Click here to see a complete list of reviews. Click here to see a complete list of interviews. Click here for links to artists and labels . Click here to visit our main menu page. Click here for email address.

MORPHEUS MUSIC REVIEWS

 

 

 ----------Emotion Coder - My Never Ending Wish
STYLE
 

December 2012
Jazz-touched electro and downtempo.
My Never Ending Wish consists of three distinct pieces of moody, late-night electronica. Signify opens the set with sleepy vibes, smooth synthetic tones and muted brass embellishments; a dreamy combination given a nice twist by being set against a disjointed beat and twitchy, rubbery bass. Intimate female vocals breath languidly through this bedarkened after-hours atmosphere acting not so much as the singer of a song as a personal guide through the music. The more upbeat nu-jazz-funk influenced Streets retains similar sonic elements and mood whilst shifting to something of a shuffling dance-floor groove - squelching bass and echoing sax phrases underpinning deep soulful male voice snatches. The concluding piece winds down into soporific ecstasy - cinematic strings and light beat slowly meandering in widening spirals. Eventually a slow chiming melody pulls the listener deep into the music before the beat heaves into a more gusty, climatic churn then once again dissipating and dropping away.

 
ARTWORK  

My Never Ending Wish is released as a digital download - the only artwork that I am aware of is the attractive cover image seen above. This deceptively simple design well captures Emotion Coder's musical vision: on the left bright, pixelated green hues overhang a zone of obscure darkness. Against the black a curling swirl of light twists upward like lazy plumes of smoke. The EP title almost goes unnoticed, laid out in small font upon the darkening squares. The juxtaposition of light and shade, geometric techno-colour and organic form hints deftly at the audio content Emotion Coder here presents.

 
OVERALL   

Kolkata-based self taught musician Victor Marak might be known to some listeners from his work with Indo-Electronic outfit Tablatronics. Now though his debut EP under the Emotion Coder moniker - My Never Ending Wish (released on the Romanian Mojear Records label) - has quite a European feel. The three tracks are of varied character, drawing together elements of acid jazz, trip hop and downtempo, however Victor maintains a strong overall tone throughout that nicely fuses the compositions into a unified listening experience. You can hear some of the EP at Soundcloud or at Beatport - or the music can be purchased via Amazon if you prefer.

 

 

MORPHEUS MUSIC REVIEWS

 

 

 ----------Don Peyote - Heaven and Earth
STYLE  

January 2013
Luscious chillout world and dance music.
Heaven and Earth elegantly weaves an enchanting tapestry of modern genres: colourful indigenous performance; meandering ambience; gutsy dub and electronica; sleepy global exotica. The range of sonic material is impressive, programmed arps and synthesisers are accompanied by electric guitar, bamboo flute and other acoustic instruments. But there is so much more: from such subtle touches as a single cuckoo and low-key reversed music samples to a soaring female Indian singer with accompanying drones and bows; echoing children's voices; lazy slide guitar and a veritable plethora of electronic effects. The tempo shifts pleasantly throughout the album yet always remaining in the lower bpm range - Dub the Magic derriere tripping along with a meditative dance beat of percolating sequencers and tablas; Crystal Skulls insistently plodding along with a ponderous live drum sound. Intros and outros linger pleasingly in some of the album's more evocative spots and there are plenty of spacious, unhurried interludes where rhythms to fall away into alluring musical clearings.

 
IN DEPTH  

The album opens with a rippling electro-chime pattern and spacey synthetics that beckon a misty flute breathing across a drifting, gradually climaxing terrain. Indian hand drums beautifully complement the sense of earthy wonder, later fading away to be enhanced by a flickery digi-rhythm that reminds us that this is a very contemporary journey. The second track Bouroukou ventures now into the tangled roots of heaving tribal percussion, ethnic chants barking emphatically, a sinewy squelch bass line forging a path in pursuit of keening guitar and synth whispers. Further tracks maintain a mesmerising downbeat consistency; prowling, floating or bobbing restfully as the mood shifts. Bird calls and sibilant scrapers soften the nodding dub of Shake That Snake where the minimal melody is given a sense of peculiar wonder by a range of reverberating effects and light washes. From Above winds the album down with a wistful nostalgia - a swaying temple bell pattern buoyed up by distant, soft-focus clouds of sound and a mournful string melody that finally evaporates away into empty air.

