Tangram's Music Blog

Electronic Rock Reviews & Other Atmospheric Stuff..

Transcend With Time – The Calling Whisper (2011)

The new album ‘The Calling Whisper’ is another masterpiece by talented musician Mark Mendieta, in my ears. It doesn’t follow the directions from the previous album ‘A Haunting Presence’ to a hundred percent, mostly because this time around TWT’s new album is completely instrumental. What you will experience on ‘The Calling Whisper’ is a majestic opus, a hauntingly beautiful album that carries you away with synth driven soundscapes & guitar themes from start to finish.

The opener ‘The Calling Whisper’ is probably the most haunting (and somewhat dark) piece on the whole album. It does a good job in leading the listener deep into a rather deep cinematic experience. It could best be described as a good opening track to a thriller/horror movie if you ask me. Other remarkable tracks are ‘As The Angels Tread’ & ‘Across The Serene’. Both tracks really showcases some of TWT’s most emotional synth passages along with nice guitar playing that keeps the excitement up and going. But the real cracker here is ‘Beside The Mirror’. It’s a highly versatile piece of ambience, ranging from light ethereal synth moods to dark and mysterious passages. One of the very best & unique tracks on this album!.

I would say that this album is a soundtrack to a movie not yet made. It’s very easy to start conjuring up images and scenes while listening to it, much because it’s very haunting atmosphere, that at times, leaves you quite breathless. Much in the ambient music “scene” has already been done over and over, again and again, but with ‘The Calling Whisper’ we do get to hear something rather exciting and fresh to the ears!.

And speaking of fresh to the ears. If you’re familiar with TWT’s previous album ‘A Haunting Presence’ then you’ll probably love this offering too. The only major difference on this album is that it’s 100% instrumental, no vocals at all. If that’s a good or bad thing, you decide, but personally I prefer this album over the debut as I’m more into instrumental music than anythting else. Also, this offering is a bit more structured and versatile, and the production sounds even better, too!.

So the verdict is, if you’ve heard most of the ambient music out there today and you’re looking for something quite ground breaking, then this great versatile thought-provoking album is for you!. Highly recommended!

November 23, 2011 Posted by | Atmospheric/New Age Music, New Age Music, Progressive Electronic Music | | Leave a comment

Transcend With Time – A Haunting Presence

The music on ‘A Haunting Presence’ can best be described as progressive New Age/Ambient, sometimes infused with a small ammount of rock influenses. The soundscapes are highly melodic and ethereal, and will take you to places only your dreams can generate. One of my favourite tracks on this album has to be ‘Through Shifting Lines’ as it has a great deal of melodic guitar textures that shines through like a pendulum from start to finish. Other great notable tracks are ‘Into A Solace Room’ , with (as the album title says) it’s haunting and evocative feeling throughout, and the track ‘Beneath’ which is a rockier and more uptempo piece that keeps the pulse going on strong. The album closes in with the beautiful piano driven piece called ‘ In Seclusion’. This song is indeed gorgeous, especially if you play it loud using headphones!. All that said, ‘Transcend With Time’ will, without a doubt, immerse you into a haunting presence. It’s an astonishing and versatile album that demands attention and repeated listenings to really grow on you. It could perhaps best be described as a mix of Clannad (their instrumental works), Jeff Woodall and Simeon Harris. That said, pour all of these artists in a mixer and add some of  Mark’s own imaginary ideas, and this is the music you’ll get!. Recommended!!

April 27, 2011 Posted by | Atmospheric/New Age Music, New Age Music, Progressive Electronic Music | | Leave a comment

Cymphonic & Vintage H – Post Mortem Investigations (2010)

Now here’s an album that demands deep och concentrated listening. I remember loving the first album by Cymphonic called ‘Strataradialis’, much because of the extremely haunting and breathtaking atmosphere it surrounded me in. After a while I almost felt “drugged” to the extent I had to take off my headphones for a while to let my mind and ears rest. The album was that good, and ‘Post Mortem Investigations’ is just that…..and more.

The new album continues very much in the same vain, with a deep, abstract, and surreal atmosphere. While listening to this album (particularly on repeat, using a good pair of headphones!) I get sucked right into the infectious and haunting atmosphere of ‘Post Mortem Investigations’ before I know it. I can easily imagine and/or picture myself somewhere far away from home, observing what’s going on around me in other parts of the world, and what other people are doing etc. Use headphones for maximum pleasure, as you will feel sucked in after just 2 minutes or so. The music is highly surreal, and takes both mind and soul to far away places. It is very hard to resist the experience that this album has to offer. Highly recommended album for fans of abstract ambient music such as Brian Eno, Bruno Sanfillippo and ‘The Glimmer Room’!. Very highly recommended!

