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Ambient: Between Interval, Max Corbacho, William Fields, Chad Hoefler

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BETWEEN INTERVAL: Autumn Continent (CD on Spotted Peccary Music)

This release from 2006 offers 73 minutes of ambience rich in a serene sense of awe.

Between Interval is Stefan Jonsson.

Crisp tonalities sprawl with luxurious intent, seasoned by auxiliary textures that ascend and retract with gradual pace. Deeper toned flows thread their way through these drifting textures, generating an expansive realm in which sound approximates vast infinity.

Pensive notes gradually enter the aerial stream, keyboard twinklings that liven the compositions without becoming too forceful. Everything remains sedate, though, sustained in a region of pleasant resonance. These notes season the ambience with emotional significance, generating a milieu of unhurried urgency.

A soft drama is achieved through the application of dense tones, producing a majesty that is thoroughly uplifting, devoid of tension while rich with psychological promise. The tuneage throbs with confidence, expressed and induced.

Melodic elements are present in some of the compositions. Engaging chords animate the harmonic environment with dreamy passages, acting as revitalizing stages amid the overall floating disposition. One track even features percussion that injects a certain pep to the dazed comportment.

These electronic tapestries frequently exhibit a breathy manner that meticulously captures fading daylight filtering through trees feathered with colorful leaves.

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MAX CORBACHO: The Talisman (CD on ad21 Music)

This release from 2006 offers 72 minutes of calming ambience.

Expansive tonalities conspire with dramatic electronics to generate lavish soundscapes linking abstract realms with human ambitions. Textures flow seamlessly, ascending to untold altitudes while simultaneously burrowing deep into the listener's cerebellum. Ponderous tones swirl and coalesce while delicate embellishments waft through this sonic medium. Tenuous sounds gurgle softly in the distance, approaching to loom overhead as they evoke moody sedation.

Swaying from lobe to lobe, the harmonic streams connect instinct and deduction, blurring the distinctions between these ruminations with fragile structures of drifting resonance. Contemplation is urged into being, rousing cognitive associations between outer physicality and inner reflection.

While generally harmonic in nature, this music does possess a hint of melodic substance which remains meticulously just beyond clear perception, inciting the listener to reach past their peripheral hearing and discover an external psychic territory. This extraneous region is seasoned by luxurious electronic effects of subtle definition which suitably flavor the harmonic flow without interfering with the tuneage's overall soothing efficacy.

Minimal substantiality adopts a greater proportion as the textural currents produce an infinite panorama of pensive disposition. Introspective passages are drenched with shrewdly crafted ambience that stimulates cellular memory, filling the listener's mind with vast potential.

This music achieves a lofty presence very much in the vein of Steve Roach's tranquil compositions.

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WILLIAM FIELDS: Timbre (CD on Gears of Sand Recordings)

This release from 2006 offers 47 minutes of edgy ambience.

Manipulated sound is the keynote here, as Fields reconstructs his way to produce a series of tunes that are hypnotic yet edgy--in a decidedly tranquil fashion. Electronic textures flow like oil spills subjected to external guidance. Illbient tones coexist with ambient atmospherics. Shuddering points of hesitancy stumble into eruptions of stately disposition. Wobbling diodes stand elbow-to-elbow with looped string expressions. Sparkling bursts of heavenly radiance are grounded by crackly disruption, while noodled tones are spliced in, then fed back onto themselves, generating a choppy flow that pulsates of its own accord. Jarring changes and sudden clashes are frequent in this tuneage.

This combination of harsh elements with an ambient motif is a style one either hates or finds deeply fascinating. It can be disquieting, especially if one is seeking background music that can be easily ignored. Fields' compositions are not easily relegated to a barely discerned backdrop. This music has a tendency to lull, but it will periodically draw the listener from that sedation to bask in a brief instant of super-aware clarity.

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CHAD HOEFLER: Quiet Glow (CD on Lotuspike)

This release from 2005 features 63 minutes of radiant ambience.

So many ambient releases exhibit little difference from track to track, satisfied with a set sound that rarely varies. Hoefler's compositions are diverse, though, each piece exploring fresh sedation with varied sounds and structure.

In this CD's first track, tonalities glimmer in a dark room, not enough to banish the shadows, but manifesting as faint glows that pulse and ebb like short-lived stars in a stark vacuum. These shimmers are underlined by the soft growls of ponderous machinery.

The second piece employs pattering diode expressions that tremble like impacted harps strings amid a pool of rising luminescence. Swaying violin-like textures add depth to this vibrant serenity.

In the next track, an assortment of celestial sighs are complimented by muted sparkles of cybernetic crispness. As the flow progresses, these elements conduct a ballet that merges their divergent sources into a pleasant unity.

The fourth track starts with somber tones that are swiftly joined by heavenly burs whose spikes lend a delicate edginess to the resonance.

Track five takes glutinous sparks and immerses them in a viscous environment of stratospheric tones, conveying a stately pre-dawn fading of night.

A minimal electronic foundation is set vibrating in the next piece. Additional substantial sounds flavor the even-tempered harmonics, conjuring the listener's emergence from a nebulous cloud.

Track seven explores a chillier climate as the ambience becomes host to subdued but demonstrative punctuations of delicately crystalline keyboards.

The final piece is brief, focusing on chords slowed to a tranquil pulsation.

This CD was mixed and mastered by ambient pioneer Robert Rich.

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