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The New Age Music Circle Ning website. Check it out today.

 


Sam Rosenthal Projekt Records
Sam Rosenthal
Projekt Records

Fight Piracy. Help your favorite artists fight illegal file sharing!


AV's Q&A
With Forest

Forest Musical Starstreams
Forest
 

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Articles Around
the web

New Age Music
Made Simple
by Stephen Hill

Ambient Music Wikipedia Style


New Interview with
Vicente Avella on
the Mainly Piano site
Check it out by 

clicking here.
 

 

New Interview with
Ryan Marvel on
the Mainly Piano site
Check it out by 

clicking here.

 

The Sea Was Once Here
by Robert Casady

 



Polar Isolation
by Scott Lawlor

 



The Expanse
by ambientsketchbook

 



Remarkable Events
by Kloob

 


Untitled
by Shall Remain Nameless

 


Nachtstucke
by Hiemis

 



After
by Cyberchump

 


Chroma Plateau
by Numina

 


Across a Sea of Dreams
by Bing Satellites

 

 

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Story of Ghosts
by Fiona Joy Hawkins

 



Waende
by Ceeys

 


An Ambient Visions Playlist 6/18/2018

With Spotify available it presents more opportunity for me to share music with my readers that I have found myself listening to on a regular basis. Here are some songs to kick this off and I hope that you find them as worthy of time spent listening to them as I do. There are 19 songs on this new playlist that have a running time of a little over two hours.


Molecules of Motion by Steve Roach

Turn the music on and see what you think. Let me know if this is a feature you'd like to see continued here on AV and I will work on populating a list each week of music to help you through the week. With the likes of  Steve Roach, Gregory Cain, Lisa Lynne, Amy Lauren, James Murray  and Troika there is a great deal of good music to discover.  

 

 


MMichael Foster
Editor AV

AV Editor's Blog

6/10/2018

More Thoughts About Playlists

I read an article about how playlists were going to be the downfall of albums and even though I just wrote about playlists in my last blog post I wanted to share my feelings about the idea that was floated in this article which appeared on Hypebot recently. The name of the article was “Will Playlists Kill Off Albums?” which was a question that I felt deserved an answer from the perspective of a long term ambient listener.

There was a time in my past, say around the early 1990’s, that I was just discovering the joys of ambient, new age and the delicious music that Forest played on his radio show called Musical Starstreams that marked the beginning of my exploration of my musical boundaries. He referred to the music he played as “exotic electronica” and to someone who was born and raised on rock and roll from about the age of 12 it was a huge leap of understanding that rock was not the be all end all of the music that would consume my life.

At that point in time there were no streaming services like Spotify for me to explore new music through and record stores rarely carried these genres or if they did they were confined to a tiny little space that included Enya and Vangelis a smattering of titles that usually represented anyone in a similar category who had made the Billboard charts or who had sold well before. We had no playlists to guide us and to help us make decisions about what we might want to listen to. But around 1995 I discovered an album called Path: An Ambient Journey from Windham Hill (thanks Will) and it became the beginning of my search for the albums that were represented there.    

To read the rest of the blog post click here.


Threshold Point
by Erik Wøllo

 

AV's Spotlight Review

Threshold Point by Erik Wøllo AV Spotlight CD Review

Before starting this review I wanted to take a quick glance at how many albums Erik has put out over the years in relation to his latest one on Projekt Records. Sometimes an artist’s name is so familiar that you think you have a grasp of their discography and how long they have been working at making music in a particular genre. I pulled up his works at the website Discogs and realized that Erik has been composing his wonderful music since before I even started to listen to the genre that is the namesake of this website. Erik’s music goes all the way back to 1983 with an appropriately named album called Where It All Begins and truly that was the beginning of a musical journey for Erik that has lasted for the last 35 years.

It wasn’t until 1998 that I first heard Erik’s music when I got a copy of Guitar Nova and realized that his music should be on AV’s radar from that moment on. Threshold Point is the 39th album that Erik has either put out himself or has appeared on in conjunction with other artists to create joint releases like he did with Earth Luminous with Byron Metcalf or more recently Meridian in which he collaborated with UK artist Ian Boddy. Suffice it to say that his career has been both prolific and brilliant as his music has continually evolved into what we find on Threshold Point which is perhaps Erik’s own estimation of his growth as an artist. To cross a threshold is to enter into new areas from wherever you were before you crossed that gateway. The Cambridge Dictionary defines threshold thusly “at the start of a new and important time or development, or the level or point at which you start to experience something or at which something starts to happen”.

Click here for the rest of the review


Eternal
by Kevin Wood

 

AV's Spotlight Review

Eternal by Kevin Wood AV Spotlight CD Review

With so many submissions always calling for my attention here at Ambient Visions I’m never sure what to expect when I put a CD in the player or cue up some songs in my media player but I must admit that the music on Kevin Wood’s latest album called Eternal was a pleasant surprise. Sometimes it is an occupational hazard that I inadvertently look at a title and an artist and think that I know what I will find when I listen to their latest album but sometimes that is just not the case.

Eternal is a contemplative album from beginning to end and is oriented around offering a peaceful place for the listener to open up to their own inner spiritual journey and to examine it in an environment that is both comforting and safe. Spirituality is a very personal journey that no one can show you the way you need to go but music such as what you will find on Eternal offers you a framework from which to venture into those unexplored waters with a sense that you have company that understands you as you walk on.

Eternal is a mixture of sacred and tribal chants, light beats and a touch of classical instrumentation at times and it all works together to create music that reaches into your spirit and gives you permission to “feel” what is oftentimes kept hidden in a world that tends to be a bit too cold to understand the tenderness that exists within each of us at a spiritual level.

Click here for the rest of the review


Nocturnes II
by Max Corbacho

 

AV's Spotlight Review

Nocturnes II by Max Corbacho AV Spotlight CD Review

Welcome to another journey into the silky darkness of the night with Max Corbacho as he unleashes Nocturnes II for his fans to devour and enjoy. Nocturnes II was released on April 20, 2018 and from the first notes of Celistia which clocks in at a hefty 23:13 the listener knows that this is going to be a special journey that will leave them wishing for more when it finally comes to a close after the last track called Moon Apparition closes out the album. Nocturnes II to me encapsulates the slow breathing and mystical aspects of those darkest hours of the night when all is quiet in the world and the only thing that breaks that silence are the sounds of crickets, birds or animal calls as they wander the landscape when humans have retreated to the warmth oftheir beds until daylight once again returns the world to them.