 
ARTWORK   Heaven and Earth is a lush digipack release that really is feast for the eyes. The inspired graphics created by Andy Thomas picture the theme well: from the verdant depths of this gorgeous planet through the clouds to the starry expanse beyond. The front cover montage has a violet, blue and lilac cloudscape atop a muted shot of the globe in space fringed with a profusion of intriguing vegetation and fractals bubbles as if the viewer were looking out from among the greenery. Track titles are on the rear where the flora has intensified into a dense forest tangled with twisting roots clinging to the edges of a sharp fissure. Internal imagery continues this striking blue-green colour scheme - an explanation of the project and thanks are located here.
 
OVERALL   

Melbourne, Australia based Yvon Mounier returns with his fifth solo album as the dreamily psychedelic Don Peyote. Follow-up to the 2008 Peyote Dreaming album, Don continues his exploration of downtempo global music with Heaven and Earth released via his own Don Peyote Recordings label. Promotional material explains that "Don combines crisp production with intelligent arrangements, drawing upon indigenous, otherwordly and dub influences to create a soundscape where every moment counts." The nine tracks here certainly live up to that claim - see for yourself by visiting Don's Bandcamp page or discover more about the project via the official Don Peyote website.

 
ARTIST'S THOUGHTS   This music project started out from a collection of song titles that I have collected over the years. Each of the titles chosen on Heaven and Earth reflects a personal event or experience at one time or another that has touched me deeply during my journey through this lifetime.
My desire is to share these personal encounters with you via a sonic voyage that draws from deep earthy rhythms with a blend of etheric and dreamy soundscapes, to inspire the experience of our shared existence... Don Peyote
 
VIDEO  
 
PROMO WORDS   "Heaven and Earth has sparkling depth and psychedelic detail. Don Peyote has crafted an epic new journey with a spacious and dubbed out sound..." - Andrew Collins from Interchill.
"This is beautiful, lush ambience, perfect for sunny days and starlit nights. Evocative and uplifting, music to dream to." Toby Marks - Banco de Gaia
"With Heaven & Earth, Don Peyote traverses through a spacious ethno dub infused landscape laden with intricate sounds, punctuated by voices unbeknown, creating a story line that breathes with depth and space, while showing his maturity as great and versatile producer." - Andrew Till /PSY harmonics
"Heaven and Earth" is an elemental voyage through tastefully crafted sonar landscapes. Dub, world groove, enchanted vocals...Don Peyote got it all! - Irina Michailova
" Produced without compromise, Heaven and Earth continues Don Peyote's creative development as a visionary electronic musical maestro and exemplifies the maturity and genius of one of the planets leading exponents of this musical genre." - Eugene E-NRG /spacebetweenthegaps

 

MORPHEUS MUSIC REVIEWS

 

 

 ----------Max Corbacho - The Ocean Inside
STYLE
 
January 2013
Long-form drifting, beatless ambience.
The Ocean Inside wells up out of silence in silken mists of tone that imperceptibly condense into an immense ocean of sound that surrounds you before you know it. The initial feeling is warm and softly wondrous; a sense of floatation is well established and you are immersed, carried willingly by tides unnoticed. Tracks segue seamlessly from one into another and so the experience is unbroken, constant, pervasive. Shifts in tone or character are subtle: brighter string sounds introducing currents of sharper intensity; deep atonal pads suggesting descent; choral hints inviting reverie. The seventh track on disc one eventually fades away into silence - allowing the final piece to stand somewhat alone - almost half an hour in length Towards The Bottomless Sea is a velvety minimal tidal impression of great delicacy drawing the meditative nature of this album to an impressive slow-motion conclusion. Disc two continues where disc one leaves off: further exploration of fluid enormity and buoyancy developing this restful opus into near-total absorption.
 
ARTWORK   A matt-finish double-disc digipack; The Ocean Inside is drenched in deep night blue hues throughout. The subtle panorama that is revealed when all three panels are spread out suggests a body of water of indeterminate extent. Touches of light dapple the lower parts whilst faint beams gently illuminate the higher regions. Text is unobtrusive: titles on the rear with track times alongside; credits on the remaining outer section. Within, nothing disturbs the smooth watery expanse of colour except a single repetition of the title.
 
