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Electronics: Divine Matrix, Dan Pound, Thought Guild

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DIVINE MATRIX: Cloudsurfing (CD on AD Music)

This 2015 release features 67 minutes of tender ambience.

Divine Matrix is Steve Barnes.

As one might expect from the album's title, atmospheric textures are keynote in this tuneage.

Delicate tonalities waft on celestial wings, conjuring vaporous vistas of great beauty and heart-wrenching majesty. Harmonic in nature, these texturals are layered to generate a lush flow, gentle, pacific and pleasant.

These electronics are crystalline and crisp, understated yet vibrant. The rarefaction of their undulant definition establishes a soothing realm of tender sonics.

Additional electronics flesh out these gaseous threads with soft embellishments, injecting melodies to the flow. In fact, as the album progresses, other instruments join the roster: subtle horns, plucked guitars-all devoted to maintaining the music's ethereal luster.

Understandably, any percussion is wholly unnecessary to this music.

Periodically, nature samples (birds and breezes) enhance the tunes, reminding the audience of the ecology spread out beneath the stratospheric heights.

These compositions are definitely ambient in character and effect. The harmonic streams serve to sedate the listener, calming all creases from their brow as they are liberated from the grip of gravity and allowed to ascend, to drift, to soar. As these heavenly layers coexist and build into greater structures, they mutate beyond harmonics, achieving hints of delicious melody.

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DAN POUND: Change of Weather (CD on PoundSounds)

This 2015 release features 52 minutes of charming electronic music.

Vaporous electronics generate harmonic structures tinged with hints of delicious melody.

The first track establishes an ominous mood with deeply growling tones punctuated by electronic chittering. As the pulsations unfurl, faint chorales waft in the distance, accompanied by holistic resonance.

The next piece is the album's epic composition (at 18 minutes long) and pursues a slightly lighter dose of the dire temperament set forth in the previous song. Twinkling notes swim in the mix alongside those aforementioned chorales. Isolated beats add tension more so than any rhythmic presence. Crunchy sounds rising from oblivion enhance the music's overall eeriness. As the piece progresses, the ebb and flow of background textures approximate a wheezy breathing, as if the world was gasping from humanity's pollution.

Track three explores a more congenial pastiche, in which blooping electronic notes drip from moistened leaves to seep into the damp soil. Nearby plants gurgle with joy over this sonic sustenance. At some point, the drops merge to form an almost motorized gurgle in tandem with heavenly chords.

The fourth piece introduces winsome flute to the rippling ambient threads. One thread, comprised of a whistling tone, takes the lead position. Together, it and the woodwind establish a pastoral realm in which auxiliary electronic effects scamper and frolic.

The next song applies the growing roster of sounds to an airier composition. Whispering breezes support reedy tones that soar high above a realm of earthy definition. A rolling sequence of keyboard notes becomes a cyclic nucleus, guiding the tune toward crucial implications characterized by the rise of more strident sounds, among them the lilting strains of a mournful harmonica.

The last track explores a zone of unearthly sounds tempered by a dreamy wash akin to an elongated violin stroke. Glittering electronics provide firefly illumination of a murky landscape that is gradually better lit by a rising lunar presence in the form of guttural drones displaying illusionary mass. Gentle electronic impacts waft throughout the piece, creating an itchy tension that is soothed by the rest of the sighing sonic tapestry. A layer of chiming tiny bells ushers the song to a pleasant conclusion.

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THOUGHT GUILD: Third Voyage (DDL on Harmonic Resonance)

This 2015 release features 61 minutes of gentle electronic music.

Thought Guild is Gregory Kyryluk.

Pensive electronics offer the listen an enticing soundtrack for introspection.

A mixture of ambient textures establish a generous (but soothing) foundation for auxiliary electronics, some triggered by keyboards, others that spark off like peripheral effects, flavoring the flow with their gentle resonance.

The mien of the electronics' temperament remains generally soft, pliable and comfortable. Their sonic caress is pleasing. They create a realm of kindly sentiments with their sparkling disposition.

Sometimes the electronics are instructed to mimic the voices of other instruments, like the twinkling aurora given off by violins, or the pastoral lilt of flutes, or the astral cries of steel guitar. All of these approximations serve to lend the music an organic demeanor, bringing the gist of these melodies down from vertiginous altitudes to commingle with human beings.

Percussion can only be found in two songs. On both occasions, the electronics adopt a vivacious authority to match these peppy rhythms. A bevy of nimble-fingered keyboards generate a throbbing environment punctuated by shooting-star embellishments. A few other tracks are characterized by this energized level of melodic verve.

These compositions are designed to sedate, to isolate the listener from the drab real-world, to afford the opportunity to drift away on inner thoughts guided by each song's stately influence. And yet, for those who prefer to remain alert, the music abounds with nuances that will mesmerize and delight. Compelling riffs are softened, casting off their gritty urgency and trading it in for sinuously infectious qualities. These tunes seep into the skin and tickle nerve-endings with their delicate prestige.

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