Sphere 1" unfolds with almost 12-minute prodigiously expansive, sonorously engulfing and continuously circling soundscape. As much nebulously transporting and gracefully magnificent as the heliosphere itself, a grand opening indeed! Drifting away almost without noticing the next chapter, "Sphere 2", which clocks to 6 and a half minutes, keeps tightly on the path and flows as the solar wind, where tranquil meridians continuously commingle with intangibly distant piquant subtleties. What a journey! Longer "Sphere 3" bridges balmily infinite stratums with distant drone hums. "Sphere 4" immediately shifts into utterly euphonious and monumentally free-gliding realms, where splendidly panoptic expansions are bridged with warmly embracing cinematic blankets. A pure sonic medicine is served here and it's impossible to perceive the next piece. So it's quite obvious "Sphere 5" maintains its colossal elegance, what an infinitely engulfing beauty!!! 11-minute "Sphere 6" enters intenser domains, where perpetually helixing vertexes juxtapose with elusively rumbling glimpses, while dimly flickering sequences arise here and there. "Sphere 7" mesmerizingly gallops through introspectively remote landscapes. The closing chapter, "Sphere 8" delves deeply into bottomlessly mysterious drone realms. Tenaciously humming and tenebrously engrossing zones fully reveal all its magic. A truly jaw-dropping finale!

"HelioSphere" is another fruitfully rewarding collaboration featuring creative forces of the Master, the iconic Steve Roach, who connects his eternally blossoming artistic signatures with someone, who prefers to share his gifted wizardry incognito. It's since 2012 when Radiant Mind's debut CDr album "Sense" was released by Darren Bergstein's Periphery label. Yeah, as always with each Radiant Mind recording, the obscurity of its protagonist really drives me crazy, but it's the sonic odyssey that always counts the most. Over 66 minutes long "HelioSphere" is a brilliant interstellar exploration entering the Pantheon of deep space soundscaping milestones!!! Bravo!!!

Richard Gürtler (Dec 29, 2019, Bratislava, Slovakia)

Forum Member Projects News and Promotion / Jaja
« on: December 27, 2019, 12:17:28 PM »
Hi, guys, I am just trying to find out what's going on with German deep space soundscaper Jaja. Jana aka Jaja is also known on this forum as "stargazer". Her Bandcamp site disappeared and also her email address doesn't work anymore...

Thank you and all the best!!!


Everything and Nothing / Merry Christmas
« on: December 27, 2019, 11:37:32 AM »


Peter Edwards Ambient "temporal.Divergence" CD

Peter Edwards, an ambient/dark ambient experimental soundsculptor based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, recording as Peter Edwards Ambient, landed on my radar screens only during the summer of 2018, shortly before releasing his third full-length CD album "temporal.Divergence" as the next chapter of dark ambient pentalogy. Available in digital formats since August 18th, 2018, stunningly designed 6-panel digipak was released a few weeks later through Peter's own Caffeinated Monk Production label, the home of his previous two impressive CDs, "suspended.Lucidity" (May 2015) and "binary.Abstractions" (July 2017). To me, this was a huge discovery indeed!!!

Perfectly described as "ambient music for time travellers", this thrillingly immersing odyssey is ignited by shorter "Prelude", which immediately sets the spatially tenebrous atmosphere. 6-plus minutes long title track "temporal.Divergence" is fuelled by bouncing cyber-tech pulses juxtaposed by industrial outbursts, razor-sharp beats and heavenly hissing solitariness. A truly jaw-dropping introduction to distinguishably transporting realms by Peter Edwards!!! "quantum.Flux", at 7:33 the longest ride on the album, amalgamates massive drone reverberations with transcendentally helixing meridians and ear-tickling glimmers. Another aural spectacle! "revolution.Induction" masterfully merges hypogeally enigmatic stratums with perpetually ascending galvanic beacons and eerily rumbling fractals. Sonorously mindblowing! "gravField.Theory" dives into gargantuan depths, which are persistently illuminated by eternally galloping oscillations and piercing sci-fi narrations by Randy Savage, who also contributed voice on the opening "Prelude". "dark.Matter" sails through unfathomably breathtaking realms, where intangibly thundering, yet tenaciously ambiguous magnitudes commingle with inconspicuously emanating desolations and transmogrifying resonant vertexes. Beyond the gates listening splendor continues also through "causal.Continuum", when mesmerizingly barren heavy-duty beats collide with remotely roaring perplexes. "tempo.Kinetix", as indicated by its title, shifts into vigorously driven scenario, perforated here and there by outbursting strikes, while immensely panoptic layers are guarding above. "time.Machine" merges abysmally engulfing murmurs with translucently flickering fragments and clandestinely arising oracular ephemerons. On "The Quantum Mechanics Of Time Travel Through Post-Selected Teleportation" mysteriously nuanced drones are reinforced by the narrations of a "quantum mechanic" Seth Lloyd of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Short epilogue "Gate.22180818" closes the album, but there is hidden also a 4-minute untitled bonus track, which remains in fascinatingly enveloping monochromatic cosmic zones, percolated by gossamery evanescent traceries and ear-bending numeration.

