For many years, Dan Pound has been making music that blends ambient and contemporary electronic music with remarkably appealing results. His style breathes invigorating vitality into atmospheric compositions, creating a bewitching bridge between the two genres.
Letís investigate his two latest albums...
DAN POUND: Drift (CD available from Poundsounds)
This release from 2008 offers 70 minutes of dreamy electronic music.
Pound plays digital and analog synthesizers, guitar, didgeridoo, Native American flutes, Indonesian bell and singing bowl, shamanic vocal chants, frame drum, ocarina, processors and samplers, mixers and effects, various software and plugins. He is joined by ambient pioneer Steve Roach who inspired and recorded the guitar sequence on the final track.
This music superbly injects a melodic presence into textural flows, enriching an atmospheric sound with crystalline definition and delightful character.
Expansive tonalities generate widespread foundations that drift overhead, while additional electronics establish languid embellishment, fleshing out the harmonic structures with engaging auxiliary depth. The tone is generally kept sedate and gentle, evoking vast panoramas of vaporous sound.
Some pieces feature delicate percussives, utilized in understated layers which act as moody punctuations rather than any driving rhythmic force. A fragility is displayed by these soft pitters, mirroring the musicís overall solemnity.
Flutes provide periodic feathery decoration, breathy wisps that waft like elusive breezes through the already zephyr-like nature of the music.
Vocal chants introduce a humanity to some pieces, giving nonverbal elucidation to the haunting tuneage.
The albumís final track, ďAdrift,Ē is an 18 minute epic (compared to the 3-6 minute models that comprise most of the songs), allowing Poundís gentle stylings ample opportunity to flourish and evolve into a masterpiece of serene distinction. Ghostly guitar sustains wander through the pulsating mix, establishing a deportment of arid air currents.
These compositions convey an aerial disposition that displays subliminal power and imbues the listener with a congenial touch of inspiration. The gentility of the tunes is flavored with a stately presence that is easily mistaken for space music, although its roots are deeply terrestrial in their emotional content.
DAN POUND: Lunar Effect (CD available from Poundsounds)
This CD from 2008 features 55 minutes of solemn electronic music.
While the basic model remains one dedicated to instilling tranquillity, livelier electronics are present on this release. Vibrant sequences cascade through a realm of mounting background tonalities.
Dense clouds of moody textures roil overhead, establishing a somber presence. Anywhere else, these dark tones might display ominous portends, but Pound utilizes them in a mode of building intensity that points the listener in the direction of glorious psychic insights.
A dreamy quality permeates these tunes, often enhanced by the dry contributions of trilling flutes that evoke an ancestral specter rising from the temperate harmonics.
Piano notes twinkle amid the glistening electronics, providing a grounding basis that links the musicís astral mien with a human vantage for the experience.
A degree of percussion can be found. Generally tribal in nature, these rhythms adopt a remote presence. There are some instances of modern e-perc, but these tempos are still relegated to a muted position in the mix where the beats flow with the harmonies instead of becoming a force of propulsion.
These compositions are a tasty example of ambience that dares to employ invigorating elements. While never becoming energetic or strident, this music possesses an uplifting bearing that is quite engaging. Poundís manner of injecting powerful elements in a sea of calming atmospherics is tantalizing and highly rewarding.
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