OVERALL   

The Ocean Inside is the eleventh solo album from Spanish ambient master Max Corbacho. Released via his own ad21 label, this double album sees Max demonstrating the tranquil immensity that this genre can encompass when at its best. The aural equivalent to a vast, vast colourfield painting, The Ocean Inside fills your mental space with densely saturated morphing zones that extend for almost two and a half hours in total. Most pieces are of medium length ranging from four minutes to almost sixteen; the recordings that conclude each disc however are of greater length - twenty-nine minutes thirty-one seconds and twenty-four minutes eight seconds respectively. Max himself says of the music: "More than two years ago I started this project from an Eastern concept that has always been present in my work: the analogy that exists between the mind as an ocean, with constantly changing waves at the surface, and the inner stillness and silence at the depths." You can hear the music at Max's official website where there are a range of purchase and download links.

 
ARTIST'S THOUGHTS   "More than two years ago I started this project from an Eastern concept that has always been present in my work: the analogy that exists between the mind as an ocean, with constantly changing waves at the surface, and the inner stillness and silence at the depths. It is from this seed that brings me to the concept of "Oceanic", the word from which I have been developed each of the parts that make up the album. During the creation of these pieces, I tried to go as deep as I could into this bottomless ocean depths. The Ocean Inside is the record of that dive into the depths, the witness that what matters is not how deep you can go, but the experience of that moment."
 
AUDIO  
 

 

MORPHEUS MUSIC REVIEWS

 

 

 ----------Max Würden - Or Lost
STYLE  

 January 2013
Experimental, ambient with environmental elements.
Or Lost intertwines traditional musical sounds with found sound and unusual sonorous objects to create gently rhythmic ambient music with a deep sense of mystery. In places Or Lost builds into something approaching harmonious downtempo - sections of 'it' or 'fulfilled' wouldn't sound out of place on an Ultimae chillout release. In other places things become far more abstract and exploratory: peculiar drifting soundscapes or enveloping aural environments that are full of hidden depths. Delicate clatter, clicks and static flecks are sprinkled upon beds of muted chimes that undulate in oceanic swell, rainfall or water motion spatters against struck objects and synthetic drones that slowly morph into minimalistic programmed beats. Using a contact microphone to 'reinterpret' the clang of a porcelain bowl or a parasol stand Max has built up a unique sound-palette which, when combined with unusual instruments such as a hang drum, results in percussive structures and textural forms that you have heard nowhere else.

 
ARTWORK  

Or Lost is presented in sombre monochrome - a crisp digipack of two panels - low key without; high key within. The main image is a feather vane abstraction: dark curving barbs provide an impression of organic structure - close enough to hypnotise the viewer with the overall simplicity yet engrossingly detailed. Track titles in simple font are on the rear where a little more light creeps in from a split in the surface. Contact details and brief credits sit at the foot of this section. Inside, the surface is flat white, fluffy afterfeather edges breaking up the extreme left side of the panel. The disc sits in a neat plastic grip on the inner right, whilst the phrase 'soundtrack for a river' hangs central of the left. 7 intriguing colour photocards are free with the first fifty copies of the album.

 
OVERALL   

Germany-based Max Würden releases Or Lost as his third solo album and follow-up to his 2011 release Mi Raccomando. Max is a computer game sound designer and musician, having created music for radio plays and short films as well as his album releases. Returning here to Farfield Records, though which label Max delivered his debut ORTLOS back in 2002, Or Lost provides eight mid-length recordings of top-notch pioneering ambient. Or Lost is described as music that "manages to sound profoundly different and strangely familiar at the same time. It’s darkly mysterious in one moment, like a deep rumble in the far distance, only to become powerfully intensive the very next." Discover the music for yourself in more depth via Max's official website or via his spots at Bandcamp or Soundcloud. Of course, more information and ordering details can be found on the official Farfield website too.

 
ARTIST'S THOUGHTS  

After my last ambient album ORTLOS it took me more than 10 years to get my second ambient album ready. Not that I haven't done anything in the meantime, I was simply busy producing radio plays and composing soundtracks for about 20 short films and movies. Not forgetting gleaning my sounds of nature and urban sprawl.
OR LOST came together in special moment of tranquillity. Countless field recordings and spontaneous sessions (e.g. with a parasol stand in "perfect moment") were at the heart of the development of the OR LOST songs.
From all the field recordings I created certain samples, arranged them again and again, until they found their relation to one another, their moment, my moment in music. A moment I am always looking for.
And this makes OR LOST a very personal album.
And the search goes on.