Peter Edwards Ambient is a truly staggering exploration, which shifts each listener into magnificently adventurous portals, uniquely sophisticated, meticulously crafted and intriguingly rewarding. 64-minute "temporal.Divergence" album is an all-inclusive magnum opus, both sonic and visual (design by Savage Internet Media), with deeply focused content and superb presentation. A vast display of artistic brilliance, which is, unfortunately, still hidden to a bigger audience within the ambient drone soundscaping. On the science note, this must be some kind of a call I received only several months after experiencing the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array, a Radio Astronomy Observatory located on the Plains of San Agustin in central New Mexico. I really wish I knew this gifted sound designer when passing by Albuquerque. Grab your headphones and immerse yourself into this exquisitely monumental futuristic journeying!!!

Richard Gürtler (Oct 20, 2019, Bratislava, Slovakia)

Independent Music Reviews / My review of "SIGINT" CD by False Mirror
« on: October 17, 2019, 10:42:55 AM »

False Mirror "SIGINT" CD

Sure, it took a hell of a lot of time before German sonic architect Tobias Hornberger, known as False Mirror, released a follow-up to his unforgettable epic installment "Derelict World". But all the good things are worth the wait. Although this sonic and visual miracle still deeply resonates, even after 8 years, it's time to dive deeply into "SIGINT". The album was released through US dark ambient connoisseurs Malignant Records at the end of July 2018 and the CD comes in a 6-panel digipak with an additional 12-page cryptographic manual. Stunning front cover image entitled as "Flying Front" is captured by Ralf Wendrich, while additional credits include Steve Jurvetson ("Nuclear Missile Silo" back cover), Zach Zurn ("Concrete texture" on the background), Eric Martin ("Blue Streak" texture) as well as Axel Baune, Dieter Trüstedt and Tarek Mansur for their sound contributions. The artist himself took care of conceptualization and design.

Focusing on the secret communication signals (SIGINT = Signals intelligence), a 65-minute album unfolds with "Perimeter", a 6-plus minutes long piece, which immediately sets uniquely immersing atmosphere False Mirror is known for. Enigmatic horizons, intangible cyber-tech beacons, magmatic drone hums, razor-sharp eruptions, intriguing reverberations, ear-tickling glimmers..., it's evident, False Mirror is back in full bloom. More, please!!! "Transmission" quiets the adventure a bit with the more monochromatic scenario, although craftily multi-dimensional, where perpetually buzzing stratum is pervaded by sinuously gliding and warmly evocative meridians. Another monstrous beauty! "Antenna", at 9:21 the longest track on "SIGINT", keeps firmly on mysteriously nuanced, yet serenely engulfing path with some additions of flute-infused vistas. Balmily prodigious exploration! "Trajectory" straightly shifts into tenebrously mindscaping spheres, where persistently traversing vertexes juxtapose with inconspicuously ascending choir-driven drone perplexes. Lachrymosely enveloping and spellbindingly transporting, what a voyage!!! And "Fallout" masterfully amplifies the climaxing infiniteness and unlocks the gates... "Corona" commingle hissy transcendental dissonances with poignantly narrative tides and glimpses of rumbling debris and quietly drifts into awe-inspiringly enveloping barren solitariness. Enter now the Pantheon of epic sonic milestones!!! "Leviathan", as indicated by its title, sound layering gets abundantly magnified. Tremendously monolithic drone billows continuously collide with other-worldly roaring spectacles. "Troposcatter" relieves the tension with infinitely rising and falling sheets coalesced with slowly percolating heavenly blankets and exquisitely sonorous moments of silence. "Aether" floats effortlessly towards magnificently panoramic ethereal sceneries while the closing shorter "Message" invites the listener to examine this track and find hidden navigation points, which might lead you with the help of cryptographic manual into decoding some concealed mysteries... If you are familiar with False Mirror soundworlds, then you should remember Tobias has offered such "bonus" also on his previous "Derelict World" album.

