It’s time for a couple more reviews of Numina’s latest Hypnos release, The Deception of Reality.
“Judging on the basis of The Deception of Reality, Numina’s deep ambient is about as deep as ambient gets. American ambient composer Jesse Sola takes the listener on a seventy-five-minute journey through the outer reaches of space on his fourth Numina release on Hypnos and his first since 2007’s Shift to the Ghost. Though five tracks are indexed and titled, the material plays like an uninterrupted travelogue of epic proportion and immersive character. As a purely listening experience (and played loud enough for maximum impact), the material exudes a grandiose quality and registers as the sonic equivalent of a towering classical architectural structure.
The Deception of Reality carves out an immense reverberant space within which radiant synthetic elements resound and where impenetrably dense textures form backdrops to shimmering electronics and serpentine melodic patterns. Percussive strikes intermittently emerge, though they have less impact in this context when the non-percussive elements are already pitched at such a high level. Long swaths of synthetic sounds stretch across the vast spaces and ethereal choral voices occasionally surface, too. The intensity level remains feverishly high throughout the opening parts, “The Illusion Transmission” and “Our Elegant Experience,” which makes “In Cerulean Haze” all the more appealing for providing a ten-minute interlude of relative placidity and quietude. The nearly twenty-minute “Empire of Nothing” perpetuates that serene state in its swirls of washes and softly whistling tones, after which the luminous “Translunary Return” provides an equally soothing resolution to the project as a whole. That the album is heavily synth-based is borne out by sleeve info that lists the synthesizers (eight by my count) that Sola used to generate the tracks’ sounds. Production details aside, The Deception of Reality clearly suggests that lovers of deep ambient will find Numina’s material satisfying in the extreme.”
–Reviewed by Textura.org
“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