Artists: Jacob Newman and Devin Underwood
Album: The Vivid Unmapped

Released: 31 May 2011
Label: dataObscura

The Vivid Unmapped
There is a part of us that is deeper than just our own thinking, a part that keeps us connected to the rest of The Universe. The Vivid Unmapped (63'32") by Jacob Newman and Devin Underwood is quite representative of Ambient Music's power to touch this part of us. The Vivid Unmapped fully embraces the ideas behind this most indistinct form of music. There are no big beats, no climax, no narrative sense - this work seems in equal measures natural and alien, and definitely alive. With their shapeless collection of tonally diverse moments Newman and Underwood go deep into music's relationship with space. Inharmonic forms interact to create sonic fields out of this duo's perpetual and meticulous adjustment to sound. A finely wrought sonic experience The Vivid Unmapped makes a sharp departure from realism as the opening section's field recordings overlaid with synth moans and drones gives way to reverberant guitar and piano notes rising above an expanse of swirling breathing timbres. The eight rich sonic environments drift through the CD's span - with each movement bringing another resonating impressionistic mood. Present in this work is a feeling for poetic association as tones and forms hint at acoustic instruments as well as natural sounds of the Earth itself. Through music technology Newman and Underwood portray a tamed natural world, converting it into a sphere that is responsive to their wishes - an extension of themselves. The listener will notice the intelligence behind the moody atmospheres, and realize how rare and beautiful it is to have an album grounded in instinct.

- Chuck van Zyl/STAR'S END   29 September 2011

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