Although False Mirror's discography features since 2007 only four full-length albums (plus few live recordings and EP's in digital formats), Tobias Hornberger certainly belongs to the most crafted soundscapers within the ambient/dark ambient genre. "Derelict World" shifted him to the forefront back in 2010 and "SIGINT" only confirms this honor. Yeah, 8 years was a really long time, but with another magnum opus, everything is forgiven. Spectacularly rewarding journey awaits here, "SIGINT" is one of the undisputable pinnacles of 2018!!! Bravo and thank you, Tobias!!! And by the way, the first two albums by False Mirror, "Chronostatic Scenes" (May 2007, DataObscura) and "North" (November 2007, Thonar Records), are strongly recommended too!!!

Richard Gürtler (Oct 14, 2019, Bratislava, Slovakia)


Sōzuproject "Terra Australis" CDr

I came across Sōzuproject quite unexpectedly during the first days of 2019, when browsing Bandcamp collection by a guy named Scott (thanks, man!!!), saw his brief review plus few pictures of "Terra Australis" CDr and I was immediately convinced something special will happen soon in my listening room. Yes, I never regretted this exploration!!! Paolo Mascolini, the enigmatic sole protagonist behind this Italian project, is releasing his dronescaping endeavors since 2013 and I still have no idea how could I miss such creative force. Please don't ask me! "Terra Australis" album was originally released February 2014, followed by a physical CDr edition on UK's label Vent Sounds in August 2014. The album I am reviewing is a remastered edition with a brand new packaging in a metal tin, limited to 15 hand-numbered and signed copies and released by the artist himself during December 2018. French amateur photographer Dominique Filippi gets credit for his photographs and field recordings.

"Terra Australis Nondum Cognita" (translating as "The Southern Land Not Yet Known"), the opening piece, which clocks over 7 and a half minutes mark, immediately dives into ultra expansive monochromatic solitudes, meticulously juxtaposed by balmy organic symphonies, warmly embracing panoramic quietudes and indistinctly flashing flickers. Gracefully euphonious! "Flight 901" was an Antarctic sightseeing flight and it serves as a narrative tribute to an aircraft accident known as the Mount Erebus disaster from November 28th 1979. Circling magnifying hums persistently coalesce with ethereal meridians and inconspicuously keep on crescendoing into disastrous vertexes. High-pitched turmoil abruptly erupts and evanesces into eternal silence... "Impermanence" carves infinitely oscillating serenities, masterfully reinforced by poignantly meandering desolations and ear-tickling flimsy traceries. Harmoniously enrapturing beauty! "Last Beats", at 5:28 the shortest track on "Terra Australis", bridges intangibly mesmerizing pulsations, evocatively enveloping introspections, glancing translucent fragments and glimmering gentle dissonances. "Katabatic Wind" gets over 12 and a half minutes and it quickly transports the listener into the ice-cold, vastly awe-inspiring drone terrains suddenly invaded by unsettling, gradiently magnifying sheets of blowing wind. And all that intensely augmented by misty, yet titillating stringed glimpses. Immensely infinite horizons continuously collide with intriguingly rougher tapestries. An epic listening paragon!!! Nearly 11-minute "Metamorphism" firmly keeps on the path of monumentally engulfing and monochromatically panoptic sceneries, relentlessly amplified by subterraneanly illuminating gossamer signals, deep bass beacons and ephemerally piquant outbursts. A jaw-dropping aural bliss awaits here, unquestionably a Hall of Fame composition, bravo, Paolo!!! "Terra Australis Reliquendum", a 15-plus minutes long piece, closes this breathtakingly immersing expedition with powerfully poignant layers, tranquilly spiralling and exquisitely intertwining with moving piano subtleties, remotely bizarre barks, frighteningly rumbling squeaks and warmly elegiac, yet disturbingly captivating electric strings. A grand finale to a true sonic monument!!!

