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Reflections for Angels Unaware by The Infinite Calling

Reviewed by Candice Michelle from Journeyscapes Radio website

The Infinite Calling is the recording alias of Arkansas-based ambient guitarist Daniel Turner. His latest album, Reflections for Angels Unaware, is comprised of eight contemplative and atmospheric electric guitar compositions, in which Daniel employs plenty of looping, delays, reverb and other processed effects. 

The title piece, “Reflections for Angels Unaware”, introduces a hazy electric guitar melody in a repeating and reverberating loop throughout. Setting the tone for the rest of the album, Daniel adds varied interesting effects to these reflective and meditative soundscapes. “Marching Tapestries” ensues with gently layered guitar plucks that serve as the composition’s steadily rhythmic marching pace, while dually highlighting a head-nodding guitar jam throughout.

Read the rest of the review at Journeyscapes Radio website by clicking here


The Loneliness of the Long Distance Space Traveler by Radium 88

Reviewed by Hypnagogue website

Allow me first to confess my love of Radium 88’s signature sound. On their website they say—and I love this—that they wanted to
“make music that sounds the way William Gibson reads.” Sum it up thus: sad piano melodies, doses of doppler, electronic backdrops, house beats where they’re needed, and the heartache-laden voice of Jema Davies telling us stories. Put these together in manners that vary really only slightly, toss in some raw guitar now and then, and off we go. The Loneliness of the Long Distance Space Traveler serves up fourteen helpings of this sound and style, and I have to say that while I enjoy the whole ride, it really stands out for me when Tim Thwaites busts out that guitar and starts cranking. He hits it first on “Who Will Save Us From The Waves,” when a big crunch of distortion-heavy axe roars up out of a sequencer line.

Read the rest of the review at Hypnagogue by clicking here.


Eyes to the Height by James Murray

Reviewed by Textura website


Each James Murray release seems to capture a different side of this resolutely explorative producer, with earlier collections having focused on guitar-based soundscaping, electroacoustic minimalism, and ambient-electronic meditations. Hints of what might stylistically surface on his seventh solo album, Eyes to the Height, were intimated by the recent Ghostwalk EP, which, like the new full-length, brought things full circle for Murray, given that his 2008 debut, Where Edges Meet, also was released on Ultimae Records. That the EP included remixes of the title track itself suggested changes the full-length might introduce when Murray and Kinosura each threaded beats into the title tune's framework. That dimension aside, Eyes to the Height's primary focal point is atmospheric ambient-electronic music of a deeply sultry kind.    

Read the rest of the review at Textura by clicking here.


Four Days In My Life by Louis Colaiannia 

Reviewed by Kathy Parsons of Mainly Piano website

I’m very excited about pianist/composer/keyboardist Louis Colaiannia’s Four Days In My Life because most of the music on the album was composed during a four-day period when Louis was here in Florence, Oregon in June 2015. He did a house concert here during that time, but it sounds like most of the rest of his time was spent with his keyboard either on the beach or watching the ocean from his hotel room. The calming effect of being by the ocean is apparent in the music, which was recorded at Will Ackerman’s Imaginary Road Studio and features a stellar line-up of musicians. Colaiannia has an extensive background in classical music as well as jazz, so his music is varied and distinctive. None of the ten pieces are solo piano this time, but all are original piano-based compositions and most include at least four additional instruments.   

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


Atlantis Trilogy: Brave New World by Robert Slap

Reviewed by John Shanahan of Hypnagogue

My confession: This review is quite late in coming because Robert Slap caught me on a day where my professed—and untoward—bias against the use of overt New Age tropes was turned to high. I saw the word “Atlantis” and the Papyrus font, and I thought, here we go again. So I nudged it over to the no-thanks pile. Fast forward to me putting together a recent podcast episode, shuffling the music in my library, and this quite good, if obviously New Age, track comes on, and it’s Robert Slap. So here’s the review. Yes, Atlantis Trilogy: Brave New World, the final installment in Slap’s story of the lost kingdom, has its very, very New Age moments and does wander a bit into too-sweet or too-melodramatic territories for me, but there’s also some very good work here.    

Read the rest of the review at Hypnagogue by clicking here.


Beneath a Darkening Sky by David Arkenstone

Reviewed by Candice Michelle of Journeyscapes Radio  

Recorded by candlelight during the winter season, “Beneath a Darkening Sky” is multi-instrumentalist and award-winning composer David Arkenstone’s boldest foray yet into dark neoclassical and haunting ambient terrain. Comprised of seven tracks spanning just under an hour, the compositions vary from seven to nine minutes in length. Composed, performed and produced by David Arkenstone on electronic instruments and synthesizers, as well as old-world instruments, he is joined throughout by Luanne Homzy on violin and viola, along with Susan Craig Winsberg on flute and Irish pennywhistle.   