March 22, 2011 Posted by | Atmospheric/New Age Music, New Age Music | , | 1 Comment

David Helpling & Jon Jenkins – The Crossing

Just when you thought David Helpling & Jon Jenkins were at their heights with the album ‘Treasure’, the album ‘The Crossing’ has surfaced after 2 years of waiting. And what a stunning album it is!. And I always thought ‘Treasure’ would be unbeatable, boy how wrong could I be. With ‘The Crossing’ they have pushed their creative musical ideas and inspiration to the next level. The album itself is a highly melodic synth journey, very similar to ‘Treasure’, only this time there is an ever deeper (and somewhat darker) melodic feel to it. All the tracks are incredibly well structured, and contains some of the most gorgeous sonic soundscapes I have ever heard before. Both the synths and the percussion plays a very important role in this album, with it’s melodic themes washing over you on most of the tracks. It is so lush and infectious that you will want to listen to the album on repeat, again…and again!. With tracks such as ‘From the Smallest Seed’ and ‘To the ends of the Earth’, these artists have eclipsed themselves. These tracks are a synth feast for your ears and contains the most stunning synth sequencing I have ever heard in my entire life, no doubt about that. It reminds me alot of tracks such as ‘This Day Forward’ & ‘The Frozen Channel’ from the album ‘Treasure’. Brilliant melodic atmosphere!. Other notable tracks are ‘For The Fallen’ and ‘Not Forgotten’. There’s a sense of depth and mystery to them and will surely evoke your deepest inner feelings. Another moody yet melodic piece is ‘Two Paths. With this track you will be in for another highly cinematic treat!. It builds very slowly with echoing guitar textures and lush synth work, and has tons of atmosphere to it. It’s another melodic soundscape that washes over your ears in a very delicate way. All in all, this album has it all in it’s very own and unique (but typical Helpling/Jenkins signature sound) way. It’s drenched in elusive textures, guitars, synths, and percussion that forms this ambient masterpiece way beyond words. It will take you on a journey to the ends of the earth…and back!. I can’t recommend this album enough, wish I could give it 10 stars instead of 5!.  Another winning epic masterpiece!. Buy it without hesitation, and do it…NOW!!

September 14, 2010 Posted by | Atmospheric/New Age Music, New Age Music, Progressive Electronic Music | | 2 Comments

Rick Rascati – Skywatcher “Travelling Without Moving”

I came across this beautifully crafted CD while browsing CDBABY for new Ambient/New Age music. And I can’t say I’m disappointed a bit!. This release contains a strong versatile mix of tunes, with everything ranging from ambient and atmospheric synth layers to a more uptempo trance music feel. I don’t know how Rick managed to combine all these beautiful elements the way he did it, but I do know this. If you like ‘Tangerine Dream’ and ‘Future World Orchestra’, then this album is definetely for you!. Even some ‘Serrie’ sounding synth textures can be heard, especially on the first track ‘TimeSpaceContinuum’, which is one of the best pieces on the disc after the incredibly spacey (and TD sounding) ‘Heaven’s Path’, a track that has some incredibly stunning and swooshing synth layers that will capture your ears before you know it!. The whole CD is an infectious thrillride through the many aspects of the EM ‘scene’ and will take you to otherworldly places in the universe with it’s majestic and spacey sound and feel. It’s like travelling without moving!. All in all, this is a well crafted epic release full of lush sounds not of this earth, created by a very unique artist that I will be looking forward to in the future!. So what can I say? Another must-buy!!

August 25, 2010 Posted by | Atmospheric/New Age Music, New Age Music, Space Music, Synth Music | | Leave a comment

Andrew Forrest – Infinite Octaves “Sonic Soundscapes That Leaves You Breathless!”

There are times in our life’s when we want to escape reality for a while, times when we simply have had enough of everyday stress in life. I had the latter not long ago, and was looking for something very spectacular, not to mention epic, in terms of space-music (I’m a die-hard space-music/new age fan myself)) so I stumbled across this masterpiece called ‘Infinite Octaves’ by Andrew Forrest while browsing CDBABY for new ambient/space music, and boy am I glad I did?!. This is exactly what I’ve been wanting, and have been looking for for “ages”. The album is truly spectacular, both in terms of how immersive it is, and how it’s structured. Surely, most of us “space enthusiasts” knows about Jonn Serrie and hail him as the “King” of space-music, but Andrew Forrest must be getting very close, and certainly with this masterpiece!. I even think he surpasses some of Jonn’s better albums with this release. What you will get here is stunning beauty from start to finish. All tracks are floating in and out, creating a masterfully done sonic soundscape that breathes along in a magnificent way. There are moments with some very deep-space sounding atmospheric sounds, just to change with long floating beautifully done sequencing. And speaking of beautiful sequencing. Listen to tracks such as ‘Through the Seventh Stargate’ and ‘Beyond the Beyond’ and you will be in for a treat. It’s such a dreamlike album, and it will grab your attention from the very first track to the very last track (and second!) with it’s beautifully layered sequencing and a stunning cinematic soundscapes that leaves you breathless!. I will, without a doubt, give this album a 5 star rating!. This is definetely Andrew Forrest at his best. Epic!!