What to add? Many compliments have been already expressed, but that's what this album deserves! Yes, once again, nearly 66 minutes long "Terra Australis" is a truly phenomenal work by enormously gifted soundsculptor, who unfortunately remained unknown to me for several years. My mistake is now fixed and I can fully enjoy and celebrate all virtuosic insignias of Paolo Mascolini. I invite all of you, who don't know him yet, to share the same delight, trust me, you won't be disappointed! Sōzuproject's discography counts 9 titles, including one collaboration with Bartholomäus Traubeck, 8 CDr editions plus one cassette release for Naviar Records. You can't go wrong with any of these gems, as all CDr editions come in a hand-made packaging with stunningly attractive design, all created by the artist himself. Distinguishably authentic craftiness, both aural and visual, is displayed on each album. Hats off to Paolo Macolini aka Sōzuproject, who is always able to deliver something uniquely special on each of his recordings!!! Grazie, Maestro!!! And by the way, the new album "Icarus" is in the pipeline, it should be out around October or November...

Richard Gürtler (Sep 09, 2019, Bratislava, Slovakia)


Pascal Savy "Colour Fields" cassette

I have noticed the name of this French soundscaper, based in the UK, during summer 2018, when his "Dislocations" CD landed on my radars. Released by Experimedia label during May 2018, Pascal Savy had already on his credit several CDr releases, albums and EPs, on labels like Hibernate, Feedback Loop Label, Twisted Tree Line and Eilean Rec., all published from 2011 to 2014. "Colour Fields" cassette album was released October 5th 2018, through Belgian Audio. Visuals. Atmosphere. label in a limited edition of 55 copies. Although I am not a huge fan of this format, I simply couldn't resist as this was the only available physical edition and I was already blown away by Pascal's previous "Dislocations" recording. Now, the cassette is listed as a sold-out item, but of course "Colour Fields" album is still available as a digital download.

"Shapes Of A Mirage", clocking over 3 and a half minute mark, ignites the album with tenebrously monochromatic drone reverberations, meticulously coalesced with serenely arising evocative meridians. Fascinatingly transporting prologue, so it's quite obvious that "beyond the gates" listening experience fully unfolds!!! 5-plus minutes long "Phantom Absence" dives deeply into spellbindingly unfathomable depths, where ear-bending, monolithically humming desolations collide with balmy organic streams and intangibly enigmatic signals. Transcendental droneforging odyssey at its most sonorous!!! The next track, "A Solarised Vortex", which is slightly shorter than its predecessor, intensely follows the path and tickles the ears with ultra ponderous flatlined vertexes, when persistently carving rising and ebbing stratums, massively engulfing and thrillingly multi-dimensional. What a journey!!! "No Ends On The Sides" incorporates into infinitely thick layers an array of distant piquant buzzes, perpetual hissy undercurrents and inconspicuously crescendoing and diminuendoing roaring vistas. Shorter "At The Coming Of Twilight" merges oracularly sturdy drone zones with mesmerizingly diaphanous beacons and pinnacling dense plateaus. "Lost In A Mesh Of Time" closes the A-side with bizarrely colored patterns, where massively humming cascades commingle with eerily secluded howls. A spectacularly hallucinogenic ride! The B-side is comprised of "Three Moons Aligned", a long-form soundscape getting over 28 minutes. Continuously undulating colossal splendor keeps on drifting, nuancing, traversing, peaking, dissolving... The gates of abysmally breathtaking realms are unlocked, enter now!!! Intricate magnitudes, amplifying helixes, resonating phenomenons, venturesome metamorphoses, dissonant subtleties, nebulous quietudes... an all-inclusive soundcarving exhibiting Pascal Savy at the very top of his genius dronescaping!!! Bravo!!!

