Reviews 11-30-2016

Music Reviews 



Salvaging the Present

by Dean De Benedictis

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What an interesting album this is. The first time I listened to it I wasn't quite sure what I was getting into but about halfway through I was hooked and each listen thereafter was a deeper journey into the heart of this fascinating album. What pulled me into this most excellently constructed soundscape was the first track on this album called To the Ends of Elation. I think that perhaps because it was so dense with things happening on the soundstage that a quick listen will not suffice for a listener to truly appreciate all the work that Dean has put in on this recording. With this first track clocking in at 8:29 it really gives you a chance to dig into the composition and feast upon the carefully constructed composition that is aurally satisfying as Dean shifts and weaves the sounds onto his musical canvas in very pleasing and very thought provoking ways.  

And lest you think that this album was going to be a one track wonder never fear because track 2 called Micro Souls Anthem also clocking in at a hefty 8:18 simply picks up the ball from the first song and continues to dazzle the listener with even more sonic mastery as Dean continues to move this album forward into deeper realms where the ground suddenly gives way from under your feet leaving you suspended in the darkness surrounded by a velvety blackness which is the start of track three called Pagoda Tiempo. This song has a quite the range and since it has a length of 9:36 it has the luxury of building momentum as it moves along. From the darkness there comes the occasional sounds and those sounds begin to become more dominate until around the 3:30 mark in the song they gradually build up and almost take on a darker overtone as they begin to shape and contour the musical landscape into something else. By the end of the track you are given a brief respite as you are allowed to float into the next track.  

Never the Sacred Stretch which is the next song on this album is a standout song and features some very imaginative work as Dean blends and tweaks and constructs sounds and sequences into a masterpiece that simply grabs and holds the listener's attention throughout this excellent piece. By the time I had reached this song I already knew that I would be going back for a second and a third listen so that I could comprehend all that Dean was pouring into each and every song on this album. This song would be a great standalone composition that could be listened to over and over again.  

All in all this album is a wonderful effort from Dean De Benedictis that spotlights his ability to shift the sonic landscape of his music into a variety of shapes and configurations until it becomes what he needs it to be to complete his musical vision of the finished product. It is a well balanced album and keeps the listener interested and moving forward at the behest of the musical current that Dean has created during the flow of this project. Just because music is not a physical thing that can exhibit currents like a river don't let that fool you into thinking that music doesn't have a current that can pull a listener along as it carries you downstream. It can. It does. Salvaging the Present does indeed have a current and as you listen you will find that it is quite a strong one that it will pull you along to the very end of the album. Highly recommended by Ambient Visions.

Reviewed by Ambient Visions