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Ambient: Max Corbacho, Northern Valentine, Dan Pound, Robert Rich & Faryus

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MAX CORBACHO: Breathstream (CD on AD21 Music)

This release from 2008 features 73 minutes of gentle ambience.

Vibrant electronic textures are embellished by additional atmospherics to produce a lavish excursion into cerebral introspection.

Tonalities of rich definition and sparse substance flow with expansive deliberation, generating moods of rewarding depth. The tones are compelling despite their ethereal nature. Sustained chords swell and recede, approximating breathing and establishing cogent connections between the music and the listenerís lung capacity.

Amid this steadfast serenity, a series of sidereal sounds lend subtle garnishes, sprinkling the minimal tuneage with glittering augmentations, not unlike twinkling stars scattered throughout a majestic void. These auxiliary sonic decorations serve to provide a semblance of variation to the even temperament of the ambient foundation. The progression from track to track is seamless, crafted to maintain an uninterrupted stream of pacifying drones.

This music seeps into the flesh like a fine mist, spreading relaxation through the bloodstream and settling in the brain where its intended work truly commences with the suppression of external sensations, regulating body systems into a state which prospers psychic pursuits. The subject is left with their soul at easy access, while cognitive capacity remains undisturbed.

While basically devoid of complex melodic structure, these compositions thrive on their harmonic presence. Pulsations ebb and flow, generating a soothing milieu designed to eliminate external distractions and enhance meditative functions.

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NORTHERN VALENTINE: The Distance Brings Us Closer (CD on Silber Records)

This CD from 2008 offers 46 minutes of haunting atmospheric tuneage.

Northern Valentine is husband-and-wife Robert (on guitar) and Amy Brown (on violin and keyboards). They are joined by: Jeffrey Bumiller (from Doctor Science and Lunch with Beardo) on guitar, Marc Carazo on bass, and Ben Fleury-Steiner (from Light of Shipwreck and owner of Gears of Sand Records) on guitar.

Lavish waves of processed guitars cascade into expansive layers of sound, droney in nature and eerie in definition. Equally haunting violin only increases the musicís desolate character.

The guitar notes are sustained, then extended to impossible duration, actualizing lethargic pulsations of harmonic mien. These infinite structures hang in the air, immutable in their resolute melancholy, yet the guitars easily fuse with each other to produce an oscillating temperament.

Winding through the mix, the violin, softly morose in its dire resonance, injects a spectral flavor to the undulant harmonic flow.

These compositions exhibit an arctic sound that goes beyond chilly to express a spacious quality, evoking vast regions unsullied by civilization, frozen in a pure example of liberating nature. While the music is generally ambient, peaks are achieved and relinquished as the tuneage progresses on its steadfast course.

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DAN POUND: Night Watch (CD on PoundSounds)

This CD from 2008 offers 71 minutes of moody ambient music.

Shakers and various tribal elements, including shamanistic utterances, usher the listen into a nocturnal realm designed to facilitate access to the inner spirit. Gradually, moody tones and airy flutes enter the sonic stage, and harmonic flows establish a foothold. Percussives, evolving from erratic beats to languid rhythms, lend anticipatory punctuation to the haunting pastiche. Electronic chords rise into understated prominence, remaining secondary and acting as a pacific foundation.

Blending softly shrill sounds with deep bass rumblings creates a full-range experience, but Pound prefers the darker end of the sonic spectrum, sculpting optimism from dire aspects and seasoning that gloom with instances of light.

While the body of this tuneage consists of electronic textures and primitive rhythms, an amount of auxiliary instruments are engaged to flavor the mix. Keyboard sustains generate a heavenly fancy. Native American flutes evoke a tranquil contemplative instinct. Didgeridoo conjures an eerie demeanor. Environmental recordings inject an earthly flair, a type of grounding for the aerial excursion.

These compositions explore the prospect of stimulating strata of the brain which harbor ancestral memories, abolishing the barriers between past and present and allowing heritage to merge with modern sensibilities. Once attuned to this unilateral perspective, the listener can initiate internal expansion.

Poundís adroit fusion of antediluvian drones with 21st century mannerisms creates an excellent dose of ambience with holistic tendencies.

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ROBERT RICH & FARYUS: Zerkalo (CD on Faria)

This release from 2008 features 60 minutes of atmospheric ambience.

For this album, American ambient pioneer Robert Rich teams up with Russian synthesist Faryus to produce an excursion of arctic mien with a touch of industrial flavoring.

Delicately undulating textures are established as a foundation for tenuous electronics. Along with environmental recordings, these auxiliary tones serve to embellish that basis with subtle nuances, coaxing variations from the atmospheric flow. While deeper tonalities tickle the mix from below, lending pensive oscillations to the foundation, vibrating effects are applied from above, generating a shimmering field of stars.

Gradually, alternative sounds are utilized to increase those variations. Bell tones create a reverent presence contrasted by an escalation of certain high-end sounds whose unpredictable paths categorize them as meteorological conditions of the soundscape. As the bell tones submerge into the now-pulsating foundation, more strident sounds emerge to influence things with their shriller cadence. Throughout, the stability of a chilled environment is preserved.

This frigid mood is enhanced by the introduction of tonalities whose timbre evokes high altitudes. A muffling condition creeps in, generating an expansive disposition to the ambience. Sounds of a muted metallic nature appear in a breathing pattern, establishing illumination and revealing the infinite scope of the mix.

Set to run as a seamless piece of music, these compositions embody serene ambience with a hint of industrial edging.

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