With Nocturnes II Max has created a soundscape that is shadow-encased but in a way that is inviting and urges us to step into the shadows ourselves not in a fearful way but in an intimate way by embracing the darkness that surrounds us at night. Max has outdone himself with Nocturnes II and has given us a masterpiece of music and sounds that will be played over and over again in the coming months.

Click here for the rest of the review


 

AV's Upcoming, New and Notable Releases

Stateless
by 
Simon Wilkinson

Gray Acres
by Gray Acres

Ourdom
by Solar Fields


Singularity
by 
Jon Hopkins

Origin
by The Ambient Visitor

Walking a Beautiful World
by Sensitive Chaos


Yesterday Passing
by 
Jim Ottaway

Eirlandia
by Jeff Johnson & Brian Dunning

Alive Inside the Tank
by Mysteries of the Night


Tears
by 
Rhucle

I dreamt of forest
by odysmod

Polarities
by ArtisanDuSon


Perspective
by 
Shunkan idou


It's Time
by Omel


Pareidolia
by jarguna


Particle Void
by 
Sphäre Sechs


Relics
by Inner Vision Laboratory


Drawn From Memory
by joergmueller


Tranquility
by Ambiscend


Before Sunrise
by Jeff Greinke


Collaborations I + Aftermath
by Stratosphere


Arora Skies
by Robert Carty

4@33
by John Broaddus

To the Heights
by Zen Rat


Mike G

AV Articles

Electronic and ambient pioneer Steve Roach started creating his music during the late ‘70s golden age of analog synthesizers, a time when the digital variety was only visible on the horizon. So it’s refreshing that an album which continues that hands-on tradition, Spiral Revelation
(2017), garnered his first-ever Grammy nomination. Chosen in the Best New Age Album category, the album is crafted almost entirely with modular and stand-alone synthesizers, its sound grounded in the dynamic, spiraling interweave of melodic and rhythmic sequencer forms. 

With its analog leanings, Spiral Revelation sounds utterly contemporary thanks to Roach’s technological sophistication and creative maturity. Yet the bubbling, kinetic melodies point to his origins, making it a natural place to begin the story of how far and wide he has travelled.

Read the rest of this article by clicking here


How to Choose a Digital Piano – 10 Factors to Consider According to Science by Rob Beck

A digital piano is an electronic keyboard that emulates the sound and the feel of a genuine acoustic piano. It can be differentiated from its precursor instrument – the “synthesizer” – which uses electronically produced sound waves to create specifically electronic sounds. 

The first digital piano commercially available was produced by Yamaha in 1983. The Clavinova YP-40 was the most notable of the releases. More of an extension of the synthesizers of the 1970s, the sounds were electronically produced using Frequency Modulation, rather than sampling technology which is used by all digital pianos today. [1] 

Frequency Modulation synthesis (more commonly referred to as simply “FM”) works by modulating (or changing) the frequency of an electronically produced sound wave. This results in a wide variety of tone, dependent upon the changes in frequency and a combination of other waves. [2] 

A sample, on the other hand, is a short digital recording that can be triggered via a MIDI instrument, such as a piano-style keyboard. [3] 

A modern digital piano has a large bank of short digital recordings (samples) that are triggered by hitting the keys of the keyboard. Most modern digital pianos are capable of reproducing touch-sensitive play (see later).

To read the rest of the article click here.


Vin Downes  

When the Sea Lets Go

 

AV's Artist Interview Page

When the Sea Lets Go:  AV talks to Vin Downes

Vin Downes began studying guitar at the age of eleven. His early interests were in electric guitar, but this all changed when he heard the opening notes of David Cullen’s “Along the Way” on a Windham Hill Records guitar sampler. He immediately immersed himself in the fingerstyle music of Will Ackerman, Michael Hedges, David Cullen and Leo Kottke. 

Greatly influenced by the music of artists on Windham Hill Records in the late 1980's, Downes furthered his interest of fingerstyle technique and composition by earning a degree in classical guitar performance and music education from William Paterson University. While at WPU, he studied classical composition and had several of his compositions performed by soloists and ensembles, including the New Jersey Percussion Ensemble, Helix Ensemble and members of the Composer’s Guild of New Jersey. 

Vin Downes has released four studio albums, two of which were produced by Grammy Award winning guitarist and producer, Will Ackerman. He is currently a performing member of “The Gathering – A Concert Series presented by Will Ackerman”. 

He has recorded and performed with musicians including Will Ackerman, Tom Eaton, Michael Manring, Eugene Friesen, Liz Story and Tony Levin. 

Vin Downes is a public school music teacher in New Jersey, where he currently teaches classical guitar at Bayonne High School.

To read AV's interview with Vin click here


Other Artist Interviews on Ambient Visions

Shifting Sands: AV Talks to Lynn Tredeau
Breathe: AV talks to Carl Borden

Kreuzblut Michael Brückner talks to Mathias Grassow

Indesterren AV talks to Tom Eaton

What We Left Behind
Michael Brückner talks to Robert Rich

Music for a Busy Head Vol. 1 AV talks to Matt Coldrick

Chakra Balance AV talks to David and Steve Gordon

Heading West AV talks to Mike Howe

The Blue Rose AV talks to Al Conti

The Great Hoop AV talks with Steve Brand

Cosmic Diva AV talks to Stephanie Sante

Primitives AV talks to Remy Stroomer and Michel van Osenbruggen aka Synth.nl

Subliminal Pulse AV talks to Bruno Sanfilippo

Miles Tones Av talks to Jame Kirsch aka General Fuzz

In Search of Silence AV talks to David Wright

Beachcombing AV Talks to Bob Holroyd

The Mountain Lake AV Talks to Johan Agebjorn

Jewel in the Sun AV Talks to Diane Arkenstone

A Quiet Light AV talks to Meg Bowles

Fragments AV talks to Steve Roberts aka Amongst Myselves

A Day Within Days AV talks to Michael Allison aka Darshan Ambient

Frequency Response AV talks to Matthew McDonough aka MjDawn

Portal AV Talks to Rich Brodsky aka Atomic Skunk

Blue Dream AV talks to Fiona Joy Hawkins

Where Edges Meet AV talks to James Murray

Carrying the Bag of Hearts AV Talks to Janet Robbins

Into the Infinite AV Talks to Chad Kettering

A New Kind of Love AV Talks to Robin Spielberg

Following the Call AV Talks to Ann Licater

Dimensions AV Talks to John Lyell

Touching the Serpents Tail AV Talks to Robert Fox

Vast AV Talks to Saul Stokes

Fever Dreams III AV talks to Steve Roach 2007

Sankhara AV talks to cyberCHUMP


Stefan Strand

 

 

AV's Quick 10 Interview

Legacy AV's Quick 10 With Stefan Strand aka Between Interval

Since the age of 14, Swedish composer Stefan Strand has been experimenting with and creating electronic sounds. Initially inspired by video game soundtracks and the German techno scene, it wasn’t long before he was discovering the more expansive soundscapes of artists like Jean Michel Jarre, Robert Rich, Aphex Twin and Pink Floyd. 

