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Sinoia Caves – The Enchanter Persuaded

The Enchanter Persuaded

Label: Brah Records
Format: CD, Album
Country: US
Released: 2006
Genre: Rock, Electronic
Style: Progressive Rock, Ambient


The Enchanter Persuaded, the debut album from Black Mountain keyboardist Jeremy Schmidt (billed here as Sinoia Caves), is a nice example of the early-21st century’s fascination with synthesizers. Unlike his contemporaries, who tend to echo new wave acts, Schmidt draws inspiration from a different pack of synth gods — bands that boasted cosmic monikers like Tangerine Dream and Hawkwind, musicians who wielded their Moogs and Mellotrons like mighty swords.And as such, this album shouldn’t be viewed as a particularly innovative work but rather as an adept tribute to the analog wizards of the mid-’70s and early ’80s. The standout tracks here are the soundscapes, which echo Tangerine Dream’s Phaedra both in terms of the vast aural territory covered and in terms of actual length. “Dwarf Reaching the Arch Wonder” and “Sundown in the New Arcades (Milky Way Echo)” make for over half an hour of galactic terrain built on sheet after sheet of analog synth and Mellotron effects.

There’s a definite sense of composition here; every whoosh and drone serves the structure, and Schmidt does a good job of keeping these sprawling compositions under tight rein. Shorter, acoustic guitar and vocoder-knit tracks like “Naro Way” and “Through the Valley” are a nice break from the epic stuff going on elsewhere, and they’ll probably draw more than a few comparisons to some of the tracks on Air’s 10,000 Hz Legend. From the druggy green cover art right down to the humid, slightly grimy production, The Enchanter Persuaded is a convincing period piece, not to mention a fitting showcase for Schmidt’s impressive synth sorcery.

Review by allmusic [http://www.allmusic.com/album/the-enchanter-persuaded-mw0000451923]

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Recommended

Loscil – Plume

Plume

Label: Kranky ‎– krank096
Format: CD, Album
Country: US
Released: 22 May 2006
Genre: Electronic
Style: Abstract, Minimal, Ambient


Vancouver based Scott Morgan is a sound director within the video game industry. But that’s his daytime job, and his contemporary ambient soundscapes constructed with looping oscillators (a similar function in Csound computer language is compounded to Loscil) don’t have much in common with game music.

In contrast, Morgan’s fourth album Plume, on Chicago’s Kranky Records, is a relaxing, atmospheric, and hypnotic trip unfolding layers of sound complimented by ethereal percussion, gentle xylophone taps, and strums of elbow guitar. For Morgan, the creation of music starts “with a harmonic root from which sounds [are] processed into a loose structure over which the live players could improvise”. Each track within the album grows, transitions, and gradually develops into a piece bestowing a specific state of mind or a flashback to a concrete memory.

A quote from Morgan’s elaboration on a piece capturing the growth of family, if you will: ” ‘Charlie’ was composed after seeing/hearing my daughter Sadie through ultrasound while she was still in the womb. The track was also partly composed as a womb-like sound experience for her to sleep to after she was born, hence the heart beats…”

Recommended if you like his ambient label mates, Stars of the Lid, or other excellent artists in the modern classical genre, like Helios, Deaf Center, and Xela.

Review by Headphone_Commute