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The Ambient Soundscapes of Brannan Lane

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Operating from a studio in Tennessee, Brannan Lane explores ethereal soundscapes that reach out from his electronic equipment and evoke exotic environments. Whether they be the aerial drift of the upper atmosphere or foreboding subterranean depths or even the lush panorama of unpopulated jungles, his music is peaceful yet gripping.

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BRANNAN LANE: Lost Caverns of Thera (CD on World Circle Records)

This CD features 66 minutes of pensive ambient music.

Enter the caverns accompanied by liquid sounds, leaving behind distant birdcalls and any pretense of illumination. A darkness envelopes the traveler, rendering vision impossible. Down here, only sound will convey the substance of the subterranean environment.

These sounds are as dark as the air, filled with a tension that is thick with dread and foreboding. Watery drippings pursue your descent, echoing from hidden cavern walls like ominous portends of electronic gloom. Slowly, the darkness begins to form into stately impressions. Atonal textures fill the caves, punctuated by sighing tonalities and moods of unseen grandeur. Mysterious moods press against you as you continue into the depths, where you will encounter ancient artwork painted on the granite by long extinct civilizations. You may even stumble across bones of creatures that never existed. Are the mammoth monoliths you encounter geological japes or the crumbling remains of lost Atlantis?

Heavenly chords simmer in the ambience, alleviating unease and making you one with the darkness. The feeling of dread is replaced with an inspired wonder. Your footfalls resound like unrhythmic beats, lost in the swelling tonalities that cascade around you. Liquid flows dog your passage. The soundscape's glorious density becomes inverted, and while you know you are deep within the earth, surrounded by miles of compressed rock, an impression of vast open spaces enters your perceptions.

In the end, your descent bring you back to the surface and the light, wiser perhaps, but definitely touched by the awe of these enigmatic caverns.

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BRANNAN LANE: Sleep Cycle (CD on Music)

This CD delivers 48 minutes of ambience intended to induce sleep and influence dreams.

Relaxing tonalities flow like airborne streams, softly caressing the listener's mind more than they stimulate the ear. Electronic textures unfurl into infinite drones, unhurriedly overlapping their elongated textures to produce vast sheets of tenuous substance. These passages wash like an intangible surf across the cerebellum, immersing the listener in a cocoon of cosmic sedation, lulling the mind away from physical worries. Once separated from the material world, the intellect drifts with these eternal tones, becoming one with the minimal structure. Stripped of all civilized interference, the audience can descend into an internal darkness whose emptiness is primal and ripe for meditative impressions. From this void, the pleasant music allows mind and body to revitalize, drawing energy from inner regions in tandem with the infinite that surrounds us all.

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BRANNAN LANE: Troposphere (CD on World Circle Records)

This CD features 57 minutes of new age explorations of our planet's atmospheric layers.

Commencing in the lowest region where humanity resides, this voyage gradually rises through more tenuous zones to finally plunge from our gas envelope and enter the cold, hard vacuum of outer space.

In the initial stages of this aerial journey, electronics share the sonic stage with environmental sounds, sweeping tones piercing rainstorms to spiral amid thundering cloudbanks. The ascent soon takes the audience into chillier regions, where the electronics grow denser and more crystalline. Textures adopt grittier sensibilities, infused with a deeper majesty. These higher realms are portrayed without hostility, relying instead on sparse textures that evoke solitude and infinite emptiness.

While generally melodic, this music possesses no rhythm or riffs, defining itself entirely through elongated tonalities and pensive moods.

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BRANNAN LANE & VIDNA OBMANA: Deep Unknown (CD on Music)

This 2002 release features 68 minutes of ambient soundscapes.

Sighing tonalities unfurl, coasting across the sky with languid pace. Interweaving with further textures, heavenly passages flow with peaceful effect. Punctuated by exotic and unobtrusive instruments (shakers, wind chimes, bottles, rain stick, and djembe), these textures generate a haunting panorama that lifts the audience from their native environment and conveys them to unfamiliar territory of open potentiality. These regions of mystery reside high overhead, beyond the stratosphere. There, the music expands, stretching the listener's attention to great vistas, opening the mind to perceptions that are normally impossible from the vantage of daily human pursuits. The presence of Obmana's overtone flutes lends a numinous mood that roots the soundscapes with a primal human ancestry.

Relxing and potentially stimulating, this music employs frequent use of liquid sounds mixed with electronics. Such mixtures of sea and sky are not uncommon in the ambient genre, but Lane's application of this technique creates a wondrous fusion of opposites to induce communion of spirit and reality.

Although classified as a collaboration between Tennesseean Lane and Belgian synthesist Vidna Obmana (aka Dirk Serries), only three of the seven tracks feature both musicians. There is no noticeable decrease of lushness, however, in the solo pieces.

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BRANNAN LANE & TOM LARSON: Tribal Spirit (CD on Music)

This CD features 65 minutes of tropical ambience. Here, atmospheric electronics are immersed in ethnic percussives to generate lavish passages of exotic temperament.

Rain forests are captured with powerful rhythms and synthetic ornithological resonance. Jungle surroundings are given evocative definition with humid textures that linger with a fragrant afterglow.

Nocturnal gatherings huddle around crackling campfires, sending primal tempos into the sky in attempts to summon forgotten deities. Twilight crickets are drowned out by serious beats that still the night with their determination.

Primitive cultures stare with exuberant awe at sparkling fields of remote stars, elucidating their wonder and bewilderment with tribal expressions of rhythm. Astral atmospherics hang above the primal congas like a velvet canopy.

Ancient tombs seep fluids over tremulous rocks, expelling luxurious mists that tickle the gamelan percussives with reverent moods. Atonal melodies hang in the air, pressing down like ethereal reminders of mortality tinged with hints of afterlife presence.

The duality of spirituality is examined through contrasting organic growth with soaring atmospherics. Rattling undercurrents punctuate an omnipresent drone that gradually ascends, leaving behind familiar ecologies to explore realms of open sky.

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BRANNAN LANE: Hypnotic Drift (CD on Music)

This CD features 63 minutes of ambient soundscapes designed to mesmerize and sedate awareness, allowing the consciousness to flourish uninhibited by earthly concerns.

A calming surf of atmospheric tonalities rises, pleasantly stimulating the air with sonic hints, allusions of melody that reside in that niche between atonal and substance. The electronics are soothing and unobtrusively minimal, intended to tickle the backbrain without engaging conscious thought. Overlapping textures of delicate sound generate a seamless panorama of softly hissing moods, mimicking the eddies of gaseous environments existing without gravity or the constraints of time and space. Unhurried and undynamic, this music embodies the concept of subliminal background, filling space with noticeable form.

Lane's harmonic flow defines an ethereal void that is conducive of mental relaxation.

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