In 2003 he created Radio Silence, his first ambient album, and self-released it under the name Between Interval. He knew then that he had found a vast genre that he would come to explore for many years. 

Strand wants his music to be a rewarding and immersive experience for the listener. “I try to create atmospheres and moods with my music. I wouldn’t call it minimalistic, but instead of giving away too much in terms of melodies I aim to incorporate subtle and implicit changes.” 

Since it’s initial release, Radio Silence has been remastered and released on the Spotted Peccary label along with four other releases, Secret Observatory, Autumn Continent, The Edge of a Fairytale and Legacy.

Click here for this quick 10 interview with Stefan Strand aka Between Interval


Other Quick 10 Interviews on Ambient Visions

A World Bathed in Sunlight  AV's Quick 10 with Matthew Stewart
Imbue AV's Quick 10 With Androcell aka Tyler Smith


AV Goes to NYC
and reviews the
FLOW concert

 

AV's Concert Review

An Introvert Journeys to New York City and Goes With the FLOW

As you may or may not know I tend to be a very introverted person who is connected to a broad musical world via my Ambient Visions website and rarely do I venture out into the really real world other than at a very mundane level as I head off to work or to do a variety of equally unspectacular chores that make up my daily life. On occasion though I am tempted to step out of my ordinary introverted life and to step into that wider world which makes introverts like me quiver in their boots and on an even rarer occasion I act on those temptations and dive into that real world.  October 6 was one of those days where the benefit of venturing out overwhelmed my reservations and sent me off to the big city to discover the joys of live music.

What, you might ask, would tempt an introvert such as myself out of his seclusion and pull him to the big city? I’m glad you asked. I wanted to go with the FLOW. I know that doesn’t sound like a compelling reason and what the heck does it even mean anyway. The FLOW in this case is a new ensemble group that was celebrating the release of their first album simply entitled FLOW by performing as a group at the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York City which is a celebrated musical mecca of the performing arts in the United States. The motivating factor here was the composition of the group and the nature of the guest artists who would be performing with them on that Friday night in New York City.

Click here for the rest of the review


The Radiant Sea

by Bridge to Imla

 

 

AV's Spotlight Review

The Radiant Sea by Bridge to Imla AV Spotlight CD Review

The Radiant Sea is the debut release by Bridge to Imla (Hans-Dieter Schmidt & Michael Brückner) and is the perfect example of what happens when two veteran ambient artists pool their talents under a new moniker and make music together. What happens is that these two talented artists blend their skills and create a wonderful new album that goes farther musically speaking than either could have gone on their own. The beauty of collaboration in the internet age is that artists who are separated by distance who would like to work together can make it a reality simply by sending their pieces of the whole back and forth via the internet after they are recorded in each of their respective home studios until the project is completed.

The title The Radiant Sea may lead a listener to think that the music is going to sparkle and shine like sunlight glistening off the surface of water but contrary to the title the music goes much deeper than what a person might see reflecting off the surface of the sea. In fact if you look at the titles you will see that they concern water currents or geological places of the Pacific Ocean and some of those can be quite deep and quite dark. Just like the music. The music like the depths of the ocean is mysterious. The textures that define Bridge to Imla’s debut album are many shades of gray with little wisps of light that break through now and again as if you were looking up at the surface of the water from far below.

Click here for the rest of the review


Eclipse
by Frore & Shane Morris

 

AV's Spotlight Review

Eclipse by Frore & Shane Morris AV Spotlight CD Review

I have always been a fan of Spotted Peccary music as it seems that they have a very enviable track record of releasing some of the best music to be heard in the ambient and associated genres fields. I don’t say this lightly because there are many albums that cross my desk in any given week but it seems that every time a Spotted Peccary release appears I know that I can expect to hear some of the finest music being released and that I’ll probably want to review it. Case in point is the new release called Eclipse by Frore and Shane Morris which will be released to the world on 11/17/2017 but which showed up in my e-mail box last week as a review copy from Spotted Peccary.

Frore aka Paul Casper is from Virginia Beach, VA and is a self-taught musician who works with digital and analog synths, singing bowls, flutes and electrical drum sequencers while Shane Morris hails from Fayetteville, Arkansas and has achieved a high level of mastery with percussive and wind instruments from all over the world including the frame drum, Navajo cedar flute, didjeridoo and electronic percussion. While this list may help you get a handle on some of the instruments that figure prominently on their new release Eclipse it does not even come close to telling you what can be done with those instruments in conjunction with two talented musicians who blend their musical visions into a single coherent statement that results in the imaginative tribal landscape that you will hear on Eclipse. A paint brush in the hands of an amateur yields average images and lacks true vision but put that same paint brush into the hands of a dedicated artist and the images on the canvas will astound. The same can be said of the musical instruments I mentioned at the beginning of this paragraph in the hands of artists like Paul and Shane..      

Click here for the rest of the review


Nebula
by The Haiku Project

 

AV's Spotlight Review

Nebula by The Haiku Project AV Spotlight CD Review

With the release of Nebula The Haiku Project has now released 3 albums on the Real Music label. Nebula is an intriguing album and especially so with the delicate vocals that are provided by Sara Grabow who makes this album quite memorable. Sara Grabow as a singer has released 4 albums of her own that can easily be found on Spotify two of which are performed in English and 2 in Danish. Sara also hails from Denmark as does Henrik Hytteballe aka The Haiku Project.  Her vocals provide an ethereal aura to the songs that she is featured on which allows the compositions to move in new and interesting directions.

