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Metahuman by Sverre Knut Johansen
- posted by Robin James on 9/23/2022
Metahuman: Venturing Beyond Daily Living
Elegant mysterious melodic pulsing electronics opening a portal to deep inner space, inspired by Deepak Chopra's book by the same name as the album title. Sverre Knut Johansen plays Sequential Prophet X and Pro 3, as well as other instruments as noted in the track details; on three tracks Ståle Storløkken plays Haken Audio Continiuum, on “METAHUMAN,” “Unity Of Existence Through Evolution,” and “METAHUMAN (Extended).” This 9-track album was mastered by Howard Givens at Spotted Peccary Studios NW in Portland, Oregon.
What I hear is a full electronic symphony, in places light and sparkly, and in other places much more complex, deep and rich with textures, pulses and melodic joy. From the void comes form. From the form comes motion and dance, “METAHUMAN” (3:37) establishes the groove, a sense of wonderment is invoked, hypnotized by the brilliance of that pulsing core of light, suspended in, and surrounded by, swirling bright gas and the starlike, throbbing core.
Darker themes emerge on the second track, building into a solid form, the power of energy, with cogent strings stretched under a brazen sky, beneath a stupendous Sun. This is the rocker of the album, feel the power of the pulse, the intoxicating colors of coarse energy, the longest track, it builds to a powerful beat, and ultimately fades into mist in the end. “HUMAN (Path Of Destruction)” (10:34).
“Unity Of Existence Through Evolution” (8:48), is contemplative and gentle; the beat operates within a slow inquisitive mood with changing elements. Lift up your eyes to the sky, on towards unknown worlds of distant stars beyond the wide, uncharted reaches of deep space. The strength builds and broadens into a wide atmospheric dancing ground, a form that brings light to the world, wide circles, graceful glides, a solid beat sustains, the pulse is strong, and rising. This is a true Space Rock instrumental, there are power-packed moments, and much territory is spanned, then floats upwards, to fade into a pleasant extended darkness. “Immortal” (5:44) allows life to make sense as never before, life becomes transformed as you explore the infinite potential, the miracle of our very existence.
Then, we are all dancing slowly. “METAHUMAN (Extended)” (9:51) has a slightly slower feeling than the opening track with the same name. This track explores and expands, allowing for more depth and time with the spirit. On the final track, David Helpling plays electric guitar, synthesizers, and piano. Johansen plays Steinberger bass guitar in addition to his other studio technologies. “Infinity Being” (6:13) brings a haunting melodic atmosphere, full of repeating vistas. This accesses some forms of the hall of mirrors sound that Helpling is well known for, a haunting melody that reminds us of our dream castles. This is where the limitless lingers.
Perhaps knowledge cannot be defined through perception. This album presents an opportunity for using your ears to explore impossible and fantastic landscapes inside your own mind, considering the possibilities for healing and intentional positive growth that can be cultivated, the music might be a catalyst for new ideas, new interpretations of the evidence we have found so far, new ways of finding more evidence, and new lessons to apply for how we move forward.
2 HUMAN (Path Of Destruction)
3 Unity Of Existence Through Evolution
4 Immortal
5 META (The Light Inside You)
6 METAHUMAN (Extended)
7 Fluctuations Of Awareness
8 Miracle Of Existence
9 Infinity Being

Spotted Peccary Music
Rating: Excellent
Always by Dan Chadburn
- posted by Steve Sheppard on 9/8/2022
A very special album indeed
Dan Chadburn
Written by
Steve Sheppard

