Loren Nerell - Taksu sol47
2003. Latest mix of exotic instrumentation and evocative ambience from the man who recorded one of our all-time favorites, Lilin Dewa.
Loren Nerell's association with Soleilmoon Recordings dates back to his 1996 release "Lilin Dewa", as well as the more recent "Indonesian Soundscapes". "Taksu" takes cues from both of these albums, blending environmental sounds and Balinese instruments together into a glowing, amorphous cloud of spine-tingling sound. Two musicians come to mind when listening to "Taksu": Jon Hassell, who popularized Fourth World music, and Brian Eno, the father of Ambient music. While sounding nothing like the work of either artist, Loren Nerell's music takes inspiration from both of them. His music is evocative of mist-covered mountains and slow-motion waterfalls, so it owes something to Hassell. But it also pays tribute to the patient genius of Eno, with its endlessly evolving atmosphere, in which there is no beginning or end, only the present. The crowning touch on this project came from Steve Roach, stalwart Ambient Music pioneer and long-time friend of Loren's, who came in to provide the final spacial treatments and mastering of the CD. In his liner notes for the CD booklet, Djam Karet founder Chuck Oken, Jr. describes the music as a "sound pool" that the listener is immersed in. His words couldn't be more accurate, and it's no exaggeration to say that putting this record on is like waking up at sunrise, deep in the tropical Balinese rainforest, surrounded on all sides by the sounds of the jungle. To describe ambient or atmospheric music as "a soundtrack" is clichéd, but it's really the best way to talk about "Taksu". It truely is a very special album, and one that asks to be seen, not merely heard.
"To simply classify Loren Nerell as just an ambient composer is missing the point. I'd rather refer to Loren Nerell as a sound traveller. Either as a real traveller, armed with a microphone and tape-recorder, to Indonesia, taping sounds from traditional instruments, but also a traveller that takes you, the listener on a journey through the world. In that sense, Loren Nerell is more an ambient composer along the lines of Brian Eno or Jon Hassell and has less in common with Steve Roach or Robert Rich, for whom the pure instrument approach seems to be important. 'Taksu - an intervention from the gods, endowing a man, or perhaps a ritualobject, with divine direction. In a sense Taksu is the essence of a great performance or work of art' - it says on the cover. Can't really argue with the essense of a great performance or work of art, but this is a nice piece of music. Rainforest sounds, far away percussion (drum sounds, maybe anklung or gamelan), which are all embedded in a rich textured sound, but not that of a whole bunch of digital sounds, but it's rather, or so it seems, a treatment of those sounds by electronic means. This CD is maybe not just music, it's rather a bath: you take it, it surrounds you for a while and then you feel good. Taksu is like a hot bath, it fills the space, the environment, it's a surrounding that is nice to be in. And unlike a bath: you can put a CD on repeat and will still feel good and will never get cold."
--Vital E-Zine, Frans DeWaard