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Ambient: Steve Brand, Max Corbacho, A Produce & Loren Norell

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STEVE BRAND: Avatara (CD on Hypnos Recordings)

This CD from 2010 offers 61 minutes of cosmic ambient music.

Synthesist Brand is accompanied on one track by Matt Hiller (from Ishq) and Charity Masters (from Holon).

Pensive percussives match introspective electronics to produce gentle auralscapes of a cosmic milieu.

The electronics are mainly textural in nature, harmonic vapors that generate a seamless realm of celestial clarity. These atmospheric vistas are augmented by additional tonalities that flesh things out without achieving an intrusive density. Changes deceptively occur in the flow, hidden by their gradually evolution.

These tenuous drones approximate an extended breathing pattern for reality, allowing the listener to slip through gaps between molecules and find themselves adrift outside of space and time. The listener's perceptions of the textural flow becomes intensified by this removal from conventional tangibility.

While rhythms are present in one track, they generally manifest in processed form in other pieces, often transformed into beatless sounds (like gongs expanded into infinite stability) that suitable fit with the textural sonic foundation.

These compositions exhibit a stately character, a soft authority that derives its puissance from subliminal influence rather than any boisterous bias. Presented in songs confined to lengths of five to fourteen minutes, this music doesn't indulge in protracted growth but instead swiftly establishes its gist and elaborates on that ethereal structure without undue delay.

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MAX CORBACHO: Lost Links (CD on Relaxed Machinery)

This release from 2011 offers 67 minutes of delicate ambience.

Spanish synthesist Corbacho has been crafting ambient tuneage for a long time. With this CD he presents a collection of unreleased or forgotten tracks of merit.

A variety of delicate texturals are tempered by additional electronics, generating atmospheric tapestries of endearing fragility. This fragility mirrors man's position in the cosmos, yet the subtle power invoked by these tunes celebrates mankind's latent potential. In general, the vantage point of the composer is removed from the real world, creating auralscapes that herald the existence of deeper realities, realms that exist entirely in the mind or in conceptual perceptions of things the minds of men cannot fathom. Music like this is intended to grant the listener access to those realms; from there what occurs is up to the individual, for each introspective voyage is personal and the details cannot accurately be communicated to others.

The electronics are ethereal yet substantial in their subconscious effect. Relaxed tonalities are established and serve as foundations for equally tenuous sonic threads that embellish the minimalism into crystalline structures of inspired beauty.

While these tracks do not possess a thematic constant, their relaxed demeanor unifies them. Their flow is gentle and holistic, despite the soulless machinery utilized to create the music. This touch of humanity is a keynote characteristic of Corbacho's work.

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A PRODUCE & LOREN NORELL: Intangible (CD on Hypnos Recordings)

This release from 2011 offers 55 minutes of ethereal ambience.

Melodic elements lurk within these harmonic electronic compositions.

Many of the electronics are keyboard generated in contrast to the sustained drone backdrops that ripple like environments of cloud throughout the pieces. The keyboards introduce pacific patterns, often twinkling like luminous fish swimming through a murky medium.

While a certain gentility is pronounced in the majority of the sonics, some sounds possess a subtle density which injects a dramatic flair to the otherwise floating mien. At other times the auralscapes feature heavenly pulsations, drawing attention to a positive radiance from above.

Some pieces feature ethnic percussives; in one case that influence is tempered by winsome flutes, creating a pensive diversity. Other pieces utilize synthetic beats to introduce languid rhythms to the songs. And there are some songs devoid of any tempos altogether.

These compositions are tailored to induce a trance state in the listener, removing them from the heyday of their mortal routines and relegating their consciousness to a region of deceptively intangible (but artfully prevailing) potential. The insertion of melody into the harmonic fabric results in highly engaging tuneage.

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