57-minute "Colour Fields" album is a must-have sonic adventure and a staggeringly mindscaping listening delight carved for all connoisseurs of tenaciously deep dronesculpting. With "Colour Fields" Pascal Savy enters the Pantheon of triumphant heavy drone spectacles! Big respect, Maestro!!! Who knows, maybe one day this masterwork will be reissued on a glass mastered CD format, I really wish that! In any case, Pascal Savy is a true master of his craft and I will make sure to keep a focused ear to the fissure. And last but not least, big kudos to Audio. Visuals. Atmosphere. for releasing this gemstone, it's highly recommended to check out the merch of this label counting since 2015 over 70 cassette releases!!!

Richard Gürtler (Sep 07, 2019, Bratislava, Slovakia)


Steve Brand "Leaving The Hive" CDr

Returning back to 2016, this year was very busy for Kansan dronescaper Steve Brand, who released except several reissues of his older albums in new packagings also two brand new recordings, "The Path Of The Heart" (May, out on relaxedMachinery) and "Leaving The Hive" (September, released on Steve's Pioneer Light Music). The first CDr edition of "Leaving The Hive", limited to 25 copies, comes in a 5"x7" bi-fold booklet featuring additional poem card and signed art card. The cover image is stunningly delightful.

Subterranean gossamer flickers and meandering buzz of the bees reveal the title composition, nearly 22 minutes long "Leaving The Hive". The listener is immediately taken into the lushly colorful wild garden, yet surrounded by all mysteries of the natural environment. Then transmuting into calm cascades of longing quietudes, silently peaking vistas and fascinatingly embracing moments of stillness. But intensifyingly mindscaping drone spirals keep on permeating across the mesmerizingly organic stratum. Aural bliss!!! The 20-minute piece, "A Light Spinning In A Valley Somewhere", immerses the ears with a nocturnal symphony, but the stage is quickly stolen by high-pitched twists. Earwarming tranquillity is juxtaposed by traversing piquancy, but then hypnotically galloping laid-pack pulses join the scenario, occasionally supported by Miette's meows. And after evanescing through soothingly engulfing contemplative path. Another rewardingly chameleonic composition, a thrilling beauty! The next track, "Simple Things", glides through enigmatically expansive sceneries, where lachrymosely humming blankets commingle with poetic piano glimpses. Ambrosial listening experience awaits here! The closing "Climbing A Mountain That Never Was" gets just over the 22-minute mark. An array of translucently glimmering tinkles persistently interact with sinuously soaring meridians, balmy natural insignias and intangibly diaphanous hang drum traceries. Meditatively euphonious and intriguingly gratifying conclusion!

74-minute "Leaving The Hive" is undoubtedly another tour de force recording by Steve Brand, an ambient composer extraordinaire. "Leaving The Hive" might be a bit more experimental, maybe a bit more unsettling at times, but that's how it reflects the theme about the phenomena of Mother Nature and our presence in it. At the same time, this album is exquisitely transporting, exceptionally profound and significantly guiding with the hallmarking amount of peculiarly authentic mysteries thrown in. A true masterwork indeed!!! And by the way, I am way behind my review schedule, so it's not surprising Steve Brand has released in the meantime a bunch of new albums, for example three chapters of "Near Series" (all CDrs via Pioneer Light Music during 2017), "Spiritual Science" 2CD with Ishq (October 2017, reissue) and "Near Series:Glow" CD (April 2018), both on ...txt recordings or two CD albums on Dutch label Datableom, "Upwelling: Emergence" (January 2018, a compilation) and "Graduated" (May 2019). And most recently since August on Pioneer Light Music, the newest "Counterintelligence" CDr is available. It's quite obvious, all these sonic gems get my highest recommendation!!!

Richard Gürtler (Sep 03, 2019, Bratislava, Slovakia)

Independent Music Reviews / My review of "Echo" CD by Chris Russell
« on: September 03, 2019, 09:10:48 AM »

Chris Russell "Echo" CD

In Illinois based soundcarver Chris Russell debuted on Spotted Peccary roster with applauded collaborative CD album "Vague Traces" in 2014, where he teamed with Phillip Wilkerson. Active since 2009 with around 14 albums, almost all digital, both solo and collabs, released on various labels like relaxedMachinery, earthMantra, Kalindi Music, aatma, Exosphere and his VoidMusic imprint. Chris Russell's solo debut for Spotted Peccary came in March 2017, but "Labyrinth" album was released in digital formats only. It followed by "Echo" in August 2018, the album, featuring attractive design by Daniel Pipitone, comes in a 4-panel eco wallet. The mastering credit goes to Ben Cox of Lotuspike gang.

