One more recent review (this time from Ping Things) for Steve Brand’s Hypnos album Avatara.
Steve Brand’s “Avatara” seriously impresses me. It’s a beautiful release that envelops me as I listen, a circular cycle of music where an organic atmosphere is formed by a delicate blend of echoing drones and quiet percussion elements. Smooth pads weave around each other while warm tones echo throughout the soundscape, punctuated occasionally by brief bursts of sound and the occasional field recording. It’s all really quite appealing.
It’s an album that’s not afraid to use silence as an instrument as well, where spaces are just as poignant and meaningful as the sounds that surround them. While many artists attempt to fill up the spaces in a track Brand uses that empty space as a complement, as a way to both clearly distinguish sounds and to further develop the tension of a piece. It makes for more active listening, where I find myself constantly pulled deeper and deeper into the work until it becomes an almost meditative experience.
I quite like Steve Brand’s work as a rule but to reiterate my earlier comment, “Avatara” really impresses me. It’s a beautiful, polished, artistic release that appeals to me on a variety of levels, and I have every faith that it will continue to find itself in regular rotation at Casa del ping things.
–Reviewed by Rik – ping things