Various Artists
Album: Sounds of a Universe Overheard

Released: December 2007
Label: Hypnos

Sounds of a Universe Overheard
Sounds of a Universe Overheard (70'10") complies works by a cross-section of artists working in the field of Ambient Music. As no mainstays of the genre are present, the ten names should rouse only nominal interest from the less adventurous. Good thing too that the heavy-hitters are absent as this group has collectively asked itself, "what can I do differently from what has come before?". This resulted in ten distinctly different tracks, yet all reside well within the region of introspective space. At one corner is Dwight Ashley. His "Behold the Trampled Wheat" is teasingly arcane, yet invites endless analysis. Moving between digital dissonance and symphonic consonance it brings nothingness and being into equilibrium. Although "Ghost Nebula" by dreamState seems to sustain an atmosphere, it is delicately changing colour and tone throughout its course. The arrangement of synth pads and reverberant effects provide a beautiful and sophisticated drifting experience. M Peck descends into himself on "Somna" to conjure up a coarse sonic environment. Through the placement of manipulated samples and electronic detritus around the rising and falling of drones, this piece creates a sense of place - one that is entirely within the listener. After over an hour of intriguing music, the disc closes with "Float" by Tau Ceti. A warm and airy work for analogue synthesizer, this piece does not mean to further distort reality. With its lovely chords and lilting melody, this composition is a welcome resolution to a fascinating aural exploration.

- Chuck van Zyl/STAR'S END   27 March 2008

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