The genre of Spacemusic is truly a lost continent of sound. Those venturing into this expanse often return with vivid discoveries. One of our most intrepid explorers is Craig Padilla. On Beyond the Portal (65'43") he brings together past collaborators Skip Murphy and Zero Ohms (a.k.a. Richard J. Roberts) for yet another beautiful foray into sound and space. Their movement on this album is always towards affirmation. Padilla, Roberts and Murphy create an atmosphere of constant sonic motion as sweeping synth pads and rumbling drones gently swirl beneath reverberant wooden flute tones. Wispy digital voices drift amidst a piano played so deliberately that the notes seem to strike then bloom into the ether. Further out twinkling stardust, rustled by cosmic winds, conjures a luminescent ambiance. The first two of the three movements are quiet and mysterious. Vast in their proportions every phrase is shaped and colored with fantasy. The end of the third section is more extroverted, with its concluding sequencer piece shining brightly on the compositional landscape. The gentle energy extends and retracts as reiterating patterns slowly build beneath long lines of synthesized tones. Many people miss the complexity of this music, both in its spiritual and compositional qualities. This trio seeks the way to a better world. Beyond the Portal is their soundtrack for the journey.
- Chuck van Zyl/STAR'S END 11 March 2009