Ever since the album Solo Piano in 1998 Dan Chadburn has been on my music radar, over the subsequent years the artist has produced some of the most heartfelt piano ever. A new release by Dan is always a pleasurable experience; it’s one of those moments that brings a reassured smile to your face, as you just know it’s going to be good, and on this new offering entitled Always, we have just that, and much more.
The opening piece is always an important matter, and when you grace it with the title header Always, you are on to a solid winner of a composition. I once gave Dan the title of the world’s most sensitive pianist, and on this track the evidence is crystal clear why I did so, this is the most perfect composition with which to start the album with.
However one of my personal favourites from this new album was the explorative and fascinating opus entitled Uncharted Waters, Chadburn quite cleverly takes the front seat and drives this piece from calm waters into a fast paced, up-tempo realms and possibilities.
There is always a time for a classic, and they probably don’t come much more so than O Shenandoah. Here Chadburn pulls off a memorable presentation and adds a whole layer of feeling and emotion into the arrangement to boot.
Turning Point is a sweet song, manifested by the hand of a soul that truly feels his music; this is classic Chadburn, full flowing, emotive and proud, a charming reverie indeed, and one of the most passionate songs off the album. The artist dances with his own composition creating moments of intrigue and segments of an almost cinematic posture.
Time to give a little short form up with the track Yesteryear, this friendly little offering is actually more complex than you would at first think, and it is certainly worth numerous listens to pick up on several Chadburn styled nuances contained within.
Always by Dan Chadburn is a 12 track album, and at the midway point you will find a new age styled opus entitled Minuet, the rhythm here is simply idyllic, one could with ease dance across moonbeams to its tone and timbre; a light hearted reverie of great texture can be found here.
The deep notes and chords of Uncertainty bring a whole new feel into the proceedings, the moodiness of this track creates a somewhat nervous and cautious energy, the minor nature of this song is sublime, but deep within the weave of this wonderfully manifested arrangement is one thing that Chadburn always holds deep within his musical heart, hope.
On Missing You we have a standard created by the artist that only he is able to reach its heights over and again. This is one of the most soulful songs from the release, packed with that full flowing sensitivity I mentioned in the early lines of this review, this piece conjures up images of a piano, an empty room and a lonely heart, utterly beautiful.
We now drift into the welcome arms of this next offering entitled The Wishing Well. Here is a short musical narrative that is almost pristine to the touch, and akin to a musical fragrance floating over a crisp summer meadow in August.
We drift into the darker whirlpools of the release now, and we find a moving creation called Sacred Breath, here lays a tentative arrangement; one that slowly grows with a gentle hand at the tiller of time. Chadburn is masterful here at manifesting a reverential and respectful mood, with what seems consummate ease.
The penultimate offering off the album is probably one of the most important and called Synchronicity, this is something I have been aware of for years, but only in the last 10 or so have I been acknowledging this universal truth, and now my life is bliss, and in some ways this is what the artist has manifested here, listen to its cautious start and its confidence building mid-segment, and onto the bright and positive conclusion, sheer brilliance from Dan Chadburn indeed.
How else to end an album than with a track called Final Curtain, the Chadburn flourish is here, the smooth almost sunset styled conclusion, and a performance that will leave you feeling calm, happy and totally fulfilled with the very last note played.
Always by Dan Chadburn is a truly splendid album, we may have waited a while for the stars to align, but here is an album that is very special indeed. With style and panache Dan Chadburn has brought to the world one of the finest creations of solo piano the planet has seen this year, one full of rich flavours, bathed in delightful aromatic chords and melodies. Always by Dan Chadburn is one of those albums that is an absolute must have at all costs, after all, your ears will love you for an eternity for doing so.
Rating: Excellent
Isle of Shadows by Christopher Boscole
- posted by Steve Sheppard on 9/8/2022
A masterful performance
Isle of Shadows


Christopher Boscole

Written by

Steve Sheppard

I have been following the pathway musically of pianist Christopher Boscole for some 10 years now, from Floating On a Melody to Dawn Of Love and now into the most welcome arms of this current voyage through piano entitled, Isle Of Shadows, featuring music from the classical genre, some that are known well and some lesser explored narratives.

The familiar tones of Chopin flow from the keys of Boscole on the tracks Nocturne Op. 9 No. 2 in Eb Major and 24 Preludes Op. 28 No. 17 in Ab Major, the former containing a wonderfully emotive performance, and the latter a presentation that is as fluent as a spring mountain stream.

One of my personal favourites is featured on this illustrious release in Pathetique Sonata No.8 Op. 13II. Adagio Cantabile originally by Ludwig van Beethoven. Here Boscole creates a sublime performance that captures the essence of the master, and that imploring sense of drama and passion, Beethoven is also represented twice, the other presentation probably one of the best known of all times in Moonlight Sonata No. 14 Op. 272I. Adagio sostenuto, one has to say that Boscole’s rendition is a brilliantly deep execution of the original, and one I could listen to many times over.

As previously stated some lesser known works are also represented here, and one I simply adored was the title track itself Isle of Shadows 6 Lyric Pieces Op. 28II. Skuggornas o by Selim Palmgren, a fine exhibition, one that I felt created a whole raft of ambience, and among the many great choices; there was even time for the artist to showcase a new track himself, with the piece Until We Meet Again. This was a sumptuous way to conclude the album, and one that had an almost cinematic energy about its construction as well.

Isle of Shadows by Christopher Boscole is a 12 track album of class and elegance, a release of masterful performances, and an offering of passionate performances that remind us of some of the all-time classics, and shine a much needed light of quality on those lesser known ones as well. There can be no doubt that Christopher Boscole is an elegant pianist and a crafted composer, and here on Isle of Shadows, there can be found 12 performances that raise the artists stock tenfold.
Rating: Excellent
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