Nebula has found that perfect balance between voice and music that allows both to reach their full potential without detracting from one another. Nebula features 10 compositions 6 of which feature Sara Grabow’s voice as a major component of the arrangement and yet I still find the music refreshing and listenable even if left on repeat for an extended period of time. As a long time reviewer of instrumental and ambient music I am always doubtful as to how successful a pairing of vocals and instrumental music will be so that when a listener walks away from the experience they won’t be thinking how great the instruments were or how beautiful the voice was but how marvelous the compositions were as they became one in the performance.  That is the difficult task that Henrik and Sara tackled with the creation of Nebula and let me congratulate them on crafting an album that is filled with emotionally rich music that touches the listener from the very first song to the last.

Click here for the rest of the review


Fiona Joy


Into the Mist

 

 

AV's CD Focus Interview

Into the Mist AV talks with Fiona Joy

Australian Pianist, Producer & Singer Fiona Joy is enjoying the success of her recent release Signature Synchronicity, has just returned from her third grand tour of China, recorded a new album in the US, and a feature concert with her Blue Dream Ensemble at the Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre (Sydney) -as well as performing in the Sydney Women's International Jazz Festival .

In China Fiona Joy is nick-named The Piano Angel, not just for her romantic, melodic songs and lush arrangements, but also for her gracious and mesmerizingly ballet-like performance style in concert. It’s a style that will serve her new album well, considering it is inspired by modern-day fairytales.  A prolific composer, she has always been interested in creating music that evokes images, emotions and stories.

When not recording or touring, Fiona is busy directing the entrepreneurial side of her music business, an effort which is crucial to the success of every independent artist.  She manages her growing record label, Little Hartley Music, and promotes Fiona Joy Jewellery, her new line offering the upscale Swarovsky crystal-adorned bracelets and foot jewellery that she wears while performing barefooted in concert.   

Click here to read Fiona Joy's interview about Into the Mist


Other AV's CD Focus Features available on Ambient Visions


Flow
by FLOW

 

AV's Spotlight Review

Flow by FLOW AV Spotlight CD Review

Having discovered Windham Hill and Narada music at about the same time I was well aware of the ensemble approach that the labels employed to offer listeners wonderful music that extended the talents of one artist by pairing them with several equally talented musicians in the studio. The album would be released under the individual artist’s name and the other musicians would traditionally be credited as guest performers on the main artist’s album. Let me be clear right from the beginning about FLOW the album and FLOW the group this is not individual musicians guest starring on each other’s compositions with each taking a shot at the lead throughout the album. Instead this is a group effort start to finish and as I listened to each of the songs I didn’t get the feeling that one song represents Ackerman, one song represents Fiona and so on. Every composition represented FLOW as a performing group plain and simple.

In case you didn’t already know FLOW is an acronym for the members of the group. F is for Fiona Joy. L is for Lawrence Blatt. O is for Jeff Oster and W is for Will Ackerman. Each member is quite distinguished as a musician, composer and performer in their own right but bring them all together and you have the equivalent of the superstar groups that have been occasionally formed in the rock world such as Power Station, CSNY, Asia or the Traveling Wilburys. So even before I sat and listened to the album I knew that I was in for a treat even if the album took the approach that many ensembles do which is to spotlight each member and their contribution to the whole while the other members supported each other’s moment in the sun. Thankfully the members of FLOW took another route that would yield a cohesive whole which is much more powerful and pleasing than listening to musicians take turns playing their music.

Click here for the rest of the review


Renee Blanche Night Tides ambient music radio host

Renée Blanche

AV's Q&A

Night Tides: AV talks with Renée Blanche

This time around Ambient Visions' Q & A has a go at Renée Blanche, host of an ambient music radio show called Night Tides. Night Tides is an eclectic blend of contemplative instrumental & electronic music that combines upbeat grooves and dubs with soothing melodies that whisper softly to the soul. Host Renée Blanche is a native of Detroit, Michigan.  She stumbled into radio after ending her military career in El Paso, Texas. Her skills as a volunteer announcer were honed at community radio station KXCR during a three-year stay. Commercial radio was the next stop as a weekend announcer for adult contemporary stations K-LITE and B-94 FM. Renée moved to Kansas City in 1993 and was hired as the midday announcer for KCUR and as a traffic reporter for Metro Traffic Control. Her role as host of the Night Tides program began in September 1994.

Click here to read Renée's interview


Other AV's Q&A Features available on Ambient Visions


A Sea Without Memory
by David Helpling

 

AV's Spotlight Review

A Sea Without Memory by David Helpling AV Spotlight CD Review

I have been listening to David’s music since I first heard Between Green and Blue way back in 1996. Every release since that time including the collaborative efforts between him and Jon Jenkins have all been albums that showed the immense talent that David possessed as every composition shined like a brightly polished diamond. This latest release which came out on July 7, 2017 is the first of what I hope will be many volumes of David’s ambient guitar music which takes our perceptions of what can be done with a guitar alone into a whole new realm.

A Sea Without Memory is an album that David created using just one guitar through some programmed pedals and recorded live to 2-track with very little processing. I know this because I asked David to confirm that it was just his guitar that I was hearing on these amazing and very expansive sounding tracks that make up the new album. And now even knowing it is just one guitar only increases my respect for what David has managed to create and record onto 2-tracks with little post processing. If you haven’t figured it out yet this is going to be a positive review of David’s new release and I hope that I haven’t given you a spoiler for the review without alerting you first.

Click here for the rest of the review


Legacy
by Between Interval

 

AV's Spotlight Review

Legacy by Between Interval AV Spotlight CD Review

Back in the days when masterworks such as "Radio Silence", "Secret Observatory" or "Autumn Continent" were released, I was always considering Stefan Strand (actually these gems were recorded under his previous family name Jönsson) as a Swedish wunderkind. Yeah, we are moving back to the years 2004-2006. Followed by another impressive work "The Edge Of A Fairytale" in 2009, Stefan Strand has then disappeared for 8 years. However, the long wait is finally over and since April 2017 we all can celebrate colossal comeback of this hugely crafted soundscaper. Released by Spotted Peccary Music in their traditional 4-panel eco wallet featuring stunning cover art by renowned Polish digital artist and photographer Michal Karcz. With this connection you simply can't go wrong! Additional credit goes to Howard Givens for his fine mastering.

