Multi-instrumentalist Carlos Dengler rests easy at the outer reaches of Ambient Music. His Aqueduct (60'40") is brimming with ideas, but never tells us what to think. As self-assured as it is exploratory this is not a flashy album. It possesses a warmth and excitement (seemingly from the process of creation) that is satisfying, even joyous to the listener. Under the pervading, probing nature of Spacemusic, the drifting quality of Ambient and the caressing comfort of New Age, Aqueduct maintains the unique connection between sound and spirit. A vibe will carry you further than solid ideas can, and Dengler's polished performances reveal genuine emotional content. Flowing between a number of sincere moods, from somber elegance to playful luxuriousness and daydream dramatics, mystical melodies move the music into illuminated space - while elsewhere gray atmospheres direct us toward decidedly subdued sonic hues. Agile arrangements and meticulous timing indicate great abilities and technique, yet this work for the quiet mind glows softly. With guitar, flute, bass, piano, voice, light percussion and synthesizers, most listeners will slip through states of awareness, enjoying the wonderful journey between their internal life and the resonating listening space. Heightened by hints of the otherworldly the seven tracks are easy to listen to, yet are still capable of provoking thought. With its subtle intricacies, clear beginnings and dramatic resolutions, we leave this realm feeling better for having had experienced this music. Even as Aqueduct plays out in fluid sensitivity to detail and tone, it withholds secrets. It is wonderful company - even more so with the familiarity brought by additional listening.
Chuck van Zyl/STAR'S END - 9 June 2022