Artist: Craig Padilla
Album: Heaven Condensed

Label: Spotted Peccary
Released: 8 January 2016

Heaven Condensed Craig Padilla
With Heaven Condensed (74'10") Craig Padilla onwards his additions to the continuing revolution of Electronic Music. Using the language and intelligence of a mature artist, and technology that pre-dates the digital revolution; he explores fresh sounds and reaches new heights. Padilla obviously feels the poetic inspiration of the past. In places his music glows, while in others it seems to have been worked out to a schematic. Obviously, Heaven Condensed is more than the mere invention of an engineer. Rising above shadow and suspense, this music seems to unfold on its own. Using chords as blocks of sound Padilla's spacey inclinations move through melodic pleasantries, and on to a more emotionally resonant Spacemusic. Heaven Condensed establishes a separate realm, one which reflects truths about our own. Its gradually changing emotional shades are designed in atmospheric values - and are therefore not so easily grasped. Ethereal voices hover above a breathing current of electronic harmonies, as a rumbling low-end helps ground us to the surface of whatever planet we happen to be on. With murmuring synthesizers flowing beneath glittering modulations, reverberant piano notes augment a dancing synth arpeggio. Building upon an electronic nocturne, and its solemn tonal effect, Padilla occasionally introduces mounting sequencer excursions - resulting in brighter, more kinetic passages. With the digital dark receding into the distance, Padilla's music stretches moment after moment through time. A constant stimulation to the imagination, the four arrangements on Heaven Condensed contain a subtle diversity of tonal color and timbral development - artistic refinements which are nevertheless present to an attentive ear. From a wild darkness, and the hauntingly sparse, to luxuriant beauty and elegiac tenderness, Padilla's synthetic sonorities have great effect on the nervous system, and produce a satisfying state of consciousness for the listener. Great works of music inspire deeper thinking about life, love, mortality... The Big Questions. Whatever its message, the emotional flux of this music will keep swirling in our heads.

- Chuck van Zyl/STAR'S END   5 May 2016

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