August 17, 2010 Posted by | Atmospheric/New Age Music, New Age Music, Space Music | | Leave a comment

Michael Neil – Silent Light “Enchanting Soundscapes”

The latest installment by the UK sound sculpture ‘Michael Neil’ called ‘Silent Light’ is yet another incredible effort that keeps inspiring and amaze me more and more with each listen. The music could best be described as contemporary New Age music, much in the same vein as Tim Story. I have most of Neil’s CD’s and this one is one of my favourites after ‘Trust’ from 1995. There is a depth and soul to these enchanting soundscapes similar to what you can hear on his CD ‘Towards The Unknown Region’. And this is especially notable on the track ‘Sea Life, which is one of the stand-out tracks on the CD. Much because it has a haunting yet emotional feel to it that captures your ears (and mind) instantly. A beautiful piece!.

Another wonderful track is the opener ‘Silent Light’. It builds very nicely in quite a complex and moody way, without being repetitive or anything like that. What really does it to me in this track is the echoing piano, being played in THE most beautiful way you can imagine. Again, the structure reminds me alot of ‘Tim Story’s’ style which is a good thing!. The last fave piece I have on this CD is the track ‘Still Voices’, and brings us some haunting piano playing again, but in a darker sense. It’s a mix between light & dark, good and bad, so to speak. It’s even a bit scary at times. A superb piece that has to be heard along with the other lush pieces on this remarkable CD.

I’d say go get this beauty before it’s too late. It’s a needful thing in your New Age collection, no doubt about that!. Thumbs up…again!. Well done, Michael!

May 12, 2010 Posted by | Atmospheric/New Age Music, New Age Music | | 1 Comment

Robert Fox – Touching The Serpents Tail “Masterful Synthesized orchestrations”

Most of the music on Touching the Serpent’s Tail is symphonic electronica, with some tracks leaning more towards new age and others more towards ambient electronica.

Throughout the CD, Fox creates masterful synthesized orchestrations. He draws on analog-style synth voicings, sample-based synth textures, vocal samples and effects to create arrangements that are frequently very beautiful.  The highlights of the CD are the more ambient sections. On tracks like the fantastic kick-off track, Earth, Fox wows you with majestic but subtle synth orchestrations. Earth is an exceptional track, and a great example of symphonic electronica.

Another highlight of the CD is the reflective Of A Time Gone By. The track introduces a hymn-like progression, and then repeats it with added elements. First Fox solos over the backing, using a sax-like synth timbre. Next, Fox layers sampled Gregorian chant over it. He ends the track with a final variation which combines the chant and sax variations.

After the stunning first track, Fox moves more into melodic new age territory. These tracks showcase Fox’s ear for gorgeous synth orchestration, but the standard rhythm tracks make them less memorable. Instead of the rhythm tracks propelling the music forward, they often seem to slow the tracks down and make them feel rigid. One example is Strange Voices in Ancient Tongues. On this track Fox mixes in some sampled Gregorian chant and drops it in over a drum track. The drum track competes with the freeness of the chant instead of supporting it.

All in all, though, Touching the Serpent’s Tail is a very nice melodic new age release. When Fox focuses on the creative synth arrangement, though, the music is frequently gorgeous, making us wish for more synth orchestration and less pop new age arrangement.

March 29, 2010 Posted by | Atmospheric/New Age Music, New Age Music, Progressive Electronic Music | | Leave a comment

Tim Story – Untitled “Put yourself into the music, and you’ll see the truth..”

Listening to Tim Story’s music makes you think, wonder, feel, and drives you into a very sentimental state of being. And with this album, ‘Untitled’, I sometimes see myself back in time in a long lost memory, a memory so hard to describe in words. It’s like the more I listen to it the more I get to know myself better, and why things are the way they are.

The music on this CD is very gentle and subtle, very much like his previous works. It is carefully composed and with a finite palette of sounds to all of the songs. Very gently, Tim puts us on a journey into our minds, into our real beings, and makes us search for the true answer to things that were lost & found. I feel myself very lost and totally isolated in my own thoughts when sitting in a darkened room, listening to this incredible record alone. It is music for reading, thinking, observing & for getting to know yourself better, to know who you really are.

Put yourself into the music and feel, touch, see, and observe the past, the present, and the future. Move through it!

Highly Recommended!!

March 29, 2010 Posted by | Atmospheric/New Age Music, New Age Music | | Leave a comment