Tagged: Reviews

Deception of Reality Review by Sonic Immersion

Here’s a nice new review of Numina’s latest on Hypnos, The Deception of Reality. The review is written by Bert Strolenberg for the Sonic Immersion review site.

“From the labels notes on Jesse Sola’s concept release “The Deception of Reality” I learned it’s about introspective escapism while balancing light and dark themes, with the music transporting the listener to wherever they wish the music to take them.

Jesse’s previous two albums already opened the doorway to a much deeper and darker-flavoured sonic environment, something that nicely continues on the five lengthy, uninterrupted pieces on this 75-minute album. We’re talking about spacious, slighty melodic but overall expansive soundscapes here that venture into alternate realities with lots of mystic caverns and longform dwellings into the vast unknown.

Besides occasional undercurrents of mourning and melancholy, Numina’s expressive, constantly evolving and overall emotive textures paints beautiful pictures, all fitting in a grand, transparent design. I though can imagine the drifting flow making up the rather Roach-oriented 19-minute “Empire of Nothing” may be a bit too minimal for some. Fortunately, the smooth, warm and dreamy waves of the final track “Translunary Return” again pull things in a different direction.

All in all, if you love imaginary and in-depth ambient soundscape music, the excellently mastered “The Deception of Reality” won’t disappoint the least.”

–Reviewed by Bert Strolenberg, Sonic Immersion

Our thanks to Bert for this review.

Buy the CD for $12.99, or read more, or hear clips.

Caul’s Let the Stars Assume… Review by Sonic Curiosity

Just received this fine review of the latest Caul CD from Matt Howarth and Sonic Curiosity.

“Caul is Brett Smith.

A variety of instruments are employed in conjunction with electronics to generate soothing tuneage.

In one track, piano delineates passages of delicate resonance. In another, guitars establish a mildly bouncy mood. One piece flourishes with cerebral cellos, while another utilizes the darker timbre of bass in tandem with crisply twinkling keyboards to create a gentle flow. Another track combines soft violins with heavenly chorales to achieve a celestial demeanor. While another piece takes a dark turn with remote percussives, grinding guitar chords and ominous tonalities, all of which accomplish a pensive mood more than any sense of dread.

While electronics are definitely present (often in a subtle fashion that serves to mesh everything together) their presence is generally too subliminal to clearly detect.

Despite their versatility, these compositions share a common temperament of pensive melodies. The music is somber, but not dark; relaxed, but not drab. No matter what you want to classify it as, though, the end result is satisfying, rewarding the listener with a pleasant sonic environment. Since the tracks are all short, the type of pleasantness changes in definition but remains constant in its lilting result.”

–Review by Matt Howarth, Sonic Curiosity

Purchase for $12.99 on Hypnos Online Store

Urbs Reviewed by Sonic Immersion

Bert Strolenberg has just posted this review of Urbs by Bruno Sanfilippo, the most recent Hypnos CD release. Access the review page directly here.

On “Urbs”, Bruno Sanfilippo introduces the listener in the amazing world of city soundscapes and its vast array of noises. Bruno tried to merge this mysterious alchemy from a punctual approach, discrete in elements and discourses.

“Urbs” offers a spacious, mysterious and above all hypnotizing sonic ride through the multiple dimensions of inner city life in four lengthy tracks. Don’t think this is kind of background music as the gliding and gradually shifting effect of noises and field recordings melted together demands focussed listening.

I’m personally not too amused by the occasional, slightly distracting experimental cracks and noises as employed in “Chaotic Order” (with its 25-minute duration the longest track on the album).

Fortunately, a sense of harmony and stillness slides back on “The Gray Umbrella”, in a way slightly approaching Vangelis “Bladerunner” atmosphere.

All in all, “Urbs” makes an intense listening experience.

Many thanks to Bert for the review!

More info / buy direct for $12.99

Bert Strolenberg Reviews The Martian Chronicles

Thanks to Bert Strolenberg of the review site SonicImmersion.org for this new review of The Martian Chronicles by Oöphoi and Seren Ffordd.

The Martian Chronicles is a 74-minute longform album inspired by Ray Bradbury’s short science fiction story by the same name. It is the first collaborative album between Oöphoi (aka Italian drone expert Gianluigi Gasparetti) and Welch soundscape composer Seren Ffordd (aka Andy Benford).

What we got here is a deep and immersive work of cinematic ambient that took about three years in the making. The seven tracks feature vast, dark and slow morphing drone textures along field recordings and percussion, making up an intense trip into a mysterious and alienating world with psychedelic edges.

The Martian Chronicles is a spacious recording meant for deeper and focussed listening, that seems to submerge the listener even more when heard with a good pair of headphones. If you’re into dense ambient art works with both subtle changes along fine environmental sounds, this quality album is for you.”

Review by Bert Strolenberg

Purchase The Martian Chronicles for $12.99 on the Hypnos Online Store

Caul Review by Bert Strolenberg

Here’s a great review of Caul’s new Hypnos CD, written by Bert Strolenberg and posted at his own Sonic Immersion site. Thanks, Bert!

Kansas City-based composer Caul, aka Brett Smith, is a purveyor of dark, cinematic ambient music. Some may know him from the 2004 collaborative effort “Inside the Hollow Realm” with Numina.

“Let the Stars Assume the Whole of Night” contains 12 structured and composed ambient pieces, featuring a mix of haunting soundscapes, vocal pads, drums and guitar licks. Together, they lay down a psychedelic and abyssal feel, but without being or becoming too spooky.

From the smooth, gentle pads and slow evolving string sections comes a kind of religious but also somber air. It spreads its wings as the remote, darkening landscape opens up, revealing another side in front of the listener on every track.

Although there’s an “edge” to this type of spiritual-oriented and at times even pastoral ambient, the 51-minute moody outcome has a cool, pleasant and satisfying impact. This despite the gloomy and gothic veil lying over “Let the Stars Assume the Whole of Night”.