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I always wanted to put down few lines on this breathtaking beauty by Swedish Between Interval project of the sole creator, Stefan Strand. Recorded and released in 2005 on Spotted Peccary label, under his previous family name of Stefan Jönsson and at the age of 23 only!!! The flow of this enormously absorbing odyssey begins with "Garden Of The Divine", longer composition clocking over 18-minute mark. The listener is immediately transported into unexplored and infinite realms filled with drama and depth, where Stefan paints magnificently immersing textures with gradually rising, cascading or ever-changing intensity. The richness and power of these aural atmospheres is absolutely thrilling and immense. Outer space explorations have never sounded better!!! For me, "Garden Of The Divine" can be easily considered a milestone in the genre of deep space ambient. Ultra deep, monstrous drones invade "Surreptitious Ritual", a 15-minute piece, and graciously soar through many, carefully sculpted movements and levels to discover secrets of mysterious planets. This genius performance continues also on the next, again longer composition, "Forested Veins", dominated by unfathomable drones and circling humming sound, with additional sharp sonic eruptions and high-tech pulses precisely integrated into this highly spectacular cybernetic escapade. Stefan again masterfully succeeds in reaching harmony between dark and light images. Abyssal, slow-motion drones invade "Entropy", the shortest piece reaching nearly 9 minutes, and are gently enriched by distant alien breathings and mysterious voices. The closing 3 minutes slip into more peaceful, celestial mood, yet still gradually progressing and holding the attention to the very end. A truly grandiose finale!!! "Secret Observatory" is crafted with refined artistry, richly packed with both, darker and brighter sonic visions, which gracefully swirl around your ears and will surely mesmerize your imagination. For me, one of the most sophisticated masterworks in deep space journeying!!! Could be described as a magnum opus for Between Interval, but "Secret Observatory" was followed by another two phenomenal albums in 2006 and 2009. But that's a different story...
Richard Gürtler (Apr 01, 2012, Bratislava, Slovakia)