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Fire Opal by Massergy
- posted by Astral Jim on 8/8/2019
From the Texas wilderness comes a gem
The range of sounds gathered to create Fire Opal includes guitars, with the usual analog technology and synthesizers that Massergy uses to bring the wilderness of that part of Texas into your listening experience, in his unique way. True to his musical legacy and his approach to composition, occasionally exploring the textural and cerebral sonic territories where there is no driving beat, these guitar sounds range from harmonic finger picking to melodic expositions, usually in the proximity of ambient synthesizers, sometimes alone and sometimes supported by a bass guitar. My favorites are “Lunar Cinema” with what sounds like a horn, thoughtfully examining the ancient stone ruins on the moon using a spotlight at night; and “Cold White Smoke” which has an extended swirling dialog between what sounds to me like some sort of a metallic glockenspiel, with keyboards and the electric guitars, all under a synthesizer glow.
Rating: Excellent
How It Happened by Tom Eaton
- posted by Astral Jim on 8/8/2019
The music floats like an Aurora Borealis
Dark electronic wonderment, inspired by imagining the story of rivers in the winter. Slow shivering piano with synthesizer textures and sparkles. Meditations from deep under water, slow and relaxed. There is a polished and breathtaking quality consistently through all the work here. The cover art shows winter with no snow, the grass growing by the river is brown and dry, but the colors are rich and you can feel the season. This music lasts forever, time stops, and you can experience the eternity of deep listening. Once upon a time music that could put people to sleep was considered to be a problem, this music does not force you to sleep but it does allow for your thoughts to emerge in a natural way and you will very likely find yourself feeling relaxed. It is pretty to listen to, very delicate and haunting. Mr. Eaton has a career of experience with recording and producing some of the finest music on the planet; this new album takes the work to a new place. The sound on How it Happened comes from from many sources, including electronic, compared to the mostly piano-based music that precedes this album (Matjora is Still Alive, Abendromen and Indesterren). There is plenty of piano on How it Happened but this album is a study in sounds that are not so much focused on the piano. My personal favorite here is “Later, At Night, by the Lake,” the sound just shimmers there behind the speakers and I want to turn the lights off and see if it glows in the dark.
Rating: Excellent
Lotus Rising by Chronotope Project
- posted by Astral Jim on 8/8/2019
Harpejji Dharma
Synthesizers, sequencers, microtonal mysteries, rhyming percussion, an Irish whistle, a cello, a Harpejji, and so much more. The music is energetic without being overpowering, the meditation is always positive and illuminating. Gentle melodies and always a mindful movement towards awakened awareness. My favorites here and now are “Opening the Hand of Thought” not because the visual idea of thought having a hand to open, but because of the nifty beat and range of tempo and instruments, this one sends me. Also “Gateless Gate” sounds to me like a soft floating gas with tiny tingling chimes and some punctuating clicks and pings. The overall effect is upbeat and rich, abundances of sparkly tones and steady beams of harmonic colors. I did not mention Buddhism, did I?
Rating: Very Good +
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