Click here for the rest of the review


Albion

by Juta Takahashi

 

 

 

 

AV's Spotlight Review

Albion by Juta Takahashi AV Spotlight CD Review

Japanese drone ambient Maestro Jutaro "Juta" Takahashi was quite silent since his last album "Transcendence" released back in September 2013. If I am right, in the meantime he has only re-issued his older album "The Door Into Winter" in March 2015 on a glass mastered format (original CDr edition was released in 2007). Now he makes big return with a brand new studio work published at the end of April 2017 on his own Lunisolar Records. The album was recorded from December 2016 to February 2017. As usual for all releases of Juta Takahashi, the CD comes in a standard jewel case with a transparent tray featuring some stunning visuals provided by artists mostly based at DeviantArt community. "Albion", dedicated to the majestic landscapes of the Great Britain, is no exception as it is graced by immersing "Serenity" crepuscular splendor captured by Simon Evans, an amateur photographer from New Zealand, now based in the UK. 

Nearly 14-minute long opening piece "Silver Waves" straightly sets gracefully meandering dronescaping images carved by Juta Takahashi's masterful utilizing of his analog synths. Waving introspective layers are persistently permeated by climaxing high-pitched vistas, which already belong to distinguishable earmarks by this respected Japanese ambient drifter. If I remember well, I am strongly fascinated by these engrossing dissonant curtains since "Angel" track from the same titled CD album released five years ago. Indeed a very strong opening! "Frozen Day", only slightly shorter that its predecessor, delves deeply into stunningly foggy monochromatic sceneries, exquisitely reinforced by titillating piano glimpses.

Click here for the rest of these reviews


Stardust
by Alphaxone & ProtoU

 

AV's Spotlight Review

Stardust by Alphaxone & ProtoU AV Spotlight CD Review

Although Iranian deep space soundforger Mehdi Saleh aka Alphaxone and Ukrainian dark ambient venturer Sasha Cats known as ProtoU are debuting in my review section, both of them belong to already established names on acclaimed Cryo Chamber label. Actually to be correct, few years back I reviewed another project by Mehdi Saleh, his stunningly triumphant "Broadcast" CD as Spuntic released on Dutch Databloem label during 2014. I have been deeply fascinated by "Stardust" since the very first days sometime during January 2017 when Cryo Chamber introduced the first tracks of this collaborative project and I immediately knew I want to review one day this spectacular odyssey. Out since January 24th, the CD comes in an attractive matte 6-panel digipak, designed and mastered by Cryo Chamber's trailblazer Simon Heath. 

Distant monolithic hums and translucently titillating field recordings announce the opening 9-minute "Consumed". Warmly nebulous stratums inconspicuously invade, glide, wave and commingle with auxiliary cybernetic signals, rumbling vestiges, glimpsing voice fragments and outbursting vertexes. The next piece, "Planemo Dreams", only slightly shorter than "Consumed", is driven by massive monochromatic drone walls persistently confronted with invasive cyber-organic tapestries, delicate metallic flickers and engrossingly nuanced and balmily reflective expansions. Spellbindingly immersing soundscape!

Click here for the rest of the review


Eyes to the Height
by James Murray

 

Ambient Web Spotlight

Interview with James Murray by Ron Schepper for Textura e-zine

Ten Questions With James Murray  

Though a number of James Murray's releases have been reviewed at textura, he hasn't been the subject of a major article or interview—until now. It's an oversight that should have been rectified long ago, but hopefully the following in-depth interview will be an adequate atonement. If anything, the interview comes at the perfect time as the London-based Murray has just issued a splendid new full-length, Eyes to the Height, which evidences the high degree of craft the self-taught composer has brought to all of his work since 2004. You never know quite what you're going to get with a Murray release, but rest assured the quality will be high, regardless of whether the focus is ambient-electronic, modern classical, or electroacoustic. We thank Murray for sharing so openly his thoughts on the album and his creative process.   

Click here for the rest of the interview


Interview with Seb Taylor by Kevin Fairbanks and Gagarin for Psybient e-zine

[Interview] with Seb Taylor aka Kaya Project aka Hibernation

Today we bring you an interview with Seb Taylor. The man behind many amazing psychedelic electronic acts of varying styles, from the legendary Angel Tears to the ever popular Kaya Project, downtempo heavy hitting Hibernation and
the uptempo likes of Shakta and Digitalis. Seb has been more than busy, over many years with countless collaborative artists, producing this music that we love. So it is with great honor that we had the opportunity to chat with him about everything from his latest release, to the earlier days. Enjoy and share around! 

Psy: Do you remember the first piece of music that inspired you as a kid? Can you describe the experience? 

ST:  I’d have to say film soundtracks. Especially the work of John Barry & John Williams. Growing up in the 1970’s & 1980’s meant a lot of my cinematic experiences were musically scored on these two composers. I can hear a direct correlation between my musical sensibilities and soundtracks like, ‘The Black Hole’ , ‘James Bond’, ‘Star Wars’ etc. Even in later life it was still movie music that has primarily touched and inspired me, latterly in the form of contemporary film composers like Thomas Newman for example (American Beauty, White Orlandear, Meet Joe Black).

Click here to read the rest of the interview


New Reviews on Ambient Visions

Forsaken

by Alphaxone & Dronny Darko

Click here to read

Indesterren

by Tom Eaton

Click here to read 

Dancing on the Wind

by Shoshanna Michel

Click here to read

Path of Dissolutions by Hoshin cover, ambient

Path of Dissolutions

by Hoshin 

Click here to read


 

Getting the word out
about great music

 

AV's Reviews Other Voices

Singularity by Jon Hopkins reviewed by Will Richards of DIY Mag website

Singularity
by Jon Hopkins

Jon Hopkins always hinted at the ability to create a genre-spanning, cohesive masterpiece. He did just that with 2014’s ‘Immunity’. Documenting the the ins and outs of the party, the album took two sides, from the stunning slow build of ‘Open Eye Signal’ and crash-bang-wallop of ‘Collider’ on the first side to a slower, more meditative back end, it was everything the techno veteran had promised and more. 

On ‘Singularity’, then, he’s moving on from the lynchpin of his career, and further into the human psyche as a whole, largely influenced by his experiences with meditation.

For the rest of this review from DIY Mag click here.