Read the rest of the review at Journeyscapes Radio website by clicking here.


The River of Life by Rebecca Harrold

Reviewed by RJ Lannan of Zone Music Reporter website  

With the Flow We Journey           

Because I like science fiction, I often think of time as a river. Endlessly flowing, taking the form of the landscape around it or better still, forming the landscape itself. Contemporary pianist Rebecca Harrold's release, The River of Life is similar. Her music is affected by her journey through time, but her experiences shape the music so to speak. The River of Life is thirteen tracks of calmative music that runs serenely through the mind and heart. Like water, wherever it touches, it gently shapes our thoughts and fill our souls with uplifting warmth. 

Rebecca Harrold's list of accomplishments in the music and dance world would fill this page, so suffice it to say she knows her business. She is an accomplished pianist and singer that contributes so much of her talent to many causes. Although originally from Ohio, Rebecca travels throughout New England composing, singing and collaborating with a great number of musical enterprises. Joining her on The River of Life are almost a dozen talented artists from the Imaginary Studios line up, including Will Ackerman himself in the role of producer and Froggy Bottom guitar player.

Read the rest of the review at Zone Music Reporter website by clicking here.


Falling Towards Atlantis by Luna Firma

Reviewed by John Shanahan of Hypnagogue website  

The debut release from Luna Firma, the duo of Kuutana and Eric “the” Taylor, is a graceful, narrative-driven album filled with small sounds and vivid aural imagery. There is plenty of thematic set dressing here, from the sounds of waves and seagulls to distant howls of wolves, but for the most part it’s underplayed. For me, that’s a plus. I don’t mind that kind of stuff, but it’s very easy to get too heavy-handed with it. Kuutana and Taylor ease it into a place where you know it’s present, but it never gets in the way of simply enjoying the music. (Although for me, admittedly, those seagulls come mighty close.) “Between Me and the Sea” sets the scene with wave sounds and shimmering tones, then brings in piano to open the vista. The backdrop is both fluid and dreamlike, and a nice dose of echo gives it dimension.

Read the rest of the review at the Hypnagogue website by clicking here


Where Butterflies Dance by Ann Sweeten

Reviewed by RJ Lannan of the Zone Music Reporter website  

On The Lighter Side         

Where Butterflies Dance is New Age pianist Ann Sweeten's twelfth album and perhaps her most upbeat recording to date. Much of her previous material chronicled her personal roller coaster journey with pain and emotional upheaval. Listening to her latest, it sounds like Ann has finally had a chance to musically catch her breath and take time to smell the roses once again. Ann's music has a way of giving the listener a sense of comfort and optimism. This album has the same promise. Where Butterflies Dance was co-produced by Ann and Will Ackerman of Imaginary Road Studios and mixed by Master Tom Eaton. Joining Ann are Charlie Bisharat, Eugene Friesen, Akane Setiawan, Jeff Pearce, Trish Craig, Andrew Eng and Will Ackerman on Klein guitar.  

A Trace of You opens with a demonstrative sense of yearning in a captivating piano ballad. You can imagine sad blue eyes staring off in the distance, hours that languish into days, and a broken heart that searches within its own depths for a memory.

Read the rest of the review at the Zone Music Reporter website by clicking here.


Voyager by Catherine Duc

Reviewed by RJ Lannan of the Zone Music Reporter website  

There was a time when the only power available to civilization was muscle and wind. Once the force of the wind was harnessed, oceans became the means to discover everything that was within our grasp. Imagine that it is some time in the early seventeen hundreds and the world is dominated by wooden ships with massive sails. Now travel with me through time and merge the music of composer Catherine Duc. We join her and her album Voyager as she travels around the globe using her delightful compositions. No port is too remote, no island too inconsequential, and no mountain too inland to ignore. Keep in mind that once we get on land we might use other conveyances. Voyager offers us elven Celtic and World songs using flute, violin, keyboards, guitars, cello and Uilleann pipes as well as some whispery and sung vocals. Let us begin the journey. 

With a wash of ocean waves and flourish of Kelly Hood's Uilleann pipes, the opening song Owen's Boat begins. I felt as if I was drawn into a Lord of the Dance scenario with this uplifting tune. The music promises so many things; adventure, danger, and fortune of many kinds. I was thrilled to be on board.

Read the rest of this review at the Zone Music Reporter website by clicking here

 

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