This week we’re bringing you Paul Vnuk Jr.’s “Silence Speaks in Shadow,” sale-priced at $6.99 through September 14th.
Vnuk ventures out into the solo world with a longform release that blends the environmental sounds of a cityscape with an ebbing and flowing synth atmosphere. SILENCE SPEAKS IN SHADOW gives us a glimpse into the psycho-environmental sounds of a city drenched in rain and industrial sonics. Stating his inspiration for this project, Vnuk says: “The open windows and industrial sounds of a rain drenched city can have a strange calming effect on the soul.”
A pre-release review by Jim Brenholts says: “….expertly mixes somber passages and samples with an expansive drone, nature samples and melodic pastoral ambience. The effect is both chilling and calming. The emotional and spiritual responses are clear and undefinable. The physical response is immediate calm. This CD is essential psychoactive meditation material!”
Hypnos Recordings feels a special fondness for smooth, long-form environmental pieces. We find them full of details which gradually reveal themselves, and transport the listener to unfamiliar locales, or frames of mind. SILENCE SPEAKS IN SHADOW is sure to be a favorite “place” of many who experience it.
“If you ponder for too long the meaning of the album title Silence Speaks in Shadow, the listener will surely fail to have the musical encounter intended by author Paul Vnuk Jr. The concept behind this prolonged ambient stasis is to think about everything but the spinning disc and allow the mind to wander and to wonder… freely. Vnuk facilitates this through the placement of sparse synth pads over recordings of street sounds during a thunderstorm, a skilled combination of pacing, harmony and the relaxing properties of rain on rooftops. The moments prior to slipping into sleep are reassurred with the kind of calm that only one of those sudden summer showers can bring.
Silence Speaks in Shadow is one in a growing number of releases in this field – so its design will be familiar, yet the experience remains as pleasing as watching raindrops splashing or storm clouds rolling. This album is a fitting beginning on a drift out to the fringes of consciousness, through the mist of memory and into the embrace of night. Vnuk’s soundscape provides us with a sonic foundation upon which to build our own unique ambient experience.”
–Chuck van Zyl / STAR’S END
“One half of Ma Ja Le has “gone solo” as they say… taking the lightly atmospheric road, paul vnuk jr. reveals, in a long-form emission of faint electronics and urban ambiance, that silence speaks in shadow. Hushed soundwaves float on a peacefully rainy city night, and Vnuk captures the best of all those elements.
Subtly shimmering synthscapes (sometimes barely there at all) simply drift through Silence Speaks in Shadow (73:58); occasional “real life” incidents (falling rain, chattering people, cat sounds which always have me looking around to see what mine are up to…) add a you-are-there textural element to the whole mix. It should be noted that (except fot the lingering showers) these happenings are few, with plenty of spaciously drifting ephemera throughout. Hinting of danger elsewhere (but not here), sirens pass as lovely chorus-like strands waft through the spattering of raindrops on concrete. Around the 40-minute mark, light chimes sparkle with a cushiony resonance counterbalancing distant thunder. Everything slowly fades in the final moments, like slipping into a comfortable slumber…
Soundscape meets cityscape in silence speaks in shadow, a panoramic blend of shapeshifting ambient streams and subtle occurences which blend rather than intrude. No hustle-bustle here as paul vnuk jr. processes the most subdued audiovisions, transmitting them as these flowing scenes of 9.2-rated beauty. Quite gorgeous! The amazing Hypnos catalog just keeps getting better… ”
–David Opdyke, The AmbiEntrance
“There’s a small quote at the bottom of the insert to this CD, apparently a quote by Vnuk Jr. himself who states that “The open windows and industrial sounds of a rain, drenched city can have a strange calming effect on the soul.” When I first read this little snippet I wasn’t sure what to think, but after my first listen it made good sense. A lot of Ambient/ Atmospheric music compliments or enhances the ambience of a particular space, but then there are some ambient recordings that transcend or alter your space altogether, i.e. Stephen Philips and James Johnson’s Lost at Dunn’s Lake, or Brannan Lane’s Troposphere, Silence Speaks in Shadow is like this as well, but it’s a different, grittier, almost urban ambience rather than the organic natural works of Philips, Johnson, and Lane. Clocking in at 73:58 Silence Speaks in Shadow is a long-running single track that immerses the listener in a blend of natural ambience and harmoniously synthesized chording. With Silence Speaks in Shadow Vnuk Jr. has created an undisputedly great work that emphasizes the harsh undertones of the urban landscape while sonically capturing the mysterious beauty of a rainy night. A fantastic recording that transcends as well as it projects.”
–Matt Borghi, The Organization of Sound
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