Prelude to a Dream by Shoshana Michel reviewed by Mainly Piano website


Prelude to a Dream is Shoshana Michel’s third solo piano album and her second as a composer. After a 24-year hiatus from composing music, once she started again, the flood gates opened wide. Shoshana’s first album of original music, Dancing on the Wind (2016), was nominated for Whisperings Solo Piano Radio’s “Album of the Year,” One World Music Radio’s “Solo Piano Album of the Year” and SoloPiano.com’s “Album of the Year.” It would not surprise me at all if the gentle, heartfelt music on Prelude to a Dream does just as well or even better. The eleven pieces on this album are all very soothing and played with an expressive tenderness. In some ways, it could be a lullaby album, as the repeated left hand patterns are hypnotic and the overall tone of the music is very quiet and peaceful. You won’t want to doze off and miss any of this, though! As he so often does, graphic designer Matt Streiby perfectly captured the feeling of the album with his cover artwork.    

Read the rest of the review at Mainly Piano by clicking here.


Deep Space Blue by Jim Ottaway reviewed by Kathy Parsons of Mainly Piano website

Deep Space Blue is an electronic ambient/space music release from award-winning Australian composer and synthesist Jim Ottaway. The creator of at least twenty-five albums of original music in a variety of genres as well as music for films and television, Ottaway’s resume’ is long and very impressive; Deep Space Blue is his eleventh international release. The inspiration for Ottaway's music stems from his love of nature and his spiritual connection to the Gold Coast of Queensland, Australia. The music on this album has a very organic feeling and features a variety of (electronic) musical instruments as well as atmospheric sounds. Not surprisingly, the music conveys feelings of vast darkness and of effortless floating through space and time. The six tracks range from just under six minutes to about 16 1/2 minutes, so there are very few breaks in the music. The tracks were recorded over a three-year period, and Ottaway also did the mixing, mastering, graphics and album design.    

Read the rest of the review at Mainly Piano by clicking here.


For more reviews from voices around the web click here


MMichael Foster
Editor AV

State of the Ambient Union 2014

A few years back I ran several opinion pieces of those involved in the ambient/new age music industry about the state of the ambient union as it existed in 2008. As the pace of technology increases and the fact that the way we consume our music seems to be in a constant state of change I felt that perhaps it might be nice to revisit this topic again and take a look at the ground that we covered in the last 10 years or so musically speaking and what kinds of changes we might expect over the next few years in regards to ambient music creation and distribution.

The music industry has been in a state of constant change since I first started to listen to music way back when I put the needle down on my first 45 RPM record. While the changes took a little while to manifest back in the day because there was a manufacturing process that drove the music industry that had to be adhered to and it took time and lots of money to make changes from albums to 8-tracks to cassettes to CD's. Once music became separated from the physical and broadband speeds increased enough that files could be uploaded and downloaded all bets were off in regards to what the future held for the record labels and for the artists themselves.  

These series of writings are not an attempt to predict the future of the music industry and the ambient/new age genres in particular as we have seen the futility of trying to do that every time a rock solid prediction (so it seemed at the time) falls flat on its face in the cold light of the future. Let's just say that these writings are musings of those who make, distribute or play it on the air. It is a time to look at where we have come from and what possibilities lie ahead for the ambient/new age artist if things continue on their present course.

Blake Gibson aka Broken Harbour offers up his views of where the ambient community is currently and shares his thoughts on streaming, physical product and why it's a great time to be an ambient musician or listener.

Blake Gibson aka Broken Harbour
Blake Gibson
aka Broken Harbour

Click here to read The State of the Ambient Union 2014


 

Ambient/New Age News

Posted on 10/21/2017

Oct. 28th 7:00pm – Fiona Joy International Recording Artist

Posted on 8/12/2017

A Short History of Ambient & Downtempo by Mike G

Posted on 12/10/2016

ACL 2016: The Year’s Best Labels
V/A :: Frequencies Of The Mind III (Mindtrick)

Posted 12/7/2016

Chosen One: Loscil  Interview with Scott Morgan.
“A blurred line between beauty and horror, anxiety and calm.”--Scott Morgan

Posted 12/4/2016

Geert Bevin On MPE & Creating A New Standard Of Musical Expression

Posted 12/03/2016

Entheomythic Creatures: An Interview with Androcell published 9-8-2016
Interview with Louis Colaiannia, November 2016 by Kathy Parsons from Mainly Piano
Four Days In My Life by Louis Colaiannia from Music and Media Focus by Michael Diamond

Jordanian composer produces award-winning album from his ‘bedroom studio’

Posted 1/23/2016

The Invention of Ambient Music By Alex Abramovich  (The New Yorker)
A Short History of Ambient & Downtempo Music by Mike G (Ambient Music Guide)

Ambient Music Guide's Best Albums OF 2015: Reviews of Essential Ambient, Chillout & Downtempo (Ambient Music Guide)

Harold Budd: the ambient music master floats again (The Guardian)

Ambient Music Isn't Boring, It Changed My Life (Noisey Music by Vice)

Neither scene nor heard: a journey through ambient music (A Strangely Isolated Place)

What is spacemusic?  (Hearts of Space)

New Age Music Made Simple (Hearts of Space)

A Conversation With Stephen Hill July 2005 (Hearts of Space)

10 Classic Ambient Albums for People Who Don't Know Shit About Ambient (LA Weekly)

Ambient Music Eases Pain (Scientific American Mind)

Ambient Music On A Korg Electribe Music Production Station (Synthtopia)

Ambient Music Defined (Ambient Soundbath Podcast)


Paul Avgerinos

Paul Avgerinos

 

Law of Attraction Paul Avgerinos album cover

Law of Attraction

Artist Spotlight on Paul Avgerinos

When Paul Avgerinos graduated from the Peabody Conservatory of Music in 1980, as a full scholarship honors student, he had already performed as a bassist with Isaac Stern, Jean Pierre Rampal, The Beaux Arts Trio, Baryshnikov and many other great classical artists. He also has won scholarships to play and study at music festivals in Tanglewood, Aspen, Grand Teton, Taos, and Spoleto (Italy). After graduation, Paul served as principal bass of several major symphony orchestras around the world, and gave solo recitals as well. 

Expanding into more popular genres, Avgerinos toured as a bassist with Charles Aznavour, Liza Minelli, and the jazz legend Buddy Rich. Seeking to further his original composition and develop his childhood passion for electronic music, Paul built Studio Unicorn, a comprehensive digital/analog recording studio, in 1984. Nine solo CDs in the New Age genre followed, including Muse of the Round Sky on the Hearts of Space label. Muse was nominated for a Grammy and is played on more than 2,000 radio stations around the world in addition to syndicated shows such as Music from the Hearts of Space and John Diliberto's Echoes. Two thirty ­minute features with the latter are added to his credits along with his many other radio interviews. Paul's music is currently being played on Sirius XM Satellite radio & DMX as well as Music Choice SoundScapes. 

