Relaxed Machinery

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My review on "Wanderlust" CD by Terra Ambient

Jeff Kowal aka Terra Ambient has released his 3rd album (2nd on Lotuspike) just before the summer of 2009, so quite a long time passed since 2004 when his previous applauded "The Gate" album was released. The album opens very quietly with "Myth", but this piece grows slowly into more dramatic and grandiose parts featuring harsh guitars. Quite a radical change when comparing to more peaceful soundscaping of "The Gate". But don't be scared, this fresh blend of deep atmospherics, tribal beats and expressive guitars is another step in Jeff's highly crafted and refined sound sculpting. His tribal ambience finely infused with right amount of roughness sounds absolutely exciting, a truly extraordinary listening experience from the very beginning of "Wanderlust"!!! "Mudfoot" is another standout piece carefully melting electronics with wide range of acoustics, highly turbulent composition, again enriched by treated guitars. What a beauty! Mysteriously deep atmospherics on "Visionquest" later transform into percussion-driven texture with crispy pulsing electronics, a really ear-catching cut! Organics open title track "Wanderlust", but soon this composition moves into absolutely exciting level where deeper washes and gentle tribal beats are spiced by expressive flutes, didgeridoos, bells and strange otherwordly sounds. Man, this must be one of the most sophisticated and distinct tracks Jeff ever made and also one of my personal faves in the genre!!! "Mammoth" attracts with its more minimal structure with slowly developing and more active rich desert ambience. Deeper drones on "Epilogue" are nicely colored with storm sounds and highly evocative flute work, primordial ambience at its best!!! Album closer, "The Ghost In Me", is another highly nature-influenced track, this time attractively colored with delicate piano tunes, but also by additional guitar ambience magics of Jeff Pearce. A track with truly tranquilizing effect! What to write at the end? "Wanderlust", with outstanding sound quality, is not only the most colorful work of Terra Ambient, but also the most refined and polished one showing skilled artistry of this Lotuspike co-owner. Great job, Jeff!!! You can be sure that "Wanderlust" takes me each time on my own journey.

Richard Gürtler (Jul 16, 2011, Bratislava, Slovakia)

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Tags: Ambient, Jeff, Kowal, Lotuspike, Terra, Wanderlust, review

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