The shorter title piece "Echo", clocking to only 3 minutes, starts quite unexpectedly for Spotted Peccary when the listener straightly dives into unfathomably transcendental depths, where humming drone zones collide with ear-bending industrial outbursts. As much immersing as pungent, engulfing intro indeed!!! 6-minute "Radium" keeps its abundantly experimental feel with more cacophonous, sharply glittering sonic escapades. But around the middle, the track transmogrifies through scintillating bell titillations into slightly calmer buzzing traces. "Orix" definitely settles down the scenario, when Chris Russell masterly incorporates into his gracefully gliding and spiralling stratums glimpses of poignantly meandering introspection. Beauty! "Varuna" exhibits with its organically fragranced piquancy juxtaposed by contemplatively enveloping quietudes. Intriguingly reverberating mindscapes are occasionally illuminated by subdued reflections. An epic ride!!! Rather briefer "Nilium" safely keeps on drifting through powerfully spellbinding realms, where exquisitely sculpted harshness encounters celestially expansive meridians. Oracularly monumental opus fully unfolds all its magic!!! Ephemeral, yet the more intensifying, bravo, Chris!!! 11 minutes long "Sparse" finds its way into relatively calmer terrains with mildly galloping and mesmerizingly enveloping tapestries. "Odjek" delves ultra deeply into hypogeally venturesome sci-fi labs. Wow, what an odyssey!!! "Transverter" bridges serenely longing helixes with glancing subterranean perplexes and intangible cyber-tech beams. "Abandoned", at 13:20 the longest composition, closes this thrillingly rewarding album with evocatively billowing and sinuously nuanced layers coalesced with balmy biotic and eerily rumbling reminiscences. Along the way, warmly ethereal horizons inconspicuously sneak in. A magnificent ending!

61-minute "Echo" is an all-intensive journey filled with a rich palette of awe-inspiring insignias, it really left me breathless and I won't hesitate to describe "Echo" as Chris Russell's magnum opus. As much thrillingly transporting as dissonantly challenging, undoubtedly a superb album by a very gifted kindred spirit!!! Hats off to you, Chris, you have left with "Echo" a strongly significant and distinguishably stalwart earmark in Spotted Peccary catalog, keep on creating and expanding your sonic visions!!!

Richard Gürtler (Aug 30, 2019, Bratislava, Slovakia)


['ramp] "No Sleep 'Til Wilmersdorf" CD

It took me almost ages before Stephen Parsick aka ['ramp] landed on my radars and as I already have mentioned somewhere, I still feel really ashamed of this mistake. Fortunately, since summer 2017 I stay deeply focused on this German virtuoso of profoundly nebulous and vigorously sequenced insignias. The end of August 2017 also marked a big return of ['ramp] with "Synchronize Or Die" CD, after 5 years of silence. Its follow-up "No Sleep 'Til Wilmersdorf" is out since May 2018 in a limited edition of 222 copies on Stephen's Doombient Music label.