He has appeared on fourteen sampler CDs and as a guest artist on albums by Joanie Madden, Faruk Tekbilek, Joaquin Lievano, Brian Keane and others. Paul records and produces many popular albums as well and has worked with artists as diverse as Jewel, Willie Nelson, Deana Carter, Richie Havens, Run DMC, and the Celtic Tenors . Avgerinos always makes time for scoring and has worked on many Film, Commercial, TV, and Cable projects for all of the major and minor networks. Paul's work on Peter Kater's Red Moon earned A 2004 Grammy Nomination. Paul's album GNOSIS placed #1 on the New Age & World Radio Chart and his latest, Garden of Delight, won an award for the Best World Album of 2007. Keeping busy creating original music for a variety of interesting and rewarding projects is a way of life. 

Currently, Paul lives and works in his Studio Unicorn, Redding, Connecticut, where the deer pass by his studio windows and the hawks and eagles give inspiration from above .

Visit Paul Avgerinos on the web


Threshold Point
by Erik Wøllo

 

Eternal
by Kevin Wood

 

Deep Space Blue
by Jim Ottaway

 

A Sea Without Memory
by David Helpling

 

Salvaging the Present Benedictis ambient album cover

Salvaging the Present
by Dean  De Benedictis

 

 

 

Ambient Visions CD Reviews

05/20/2018 New Review featuring Forsaken by Alphaxone & Dronny Darko
05/06/2018 New Review featuring Threshold Point by Erik Wøllo
04/28/2018 New Review featuring Eternal by Kevin Wood
04/22/2018 New Review featuring Nocturnes II by Max Corbacho
11/26/2017 New Review featuring The Radiant Sea by Bridge to Imla
10/29/2017 New Review featuring Eclipse by Frore & Shane Morris
10/26/2017 New Review featuring Nebula by The Haiku Project
10/25/2017 New Review featuring Deep Space Blue by Jim Ottaway
08/27/2017 New Review featuring Flow by FLOW
08/25/2017 New Review featuring Trans-Neptunian Objects by ASC
08-24-2017 New Review featuring Stardust by Alphaxone & ProtoU
08-21-2017 New Review featuring Albion by Juta Takahashi
08-13-2017 New Review featuring Ovum by Chronotope Project
08-12-2017 New Review featuring A Sea Without Memory by David Helpling
04-22-2017 New Review featuring Breathe by Carl Borden
12-30-2016 New Review featuring The Future of Man by Duff Egan
12-18-2016 New Review featuring Path of Dissolutions by Hoshin
12-11-2016 New Review featuring Inner Rhythm Meditations by Byron Metcalf
12-09-2016 New Review featuring Dancing on the Wind by Shoshanna Michel
12-05-2016 New Review featuring Americana by Doug Hammer
12-01-2016 New Review featuring Indesterren by Tom Eaton
11-30-2016 New Review featurning Salvaging the Present by Dean De Benedictis
09-04-2016 New Review featuring Romancing the Moon by David Wright
06-05-2016 New Reviews featuring Southern Cross by Jim Ottaway
05-15-2016 New Review featuring Beyond the Waves by Ann Licater
04-30-2016 New Review featuring Everything and Nothing by Hammock
01-30-2016 New Review featuring Deep Sleep by Liquid Mind
01-17-2016 New Review featuring Expanse Sessions by In the Branches
01-11-2016 New Review featuring Glimpses by The Haiku Project
01-09-2016 New Review featuring Blueprint by Bob Holroyd
10-24-2015 New Review featuring Between Shadow and Light by Neil Patton
10-18-2015 New Review featuring Fire in the Rainstorm by Kori Linae Carothers
10-17-2015 New Review featuring Surrounding by Kimberly StarKey
10-08-2015 New Review featuring Fall into Winter by Bryan Carrigan
10-04-2015 New Review featuring Remembering by Bernward Koch
04-27-2015 New Review featuring The Ocean Inside by Max Corbacho
04-26-2015 New Reviews featuring Coming Home by Peter Jennison
04-01-2015 New Review featuring Secret World by Doug Hammer & Amethyste
01-05-2014 New Review featuring Heart by Doug Hammer
04-10-2012 New Reviews featuring Mediterranean by Amberfern
03-15-2012 New Review featuring Eternity by John Lyell
03-12-2012 New Reviews featuring Enchanted Piano by Kevin Kern
01-21-2012 New Reviews featuring Bindu by Michael Brant DeMaria
11-12-2011 New Reviews featuring Silent Star by Berward Koch
10-23-2011 New Reviews featuring Rainshadow Sky by Jeff Pearce
06-14-2011 New Review featuring Earthsong and Stardance by Gandalf
06-06-2011
New Review featuringThe Veil of Whispers by Thierry David
06-04-2011 New Reviews featuring Atumn Sky by Blackmore's Night
04-15-2011 New Reviews featuring Sacred Love by Shambhu
02-06-2011 New Reviews featuring Dreaming Still by Kathryn Kaye
12-01-2010 New Reviews featuring New Butterfly by ade ishs
11-11-2010 New Reviews featuring Doorway to a Dream by Ann Licater
09-18-2010 New Reviews featuring The Landing by David Clavijo
04-05-2010 New Reviews featuring First Day Back by Lenny Kaplan
03-29-2010 New Reviews featuring Voices of the Ancients by Chad Kettering
03-28-2010 New Reviews featuring Relax Your Ears by Joel Styzens
03-24-2010 New Reviews featuring My Love To You by Mark Pinkus
03-23-2010
New Review featuring Ascension II by Clifford White
03-15-2010 New Reviews featuring A Delicate Balance by Lisa Downing
03-14-2010 New Reviews featuring Portal by Atomic Skunk
03-03-2010 New Reviews featuringBallerina by Michael C. Bell
02-17-2010 New Reviews featuring Ticket to Antarctica by KevOz
02-08-2010
New Reviews featuring Chasing Tornadoes by Patrick Gorman
10-22-2009
New Reviews Featuring Fly by Eric Harry
08-22-2009
New Reviews Featuring Imagine by George Skaroulis
04-18-2009
 New Reviews featuring Longer Days by Scott Ross
02-08-2009
 New Reviews featuring Drift by Dan Pound
12-21-2008
  New Reviews featuring Pond by Diatonis
06-14-2008
 New Reviews featuring Poesis Athesis by Robert Scott Thompson
06-08-2008
 New Review featuring A Warning from the Elders by Byron Metcalf
06-05-2008
 New Reviews featuring Love, Light and Water by Michael Stribling
03-16-2008
 New Reviews featuring Tapestry by Jim Gibson
02-12-2008
 New Review Featuring Infinite Plastic Creation by Richard Bone
02-10-2008
 New Reviews featuring Ambienthurnum by Psicodreamics
01-26-2008
 New Reviews featuring Carpe Lumen by Elijah Bossenbroek
10-07-2007
 New Reviews featuring The Open Door by Michael Straugh
09-23-2007
 New Reviews featuring The Useless Lesson by Kerry Leimer
07-08-2007
 New Reviews featuring The Range by Fulton and Reaves
07-01-2007
 New Reviews featuring The Regions Between by AWM
06-23-2007
 New Reviews featuring Dimensions by John Lyell
06-16-2007
 New Reviews featuring Reflection by Frederic Delarue
06-01-2007
 New Reviews posted featuring Buzzle by Tim Story
04-04-2007  New Reviews posted featuring Hope for Harmony by Kathryn Toyama

