Artist: Vidna Obmana
Album: The Contemporary Nocturne

Label: Hypnos

The Contemporary Nocturne Vidna Obmana
Having released 24 albums over a career spanning 16 years, Vidna Obmana's music has survived the descriptions: gently atmospheric, post-industrial, tribal ambient, minimalistic, textural, abrasive, isolationist ambient, Fourth World, post-classical, and even traditional. On his latest recording, The Contemporary Nocturne, Vidna Obmana again challanges the musical genre categorizers of the world.

The Contemporary Nocturne was conceived of as the completion of the journey begun with The Surreal Sanctuary. The new album continues to explore the secret emotions that inspire Vidna Obmana's music. The album is paced like a night walk through wilderness terrain. Travellers to these musical hinterlands must take utmost care as to where they place their next step forward.

We begin in the same strange sonic landscape where left at the conclusion of The Surreal Sanctuary. The listener slowly moves through the uncertainty, led on by odd vignettes which provide an unsettling focus. Powerful overtone flute solos are processed and mutated into a kind of dark fanfare for the underworld. A reverberant voice hangs sweetly in the dense atmosphere like a benevolent spectre. Before we are consumed by the tension, mystery and doubt, layers of complexly harmonic chords arise quietly from afar. The musical shift compares to the relief felt by a steadying hand in the darkness. The mood resolves as the music builds, leading the listener safely to journey's end.

As The Contemporary Nocturne tests the technological limits of the gear used to realize the unique timbres found on this album, so it also tests the listener's ability to reach beyond themselves and the limits of experience. Part soul's lament, part defining moment, The Contemporary Nocturne will stand much analysis before giving up its secrets to the inquisitive listener.

- Chuck van Zyl/STAR'S END   28 October 2000

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