Last year I already focused on monumental space odyssey "Distant Stars" by this highly respected New Zealander, now it's time to re-explore another of Rudy Adrian's masterworks and strongly notable desert wanderings. Inspired by his 2002 trip with exploring The Arches and Canyon Lands National Parks in Utah, "Desert Realms" (released in 2008) is absolutely fascinating journey through breathtaking sceneries of arid and rugged desert landscapes with eroded sandstone forms and canyons. It starts with "Saguaro Silhouette", a very calm and dreamy ambience nicely flavored with Rudy's expressive wordless voice magics. And as much majestic as this large, tree-sized cactus. I really like the way the voice is used to support the overall feel of this composition. On the next piece, "Pathway", Rudy brings back his frequent guest, Nick Prosser, who is responsible for baroque flute wizardry on few tracks. Flute magics are wonderfully balanced with Rudy's soundscapes. The title track, "Desert Realms", is absolutely peaceful sonic medicine, a truly mesmerizing trip perfectly corresponding with its title!!! Slowed-down tribals with tinkling bells and poignant voices are heading "Circling Hawk", a deeply evocative composition! Follow warmly floating "Fading Light" and nostalgic "Subterranean River", the later beautifully enriched by mournful bells and submerging organics, another stunning ambience! Sounds of thunder and rain and Nick Prosser's highly sensitive flute work nicely color the next remarkable piece, "Cloudburst". "Starlight" is another beautifully floating aerial voyage, with deeply serene and mesmerizing effect, for me, one of the masterpieces on this album. But the spectacular beauty of Utah's natural miracles is emphasised also on the next two strongly ethereal compositions, "Of Clouds And Mountains" and "Rocks Under Moonlight", truly captivating late night sky journeying!!! Bird calls "At The Edge Of The Desert" and catchy piano tune bring this masterful album to the end. "Desert Realms" is certainly not only one of the milestones in 12-album discography of Rudy Adrian, but this utterly beautiful and magnificent work could become a memorable classic in desert ambient genre.
Richard Gürtler (Aug 07, 2011, Bratislava, Slovakia)