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Ambient: Dwight Ashley, Brannan Lane & Friends, Terra Ambient

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DWIGHT ASHLEY: Discrete Carbon (CD on Nepenthe Music)

This CD from 2004 features 59 minutes of cerebral tuneage.

A frequent collaborator with Tim Story, this is Ashley's first solo release. Employing synth, guitar, piano and field recordings, he is accompanied on a few tracks by Kimberly Bryden on oboe and JFL23SSB and Izzie Herzberg on voices.

These tracks range through a gamut of styles and definition, usually appealing to academic circles who seek trance exploration.

Dense electronics blend with lighter textures, lending a crystalline delicacy to this serious music.

Somber waves generate a moody temperament that evokes approaching twilight.

Controlled static ushers in a space voyage in which radio transmissions coexist with an airy soundscape designed to focus concentration. Treated guitar provides a sedate climate for this landing.

Ethereal tonalities and treated guitar waft in temperate breezes that remain aloof.

Resonant diodes sound off amid stratospheric airs, punctuated by gurgling pulsations that approximate a distant heartbeat of cosmic proportion.

For the track "Denial", the guitar adopts a more conventional (albeit still treated) disposition, accompanied by tinkling bells and echoing tonalities.

Sighing electronics mix with swishing sounds, chronicling the passage of a remote mechanical behemoth.

Although possessing definite melodic presence, the majority of these tunes explore an ambient sensibility that exists well within the perceptive periphery. The music is discrete, but hardly minimal.

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BRANNAN LANE & FRIENDS: Distant Friends (CD on Ambient Circle Music)

This CD from 2004 features 63 minutes of ambient collaborations.

This release is a collection of previously unreleased electronic tracks crafted by Brannan Lane in collaboration with an assortment of internationally notable musicians. The tunes exemplify a delicate nature laced with eerie undertones. Atmospheric textures drift overhead, punctuated by auxiliary layers that either ground or elevate the foundation, depending on the particular piece.

Lane's collaboration with VidnaObmana soars to the edge of the planetary gas envelope, utilizing interlacing haunted moods to gather gloom and harness alien dimensions.

While his collab with Zero Ohms explores a more terrestrial terrain replete with muted traffic and urban sound sources.

The piece with Amir Baghiri evokes an oceanic voyage aboard wooden sailing vessels, capturing solitude and expansive regard with extended tonalities.

The track with Robert Carty blends piano with ambient textures, capturing a dreamstate of soothing demeanor.

The piece with Biff Johnson delves into obscure regions that exist between molecules, growling with gritty darkness that gives way to lunar dissipation.

While Lane's collab with Silvercord (the longest track at 17 minutes) introduces strummed guitar to the atmospheric textures, producing a melancholy disposition that eventually reaches optimistic effect.

Although varied in execution, the tracks achieve an amiable unity that transcends conventional ambient music.

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TERRA AMBIENT: The Gate (CD on Lotuspike)

This CD from 2004 features 50 minutes of arcane ambience.

Terra Ambient is Jeff Kowal.

Electronic textures fuse with didgeridoo and other ethnic instruments to produce an ethereal dose of ambience tempered with lazy tempos and sighing woodwinds. Voices and guitars undergo extreme processing, entering the mix as tenuous sounds that enhance the overall haunting tuneage.

Languid harmonics drift like thick fogs that refuse to merge. Relaxed beats and pensive wheezings flicker amid these clouds, connecting air and soil in a union that literally transcends conventional styles to resound with a global demeanor celebrating a human spirit devoid of nationality.

While nationality plays no part in this music, geography does. The songs evoke arid climates shrouded in twilight and seething with mystic implications. Listeners are ushered through a cerebral gate to witness antediluvian ceremonies involving natural forces and mute stone. Sandstorms rise in the distance, creeping slowly forward to engulf the audience in their breathing resonance. The eerie didgeridoos and shuffling rhythms generate a mild urgency that escorts you safely through the dry tempest. Desert flutes waver and tremble, calling to the night.

This CD will definitely appeal to fans of Steve Roach's tribal music.

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