03-04-2007
 New Reviews posted featuring Conscience by M. Grassow & Thomas Weiss
02-13-2007
 New Reviews posted  featuring Dream Wide Awake by Omnimotion

Sounds to
Listen For


Nocturnes II
by Max Corbacho

 

Merging Galaxies
by Dawn Tuesday, Total ET & Cousin Silas

 

Natura Est
by Natura Est

 

The Relic
by Chuck van Zyl

 

Positive Light
by SC Slator

 

The Last Lighthouse
by Campfire's Edge

 

Structures of Light
by Siddhartha Barnhoom

 

home is a memory
by threadbare

 

Different Spaces Erik Wollo ambient music album cover

Different Spaces
by Erik Wøllo

 

Isokinetic Alpturer ambient album cover

Isokinetic
by Alpturer

 

Fears Remy ambient album cover

Fears
by Remy

An Act of Love Earthen Sea album cover

An Act of Love

by Earthen Sea

Four Days in My Life Louis Colainnia album cover

Four Days In My Life
by Louis Colaiannia

 

Resonance Peter Kater new age album cover

Resonance
by Peter K
ater

 

Salvaging the Present Dean De Benedictus album cover

Salvaging the Present
by Dean  De Benedictis

 

Shakti Sutra Sheela Bringi world music album cover

Shakti Sutra
by Sheela Bringi

 

Carbon EP Ens ambient album cover

Carbon (EP)
by Ens

 

The Network deeperNET electronica music album cover

The Network
by deeperNET

 

Multidimensional Voices Ben Carroll album cover

Multidimensional Voice
by Ben Carroll

 

Phosphenia Code 1 album cover

Phosphenia
by Code 1

 

I Hear Crow Janet Robbins album cover

I Hear Crow
by Janet Robbins

 

What We Left Behind Robert Rich ambient music album cover

What We Left Behind
by Robert Rich

 

Biosonic Steve Roach ambient music album cover

Biosonic
by Steve Roach and
Robert Logan

 

Pacific Journey Logical Drift ambient music album cover

Pacific Journey
by Logical Drift

 

Still Voices John Gregorius album cover

Still Voice
by John Gregorius

 

Eternal OM Lisbeth Scott album cover

Eternal OM
by Lisbeth Scott

 

Sensuous Chill Yanni new age music album cover

Sensuous Chill
by Yanni

 

Heaven Condensed Craig Padilla ambient music album cover

Heaven Condensed
by Craig Padilla

 

Cryosleep Dreams Simon Wilkinson album cover

Cryosleep Dreams
by Simon Wilkinson

 

Waves of Life Ashaneen album cover

Waves of Life
by Ashaneen

 

A Place to Belong Time Being ambient music album cover

A Place to Belong
by Time Being

 

Beyond the Airwaves 2 David Wright album cover

Beyond the Airwaves vol. 2
by David Wright

 

E-scape 2015 space music album cover

E-scape 2015
by Various Artists

 

A New Time M. Persson album cover

A New Time
by M.Persson

 

Earthen Alpha Wave Movement album cover

Earthen
by Alpha Wave Movement

 

Echoes of Life Lynn Tredeau album cover

Echoes of Life
by Lynn Tredeau

 

Lichens Mike Howe album cover

Lichens
by Mike Howe

 

Canyon Robert Carty ambient music album cover

Canyon
by Robert Carty

 

Weltenuhr Erik Wollo album cover

Weltenuhr
by Erik Wollo &
Bernhard Wostheinrich

 

Imbue Androcell album cover

Imbue
by Androcell

 

Breaking Open the Seventh Seal SourceCodeX album cover

Breaking Open the
Seventh Seal
by SourceCodeX

 

Quantum Earth Sequential Dreams space music album cover

Quantum Earth
by Sequential Dreams

 

The Delicate Forever Steve Roach ambient music album cover

The Delicate Forever
by Steve Roach

 

Souvenirs Christine Brown new age music album cover

Souvenirs
by Christine Brown
Mainly Piano Review

 

Origin Reversal Dirk Serries album cover

The Origin Reversal
by Dirk Serries

 

Always Near Kevin Kern album cover

Always Near
by Kevin Kern

 

Anomalies Mark Dwane album cover

Anomalies
by Mark Dwane

 

Vertical Life Richard Bone album cover

Vertical Life
by Richard Bone

 

Passengers Green Isac album cover

Passengers
by Green Isac

 

Impossible Landscape deeperNET album cover

Impossible Landscape
by DeeperNET

 

Spacehop Chronicles 1 Bluetech album cover

Spacehop Chronicles Vol 1
by Blue Tech

 

Paradise (re-release)
(remastered w/bonus tracks)
by Robert Schroeder

 

Entering Ephi's Dimension Ephilion album cover

Entering Ephi's Dimension
by Ephilion

 

Last Songs Ambientsketchbook album cover

Lost Songs
by ambientsketchbook

 

Cycles Within Cycles Sinepearl album cover

Cycles Within Cycles
by Sinepearl

 

Still Alive Moonbooter album cover

Still Alive
by moonbooter