Artist: Robert Rich
Album: Neurogenesis

Released: 1 December 2020
Label: Soundscape

Neurogenesis Robert Rich
With an advancing career propelling itself forward in a series of bold fresh starts Robert Rich brings us the forward facing fire of Neurogenesis (48'04"). Rousing and artfully constructed it evokes the passions of a free-roaming mind. As is the case with Rich releases, this mighty outpouring abides by its own rules. The sounds exhibit a force of their own, and lend the seven tracks each a unique depth. Retreating into thought, after a proper listening the music on Neurogenesis lingers and coalesces in the mind. Choosing the beauty of a less familiar harmony this album's somatic timbres swell to brief brilliance, flicker, then recede into a somewhere far away. About space and the act of listening these undulant environments produce dizzying impressions of infinite distance - all the while in tension with its dense encephalic locale. The bright feathery textures form featureless realms - though a restless sonority traverses the orbital night. But the resulting reverie yields to underlying energy fields, as moody rambles merge with crisply shattered geometries in tightly ratcheting tone patterns. The cycling sequencer notes wind in spark plug rotation - emitting power, declaring stability, summoning the future. Drifting from a vague dreaminess to dramatically directed momentum Rich's steel guitar lines snake and writhe beneath arrangements of amplified scale. The tight concentration and vigor of his liquid leads provide contrast to wondrously expressive flute solos. Conjuring huge forces while constantly tuning our minds these notes last only as long as the player's breath - which enables these pieces to touch at a human level. In translating electronic currents into sonic textures chords move from the deep-toned to the light and radiant - melting the experimental mood under a sudden gravity. In his self-revealing expressions Rich understands the spell he continues to cast on us. From its stirrings of disquiet and subtly graduated dynamics, to regions where the score is applied like a balm, Neurogenesis locates the quietly burning point of a single soul. Many of us are feeling the punishing isolation of our era. Yet for creative types dispossession is part of their natural state - as they need a substantial amount of alone time in which to ply and advance their craft. So now is the time to experiment and be creative, to work - not as a distraction, but rather as a prayer, a hope... for a time yet to come.

- Chuck van Zyl/STAR'S END   17 December 2020

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