ambient Archive

Album Review: Humanbeing – Humanbeing

Rossano Baldini has a background in soundtrack work and scoring as well as jazz. This new release takes his music somewhere that’s both consistent with those pursuits and pushing the boundaries of his styles. Wholly instrumental, Humanbeing is an album of gentle soundscapes, often realized using electronic instruments yet wonderfully organic in its realization. The

Album Review: Richard Barbieri — Under a Spell

For several years, Richard Barbieri was the keyboardist in art rock band Japan; his atmospheric work was a key component of that band’s sound. And once Steven Wilson transformed his DIY project Porcupine Tree into an actual band, Barbieri performed a similar role in that group. (No-man was a sort of bridge between those projects,

Album Review: Robert Jürjendal – Water Finds a Way

Keeping up with such matters as I do, I’ve learned that there are quite a few different ways of coping with the realities of 2020 and beyond. That’s especially true for creative types. Some have gone to ground; others are in full creative flower. Estonian guitarist Robert Jürjendal is most definitely in the latter category.

Hundred-word Reviews: February 2021, Part 2

These five fall loosely – okay, sometimes very loosely – into the progressive and jazz categories. The Mastelottos – Too Much Happiness Though Robert Fripp’s recent video series with pulchritudinous wife Toyah Willcox have shown that he, too has a sense of humor and a light touch, it’s King Crimson’s Pat Mastelotto who perhaps reigns

Hundred-word Reviews for November 2020, Part Two

Here’s five more quick reviews. Powerpop, ambient, jazz and more. Nick Frater – Fast & Loose The title might lead the uninitiated to suspect that Nick Frater’s album is something along the lines of the Stooges. Well, it’s not. Instead, it’s melodic, tuneful and highly appealing rock that has the best elements of subgenres (classic-,

Sarah Louise’s Atmospheric Americana

Describing herself as a musical omnivore, Sarah Louise makes music that draws inspiration from seemingly unrelated styles. The prolific Asheville musician has released five albums since her 2015 debut; three of those have come out just since early 2019. Her latest, Earth and its Contents finds her applying her talents to enhance the work of

Ultimate Trip: Riverside Sets Sight on North America (Part Three)

Continued from Part Two… You mentioned Lunatic Soul. To date, you’ve done a very good job of keeping Lunatic Soul as a separate project distinct from Riverside. Do you ever see a time in which the two might blend into a single project? I don’t think so. Of course, I’m the main composer in Riverside,

Ultimate Trip: Riverside Sets Sight on North America (Part Two)

Continued from Part One… The first three Riverside albums are a trilogy, but recent releases don’t so much have that conceptual continuity. Is the idea of conceptually-linked releases something that you’ve left behind? Reality Dream Trilogy was connected mostly because of the lyrics, mostly because of the Travis Smith [album] covers. And the music, let’s

Ultimate Trip: Riverside Sets Sight on North America (Part One)

Riverside isn’t exactly a household name in the American music scene, but the Polish rock group is on a mission to change that. Founded in 2001, the band balances metal, progressive and ambient approaches with a strong emphasis on melody. The group’s 2003 debut, Out of Myself, didn’t chart, but by the time of 2005’s

Free Planet Radio: Music from Alpha to Delta

For 17 years now, instrumental trio Free Planet Radio has been making its compelling brand of world music, suffusing jazz and pop forms with elements drawn from musical traditions around the globe. On its latest album, Stillness, the Asheville-based group takes a slightly different approach, crafting an album of contemplative, near-ambient compositions. Free Planet Radio