 
AUDIO  

 

MORPHEUS MUSIC REVIEWS

 

 

 ----------Paul Ellis - I Am Here
STYLE
 

February 2013
Long-form melodic electronica.
Synths and sequencers in colourful profusion reveal the ever-changing breezy landscape of I Am Here. Opening with a huge distant drum boom and a peculiar voice-like tone keening in the air, the expansive sound of Paul Ellis is immediately obvious. Smooth drones and rippling arpeggio patterns soon lay down the basic terrain, shifting and changing in natural progression. The sonorous rumble of drums builds as the music develops, sharpened by programmed hits and in places solidifying into open-sided beats. Passages of strongly rhythmic sequencer forms, bass pulses and lazy percussives make up the rock mass of the compositions, moody introductions and spacious interludes often opening up the air. A plaintive cello of Celtic intensity wafts across the beatless dronescape that occupies the mid-point of Chinook Wind; peculiar wind-borne presences and dull chimes inhabit the opening space of I Am On An Island In The Columbia River and a vibrant array of Berlin inspired electronica burbles, throbs, soars and coruscates throughout.

 
ARTWORK   I Am Here is presented in a twin-panel card wallet - no plastic. The package has a bright, fresh feel to it; crisp outdoor photographs of vast skies and broken reflections. On the front cover is a landscape that sweeps over lake-side rocks, broad waters, undulating tree lines and distant snow peaks. A closer look picks out the carved form that animates one of the nearby rocks, its ancient graven eyes appearing to stare right at the viewer. Then the grey waterfowl transfixed before its stony vision. The rear cover has a more crepuscular tone; dark silhouettes against the low beam of the sun - a human figure in the middle of the river in direct line with the brightest light. Track titles are here and simple sleeve notes. The inner panels hold two smaller pictures of broader panoramas - one includes the artist in situ. Marked rock textures and words from the title act as backdrop to thanks, love, credits and some background details.
 
OVERALL   

Composer and musician Paul Ellis' thirteenth album I Am Here is a powerful tribute to a nation long gone. Inspired by the presence of the ancient Chinook people on a small island at the Columbia River Gorge, the album establishes a suite of beguiling landscapes touched with the nostalgia of distant enigmatic civilizations. Released via the Spotted Peccary subsidiary label Lotuspike, I Am Here is comprised of three lengthy recordings: two at almost twenty minutes each and one running for twenty eight minutes thirty three. Referring to this suite as “my finest sequencer work to date,” Paul talks of his music as revealing “mesmerizing environments highly detailed, but open ended enough to allow breathing room.” Look for the album at the Spotted Peccary website where you can also read of Paul's other work and collaborative projects.

 

 

MORPHEUS MUSIC REVIEWS

 

 

 ----------Kamil Kowalczyk - Nova
STYLE
 

March 2013
Abstract ambient and sci-fi soundscaping.
Nova is a shady, minimalist drone-immersion experience. Grey, mechanical pads and humming drones mass into sound clouds that gently heave or throb; flow in purposeful tides and currents or waft and dissipate. These smooth and matt electronic textures are built up in complementary layers often shot through with subtle, yet interesting effects or faint impressions, suggestions of life or artificiality. Snatches of spoken word, blurred and distant drift into the mix - some grumbling and deep in pitch like slow-motion giants, some less distorted although still fleeting, echoing or remote so as to obscure the information offered. The overall impact of Nova is one of stark isolation, sparse low-light space noise where chordal variation is often close to imperceptible, drifting uneasily among fluctuating densities.

 
ARTWORK  

A glossy digipack of two panels: artwork for Nova retains the minimal approach of the music. Images of space, heavy and grey fill all panels, lit with varying degrees of stellar brilliance. The front and back covers open into a panoramic whole where luminescent galaxies glisten with myriad stars. There is a tracklist in dark lettering on the rear that gives the times for each piece and a footer that provides credits, label, website and contact information. The inner pair of panels pick up a horizontal brightness that crosses over from the front cover running across to the disc - no words here just visuals.

 
OVERALL   

Edinburgh based Kamil Kowalczyk comes originally from Poland and has been experimenting with electronic sounds since the mid 1990s. Having released a number of mp3 albums US via netlabel Zenapolae, Kamil now delivers his music on his own Prototyp Produktions Ltd label. Nova is the third release on the artist's own label and follow-up to the 2012 release Atmospherics. The nine recordings on Nova are all of mid-length from the shortest four minute thirty-four Nebula II to the eleven minute twenty-eight Andromeda; in all something just over seventy-five minutes in total. The Prototy Produktions website holds sound samples, videos and live performance information and the Kamil Kowalczyk band camp page also provides listening and purchase opportunities.