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Seren Ffordd
Dreaming in the Well of Slow Shadows

Dave Fulton
Of Those Things Left Unsaid

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Antonio Testa & Michel Moglia
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Numina - Eye of the Nautilus

Artist: Numina
Title: Eye of the Nautilus
Hypnos Recordings
Audio CD hyp2548

Numina - Eye of the Nautilus

2005. We are pleased to announce the second release by Numina on the Hypnos label, the follow-up to his acclaimed breakthrough Sanctuary of Dreams (2004). Eye of the Nautilus is similar to its predecessor tonally, but also explores some different themes and textures. Evocative electronic percussion is present at times, but overall the feel is one of deep-space ambience.

It is with good reason that Numina is one of the few names in ambient music to so quickly gain in reputation and prominence in this new millennium. His work evolves dramatically with each new release, and by now he has surely made the transition from "new name you should watch" to the status of "established artist." This is an album full of ideas, with a fresh and varied sound design.

Guest artist Rudy Adrian lends his trademark sound to the second track, "Secrets from the Flame," and as with Sanctuary of Dreams, R. Chris Fraley provides artwork, and Hypnos founder M. Griffin is responsible for mastering and layout. This is the fourth Hypnos CD release of 2005, and is sure to be one of the highlights of the year not only for Numina and Hypnos, but for the entire space & ambient music world.

Numina - Eye of the Nautilus track list with MP3 samples:
1 Drift Catalyst
2 Secrets from the Flame
3 The Thirteenth Moon
4 New Lands Approach
5 The Nautilus Chamber
6 Sundrown
7 Frozen Halo
8 Hypnotic Shores
9 Return to the Crystal Temple

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"Numina (Jesse Sola) is back with a strong follow up to his well received Hypnos debut Sanctuary of Dreams. Once again, he creates beautiful paintings, using sounds as color, using synths, samplers, and guitars as his brushes. "Drift Catalyst" is a rich textural piece that combines its layers into a wall of sound that ebbs and flows. Though Numina often reminds me of Steve Roach, this piece has a smooth silky quality and a somewhat brighter tone that is more reminiscent of Robert Carty's space music. "Secrets from the Flame" features Rudy Adrian as a guest, and though Jesse doesn't tip his hand as to what Rudy contributes, there is a bright shimmering quality that I associate with his work. Tribal drumming picks up the pace a bit midway through, blending into the synth textures extremely well. The intensity builds and crests before a long slow fade. "The Thirteenth Moon" is full of bright choirs and silky pads. It sounds like heaven. Drums return on "New Lands Approach," adding vibrancy and vitality. "The Nautilus Chamber" swooshes by like the wind. After a lot of velvety smooth sounds, "Sundrown" takes a more abstract turn with clanging bells, eerie strings, and things that go bump and thump in the night. Something like Japanese koto or hammered dulcimer appears for contrast, and works to great effect here and in the closing track, "Return to the Crystal Temple." In between are a couple other ambient morsels for you to sample on your own. There is a nice balance between pure ambient tracks and those with more rhythmic elements. Put it all together, and it's another Numina winner."
© 2005 Phil Derby / Electroambient Space


"Jesse Sola recently sent me this and I have had a chance to give it a few spins in the last couple days. One thing that becomes apparent listening to Numina's work is the craftsmanship is very high. For those that don't know his work it falls under the American ambient school, drones and floating textures with some rhythmic underpinning in places. Jesse weaves his sounds with slow tonal shifting and that's one of my favorite aspects of his work is that unfolding quality which in the right hands is the musical equivalent of storytelling.. IMO Jesse is ahead of the pack with the more recent names on the ambient scene. Numina releases are very heavy on the synths. Jesse's work would appeal very well with those that prefer the synth as the main timbre. Telomere is another that comes to mind as synth heavy, but ambient, no pulses ... There's always a deeply Gothic quality to his work too... no fey crystal happiness here. The whole "Eye of the Nautilus" theme fits the sound perfectly as it spirals out of your speaker putting the whole room under a spell. Favorite initial cuts are 1, 4, 5, 7, 8 with 8 being my current favorite. (I didn't get song titles.) A definite sonic psychedelic experience.

--2005. Paul Ellis