Loren Nerell - The Venerable Dark Cloud (Mini CD) amp14
Mini CD - Packaged in an oversized A5 folded paper sleeve with a plastic cover. Hand-numbered limited edition of 1,000 copies.
Loren Nerell is known for his fondness for gamelan music. You get the idea of his blending of music elements when you see that his latest CD was recorded over the last few years in Bali, Java, and... Los Angeles. Modern ambient drone music melds with ancient tribal cultures to form something entirely new, sounding ages old. As usual with Amplexus limited edition 3" singles, the packaging is beautiful, featuring a large 3-fold booklet with photography by the label's Stefano Gentile. Being a single, this is 21 minutes of new music. The journey of musical exploration ends far too soon, but it is very, very good while it lasts. The textures are rich, as drones blend with sparse tribal beats and ancient instruments, such as the crystal clear but other-worldly bell tones in "Eclipse". Just reading the credits for the instrumentation used is fascinating, as I couldn't tell you what most of them are. They are fused into a hypnotic mix of soothing sounds, truly transporting you to another place and time. The music is simultaneously dark and yet spiritually uplifting. "Within the Cloud" is appropriately named, as it is light and delicate, though again with a dark quality that keeps this far from new age realms. This track takes surprisingly smooth musical turns, given at least three distinct movements over its less than four-minute run. The disc is clearly intended to be played at one sitting, as it all runs together as a single piece of music. "Ablution" begins with flutes, rain, thunder, and a rooster crowing. The spatial effect is amazing, as the rainfall seems to be coming from deep within the speakers. Then, just when I'm fully drawn in, it's over. More, please. -- Phil Derby, Sequences
1. