It starts very quietly, a point of silence slowly drawing
away being replaced by gentle waves. And gradually,
as you become accustomed to your surroundings, you find
yourself "Inside the Hollow Realm". A
new collaboration by Jesse Sola of Numina and Brett
Smith of Caul, "Inside the Hollow Realm" is
an inspired pairing that effectively blends the skills
and talents of both artists in such a way as to create
Split into three sections of four tracks each, "Collapse
of the Spiral Spire", "The Molten Void"
and "A Distant Past Fades", the disc has a
conceptual flavor to it, a sense of history within.
Images take form in the your mind's eye and then
pass from conciousness, leaving only a vague memory
of their existence.
The first segment "Collapse of the Spiral Spire"
opens with "The Wind Speaks", where minimalism
and atmosphere slowly give way to strong percussive
forms. "Night Sky Descends" passes through
the senses like ravens in the dark night sky. "The
Gathering" is filled with the sound of electric
current fedback through arcane radio systems which bleed
into a progressively building drum pattern, bringing
to mind a circle, a community. Inspired.
Segment two, "The Molten Void", opens with
the same sort of growth from silence, a metallic ringing
filling the space. Treated guitar, or is it something
else building in the darkness? You can never really
tell, images get distorted here and it becomes difficult
to trust our senses to describe what we see. "Serpent
Sounds" rolls with sleek tones, thin high sounds
that weave around you like, well, serpents. "A
Brief Reprieve" fills the space with wide open
pads, a patch of light in the otherwise dark depths.
The reprieve is all too short though, soon to
be replaced by the lava like drones of "Molten
The last segment "A Distant Past Fades"
begins with the twinkling starlit patterns of "Aphasia",
beautiful, striking, dreamlike. "The Seer"
is a study in slowly shifting tones, a sense of mystery,
secrets. "Withdrawn" builds in intensity,
pads woven through the soundfield like delicate spiderwebs
reflecting the light. And then it closes with
"The Memories Blend", a summation of all that
we've heard, a sense of completion that slowly wraps
around itself until it gradually fades. A true
In the past I've made no secret of my appreciation
for Jesse Sola's work and I continue to be amazed at
his ability to create music that touches me so deeply.
With this collaboration his music is perfectly
complimented and built upon by Brett Smith and made
even more beautiful as a result. I strongly recomend
this release to all of you and I eagerly look forward
to future collaborations between the two of them.
Reviewed by Rik Maclean of
Ping Things reprinted here on Ambient Visions.
Visit Rik's Ping Things website by clicking