The album is a journey back to the childhood days in the late 1970s, when Stephen Parsick lived in Wilmersdorf with his parents, at that time a village near Berlin. These memories are precisely displayed also by a 12-page front insert (designed by Bernhard Wöstheinrich). 11-plus minutes long "Compact Phasing A" unlocks this strikingly attractive ride with intensely evocative arrangements, languidly meandering and introspectively narrating. Beauty! "No Sleep 'Til Wilmersdorf", the title composition clocking to nearly 17-minute mark, swiftly shifts into hauntingly elevated sequencer realms, where persistently pulsing signatures commingle with sinuously reflective traces. Soulfully kicking Berlin School reminiscences at its most hypnotic!!! The next piece, "Clouds Should Say", as indicated by its title, moves into serenely floating spheres persistently permeated by remotely ambiguous meridians and intangibly glimmering traceries. 8-minute "Haunted Hills" quickly returns to vividly textured sonic blissfulness, propelled by mesmerizingly sparkling sequences bridged with picturesquely evocative cascades. Perpetually oscillating and euphoniously magnificent performance showcasing ['ramp] at the very top of his musicianship!!! Bravo, Stephen, this is a Hall of Fame composition!!! "Salomon's Road" attracts with its joyful scenario, where pulsing vintage glitters relentlessly juxtapose with euphorically traversing storytelling. Another strikingly melodious masterpiece! "Oedipus" directly dives into enigmatically subterranean domains and nearly 11 minutes long "Orphelia" safely keeps venturing through these terrains, although reinforced by resistantly curlicue helixes. "The Last One To Leave Is To Turn Off The Lights" closes the album in gorgeously serene solitude.

76-minute "No Sleep 'Til Wilmersdorf" needs to be explored and celebrated for its outstanding artistry, where a lush array of retro Berlin-School ingredients and sinuously darker time-lapses ignite an all-inclusive ride driven by unmistakably earmarking arrangements of its solitary spirit. A headphone listening is highly recommended for a fully rewarding sonic pleasure!!! "No Sleep 'Til Wilmersdorf" album ranks among many of my fave ['ramp]'s and Stephen Parsick's gems including "Oughtibridge", "Return", "Ceasing To Exist" (with Markus Reuter), "Synchronize Or Die", "Cambrium: Music For Protozoa" or "Hoellenengel" for example. Big applaud for ['ramp]!!!

Richard Gürtler (Aug 29, 2019, Bratislava, Slovakia)

Independent Music Reviews / My review of "Aeon V" CDr by Solaris
« on: August 12, 2019, 09:32:40 AM »

Solaris "Aeon V" CDr

Highly sympathetic Californian label Synphaera Records, run by Chris Bryant and Don Tyler, quickly became an important voice on the map of ambient and electronic related genres with several top-notch sonic and visual gems resonating since 2015. Solaris "Aeon V" CDr, packaged in a 4-panel digipak and released in a limited edition of 150 copies during March 2017, is no exception. The project features Serbian soundsculptor Strahinja Maletić, one half of Fourth Dimension, and above mentioned Don Tyler, who is together with Chris Bryant the force behind Ascendant project. Sten Backman of Great Big Container gets credit for transporting cover image while Don Tyler is responsible for the mastering wizardry at his IO Mastering Studio.

Gossamery tinkles announce 7-plus minutes long "Ritual" and shift it into contemplatively embracing sceneries, where mesmerizingly invading monochromatic drones amalgamate with balmily organic serenities and quietly paced traceries. A very strong introduction of Solaris' soundworlds!!! Nearly 6-minute "Levitation" unfolds suitably to its title, but soon it metamorphoses into intangibly sequenced terrains, pervaded by enchanting cinematic glimpses. "Inward" masterfully bridges gracefully sinuous vistas with illuminating traces. "Waiting" maintains its evocative scenario, yet again juxtaposed by anodynely marching patterns. "Roundabout", at 5 minutes the shortest piece on the album, glides towards intensely engulfing horizons, exquisitely nuanced and meticulously permeated by intriguingly nebulous solitudes. Pure aural elixir!!! Shimmering introspections with mysteriously flatlined meridians riding atop and persistently glittering scenic motifs carve truly magnificent imageries, "Intrinsic" is obviously another exceptional composition, bravo Strahinja & Don!!! "Circular" arises from heavenly stratums, but fragilely translucent cyber-tech sparkles quickly steal the forefront. "Dominant" drifts into ambiguously immense zones, where grandiosely towering vertexes masterfully commingle with remotely obscure claps. "Reception", the longest track clocking over 8-minute mark, precisely merges glancing, yet awe-inspiring mesas with hypnotically perpetual and animately magnified sequences and flickering biotic embellishments. The closing "Contemplation" enters halcyon panoramas, where enveloping heavenly magnitudes counterpoint with spellbindingly trembling tapestries. Sergey Severin is credited on the end for his "Transmission from the future" epilogue. As much enveloping as piquant, a genuinely rewarding conclusion!!!

