Music Reviews 


Reviews 8-13-2004


The Gate
by Terra Ambient


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In 2002, Jeff Kowal, a.k.a. Terra Ambient, made quite a name for himself with his debut CD - A Darker Space>. That exquisite blend of dark ambient, tribal ambient and space minimalism was a mainstay on many
Best of the Year” lists.

His long-awaited and eagerly-anticipated follow-up is finally here! The Gate is every bit as awesome as his debut and then some! Jeff has found greater confidence and his tendencies to perfectionism have paid off handsomely on this CD! The seven movements in this processed acoustic symphony (no synths) weave tales of unknown strength and deep emotionalism. The moods range from dark and sinister to contemplative and healing to rhythmic tribal. Jeff handles each style expertly. His virtuosity on a large array (over 20) of acoustic and ethnic instruments (including one garbage can lid) is amazing. He mixes processed sounds and acoustic sonorities adroitly. The segues are seamless so the disc plays as a single long soundscape.

This disc works best on continuous play with the old style headphones that cover the listeners’ ears completely. A dark room with burning incense and candles enhances the experience tremendously. Mood altering chemicals are never necessary. This disc is extremely psychoactive on every level! It is also jeff’s ticket to the perpendicular universe!

Reviewed by Jim Brenholts for Ambient Visions.


by Mathias Grassow
and Klaus Wiese

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Visit Klaus Wiese's website 

Mathias Grassow and Klaus Wiese are two of the e-music community’s more prolific performers. They are also among its most enigmatic and esoteric thinkers. Their music – in solo and collaborative efforts – always has deep meaning and evokes strong responses. Dharma, a four-disc set of “odds and ends,” is another in a long line of holistic overtone releases. These discs are full of organic textures, emotional timbres and deep atmospheres. The strong overtones wrap themselves around the neuropathways and the synapses of the internal audio receptor and interpreter (brain) and provoke and evoke intense emotional and spiritual responses. Deep listeners will enter blissful trances.

This is a great set of essential harmonics! Mathias and Klaus continue to amaze as their journeys enter deeper and deeper zones.

Reviewed by Jim Brenholts for Ambient Visions. 


Return to Serenity
by Various Artists


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In this presentation from ‘Music Mosaic’ we are given a taste of some World Music from such musicians as Tarshito, Gabrielle Roth, Kamal, and Simon Cooper, to name a few. 

From the opening track ‘Slowhite’ of guitar and sitar by Tarshito and Sangeet to the gentle rhythms of ‘Cloud Mountain’ by Gabrielle Roth and the Mirrors, we are presented with a subtle and suggestive pace of calming and provocative music.


Secret Life’s ‘La Melodie de Son Amour’ offers some sublime vocals on their track, while Ross Griggs ‘Through the Myst 6’  tickles our imagination with his offering.


‘Colors of the Rock’ by Sounds of the Outback is a bit more pop than I expected, but they do typify the Australian ambient sound, and while being a bit more upbeat than you would expect on a CD of this nature, it does fit into what Mosaic Music was trying to do in producing a CD of World Music. 


‘Eagle’ by Stairway & Stern returns us to the softness of air and is suggestive of the flight implied by the tracks name.  Nightflight by Ariel Kalma is more jazzy in sound, soft like a cool summer night. 


La Marche de Ghandi by Limborg gives us a more intense beat, some exacting lyrics and is again, a bit more than you would expect on a compilation of this sort but is not out of character for this CD or the producers intentions.


Yantra de Vilder returns us to the idea of ‘Serenity’ with ‘Forest Trance’, a lovely piece of guitar and keyboard with flute.  Kamal’s ‘Shakuhaji Tales’ gives a very dreamy Oriental feel to the collection, and ‘Diamond Ring’ by Simon Cooper opens with male voices, Indian bansuri flute then moves to Chinese influences and synthizer with a graceful female vocal to give us a lovely ending to an overall enchanting collection of World Music.


If you are looking for a collection that typifies ‘World Music’ this is a good choice to add to your collection.

Reviewed by Margaret Foster for Ambient Visions.


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