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Wind Journey by Erik Wøllo
- posted by Astral Jim on 8/8/2019
The sonic view from so far up
Up and away, into a bright blue sky, cold and clear! From up here you can see forever, with a full depth and lots of small components. This is perfect electronic air conditioning, the music provides a frost you can enjoy while wearing a t shirt with sunglasses. This is all about the sounds of wind and altitude that a guitar can bring to life. This kind of music is not about fast and furious guitar dazzle, this is all about great soaring music dazzle, simple amazement and fine compositional design, working with the sounds of the wind interpreted by the electric guitar. Windchimes, percussive harmonics, soaring freefall guitar treatments, you can hear how cold it is.
Rating: Excellent
Precambrian by Sverre Knut Johansen
- posted by Robin B. James on 8/8/2019
The story of 4 billion years of life on earth
Precambrian is an ambitious project, and it works. The very notion of a soundtrack to the story of life on Earth is rather aspirational, from the gradual gathering of the earliest cosmic dust forming the planets, all the way through the various times of flourishing terrestrial life forms that all met with a cataclysm and most creatures died, with a few living and starting over, again and again. You can hear the whole story in one song, from the lonely to the triumphant, a portrail of creation. A meditation on the story of life on Earth is an ambitious undertaking. Perhaps only the language of synthesizers is complex enough to handle it all. There are no exploding volcanoes or roaring dinosaurs. We only hear the beautiful evolution of ideas expressed in musical forms, from the sound of simple swirling mystery, to life changing and dancing into increasingly sophisticated forms. The natural sounds of trickling water and a few supersonic aircraft in the distance are realistically expressed, almost everything else is purely electronic. This is music for thinking about creation, certainly not a narrative explaining the Big Bang Theory. What you will hear is electronic classical music. You can listen to it as a background for imagining the story of life on earth, from microbes through dinosaurs and then to our Anthropocenic era. This can be a controversial topic but relax because not a single word is spoken or sung on the album, so that leaves only musical imagination. This ambient electronic adventure succeeds because it is always changing while keeping a strong direction. Also, it includes plenty of natural recordings woven into the synthesizer orchestra. The concept of such vast amounts of time is perfectly suited for electronic music. Things build up and then change, sometimes it gets very quiet, first as simple organisms with the power of photosynthesis create oxygen, changing the atmosphere slowly. It gets quiet and there are wet sounds maybe some whales, slowly a return of the fluttering drums heartbeat and a little thunderstorm, dripping sounds. It ends with trickling water as single cells congregate to dance and create oxygen from sunshine, and after thousands of years they create enough oxygen to bring about the ideal circumstances for the new oxygen breathing life forms to come.
Rating: Excellent
Toward the Horizon by Craig Padilla
- posted by Beth Hilton on 8/8/2019
Toward the Horizon by Craig Padilla & Marvin Allen
Hypnotic, captivating, dreamy, and vivid, the music drifts from electronic soundscapes to atmospheric textures, at times swirling and spinning through dazzling sequences and epic soaring refrains. Toward The Horizon is spacemusic in every sense. It's just what the doctor ordered to drown out the maddening buzz of current events, or to encourage new visions. The track “Tidal Disruption” suggests a better place than ours...a place similar to the album's intriguing cover, with beautiful horizons touching silver seas; “Liquid Heaven” could be the essential exploration of those same mysterious empyrean waters. One’s imagination is inspired to wander.

Electronic, ambient and rock music fans will thoroughly appreciate the resulting explosive melodies and ambient soundscapes. Allen uses Strymon Effects on his guitar, and all of the synthesizer parts on “Distant Waves” were created using only a modular synthesizer that was designed by legendary synth builder George Mattson. How does that sound in the end? In their words, "It’s a combination of our unique sensibilities. There are elements of progressive rock, spacemusic, Berlin-school, trance, as well as influences like Pink Floyd, Camel, and Tangerine Dream, etc..."

Composed, performed and produced by prolific electronic music artist Craig Padilla and multi-talented performer and music educator Marvin Allen, one would never guess it is the duo's first time working together. These skilled musicians have crafted a masterful free-flowing dreamscape that moves through a myriad of moods, revealing the many colors of an ever-changing sonic skyline. Melodic and rhythmic, surreal and drifting, the resulting music is a timeless adventure through illuminating guitar tonalities and majestic synthesizer vistas.

Very few labels offer an album "unboxing" playlist of videos, which was fun to discover on YouTube, and is just one of many quality touches that makes Spotted Peccary such a fine record label; visit Spotted Peccary to listen, purchase and browse:

Toward The Horizon releases today, February 22, 2019. on Spotted Peccary Music in physical and digital formats, as well as 24-bit Audiophile format.
Rating: Excellent
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