68 minutes long "Aeon V", inspired by Andrei Tarkovsky's adaptation of the novel Solaris by Stanisław Lem, is a true masterwork and undoubtedly one of my fave Synphaera releases!!! On this timeless journey, Strahinja Maletić and Don Tyler triumphantly reveal their creative talents. High five for both of you guys, you can be really proud of this strikingly immersing and intricately sculpted debut!!! In the meantime another album by Solaris was released, "Chimera" is out on Synphaera's dark cinematic sub-label Exosphere since October 2018. It's a pity this recording is not available on a physical format, nuts like me certainly would love it on a CD/CDr...

Richard Gürtler (Aug 07, 2019, Bratislava, Slovakia)


Michael Stearns "The Soft Touch Of Morning Light" CDr

Iconic master of cinematic ambience Michael Stearns has returned after long silence with a brand-new release "The Soft Touch Of Morning Light". Yeah, in the meantime there was breathtakingly transporting "Samsara" score released in 2012, but as far I remember, Michael's last CD "The Storm" on Spotted Peccary is dated back to 2001. To be honest, I have been always dreaming of reviewing Michael Stearns, now I have finally this opportunity. And on the top of all this, during 2018, I was a truly fortunate to visit one of my true heroes of ambient at his own studio in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and several months later experienced his unforgettable live show at B-Wave festival in Heusden-Zolder, Belgium. Both these events still deeply resonate, so the more I am fascinated by all audible insignias of this ingenious artist. "The Soft Touch Of Morning Light" CDr is out since October 15th, 2015, on Earth Turtle Music and is available through Michael Stearns website as a CDr release, manufactured on demand by TrepStar.

The album is comprised of three archival pieces from 1979 recorded on three different Serge Modulars. On the opening 14-minute track "Dark Passage In The Night" Michael Stearns performs on Kevin Braheny's Serge Modular as well as on his unique instrument called The Beam, which later played important role on score to the IMAX film "Chronos". It was recorded at Emilie Conrad's Continuum studio in Los Angeles. The composition floats and traverses serenely through various, shimmeringly immersing undulations and dramatically infused vistas, which later became true signature sounds of Michael Stearns. Spectacularly nuanced with monumental grace, glorious piquancy and narrative profoundness. What a beauty, pure magic fully reveals here! "The Soft Touch Of Morning Light", the title piece clocking just over 20 and a half minutes, masterfully displays its name, where calmer breezy horizons keep on rising and ebbing and perpetually commingle with gently meandering and persistently illuminating traceries. Performed on Michael's own Serge Modular at his and Susan Harper's Continuum Montage studio. Continuum Montage was also a record label, which produced Michael's early music, it stared with "Ancient Leaves" in 1977, continued through with groundbreaking "Planetary Unfolding" in 1981 and later completed with "Lyra Sound Constellation" in 1983. "Space Travel On The Wings Of Breath", 14 minutes long track closes this unique compilation with meticulously droning splendor, where nebulously gliding stratums exquisitely interact with unfathomably engulfing realms and mind-bending transcendental vertexes. A pure eargasm is delivered here, welcome to the Drone Pantheon, this must be the place where it all originated!!! Recorded on Craig Huxley's Serge Modular at his The Enterprise studio. By the way, Craig Huxley was also the founder of Sonic Atmospheres label, where Michael released several of his albums between the years 1983 and 1987.

"The Soft Touch Of Morning Light" is a very strong bundle of three hidden gems, some of them a truly visionary. Obviously a must-have album by one of the true pioneers of the genre, indeed, a sonic phenomenon!!! I really hope this collection will be reissued one day on a proper glass mastered format, a genius explorer like Michael Stearns certainly would deserve this. And most recently, Michael's debut "Ancient Leaves", as mentioned above, originally released on LP and cassette through Continuum Montage in 1977 and later remastered and reissued via Groove Unlimited in 1999, is scheduled on Infinite Fog Productions, July 10th, as a limited digipak and 12" vinyl or as a collector's wooden/metal box with LP, CD and cassette. This one is limited to 20 copies.

Richard Gürtler (Jun 27, 2019, Bratislava, Slovakia)

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