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Ambient Music: Apollonius & 33 Tetragammon, Second Thought

APOLLONIUS & 33 TERTRAGAMMON: The Abyss (DDL on Resonating Earth)

This release from 2011 offers 69 minutes of dark ambience.

Apollonius (aka Eelke van Hoof) and 33 Tetragammon (aka Wasili Papadopoulos) utilize sounds sourced from soft synthesizers, singing bowls, guitars, bamboo flutes, and field recordings.

The first track is the album's longest (at 25 minutes) and seeks to liberate the listener from any terrestrial connections by immersing them in an auralscape crafted of delicate tones and environmental recordings, specifically the patter of remote rainfall. An atmospheric foundation is generated, then tempered by hints of auxiliary sounds, each quite tenuous and wholly unintrusive. This flow saturates the listener's psyche, cocooning them from external stimuli and restricting auditory access to input of a rarefied nature. The harmonic flow maintains a pleasant character that is steadfast in its ambient definition.

The second piece adopts a sparser milieu, and a darker one, too, as the music subjects the listener to an extreme isolation. Suspended in this void, there is a strong impression of falling, as the music becomes darker and more dire with every passing moment. The sounds approximate a complete divorce from reality, leaving the listener alone as they plummet into the abyss.

Next, things get even more desolate, as the ambience displays decidedly ominous overtones with dense drones punctuated by eerie hints. As the piece progresses, the darkness seems to press in on the listener, creating uncomfortable pressure.

The next track offers a type of release from that oppressive closeness. The sounds adopt a more open definition, with slight underwater impressions. This submersion is not stifling, though, but a welcome bath of liberation.The album's final track offers a sense of ultimate liberation in the form of dissolution. The ambience becomes overt in its minimalism, approximating a vast emptiness. There is no longer any illusion of falling or isolation. As the tonalities spread to infinite girth, the listener's mind is expanded along with the waves of bells and winsome flutes.

An engaging journey through changing environments excellently captured by these sparse auralscapes.

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APOLLONIUS & 33 TERTRAGAMMON: Transformation of Separate Self (DDL on Resonating Earth)

This release from 2011 offers 73 minutes of contemplative ambience.

Apollonius (aka Eelke van Hoof) and 33 Tetragammon (aka Wasili Papadopoulos) utilize sounds sourced from soft synthesizers, singing bowls, guitars, bamboo flutes, and field recordings.

Here we have one long track devoted to helping the listener shed their worldly concerns so they can look deep into themselves and luxuriate in a zone of pure mental potential.

Aural drones expand to fill the air with their tenuous fabric, establishing a realm of supple relaxation. Belltones provide a focal point, guiding the listener's consciousness to areas beneath cognitive thought. Down there, atmospheric tones swirl into a comfortable embrace, reducing tension with their elongated resonance. Everything slows down, a moment seems to last forever.

The harmonic flow sways with gradual change, too slow for casual notice. Waves ripple through the soundscape, almost imperceptible in their passage but influential on a subconscious level.

Incidental percussion is utilized to augment the trance.

Tentative sounds occur, but their presence fails to disturb the sedation, serving instead to punctuate the passive flow with circumstantial sonic debris. These incidental points provide subtle landmarks en route into deeper psychic territory. This far down, the medium becomes thicker, as tonalities manage to swell with puissance while remaining ethereal. At this depth, even jarring sounds are incapable of disrupting the trance; a few klanging sound prove this point.

In fact, if the music didn't flow to an end, you might never return from your introspective fugue.

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SECOND THOUGHT: Since Every Hour Is Too Late (CD on Jerky Oats Records)

This release from 2011 offers 41 minutes of piano ambience.

Second Thought is Ross Baker.

Solo piano is infrequently joined by some electronics and string arrangements, resulting in a selection of very personal tuneage.

Pensive piano delivers melodies that are tender with a touch of wistful melancholia. The music coaxes the listener to lie back and be carried away by relaxing songs that sedate the body as they stimulate the mind. Nostalgic intentions are key here, as the music envelopes you in layers of sound that delve into your psyche and turn the mind backward toward lost memories of more innocent times.

The inclusion of strings contribute a sense of soft drama to certain passages.

Electronics are quite minimal, utilized primarily to enhance subliminal moods through their undercurrent presence. In a few instances the electronics break through to dominate, but the result is still the same: passive and intended to sedate.

These compositions are delicate and endearing, designed to captivate without being intrusive about it. The tunes flow with regal craft, crisp and evocative.

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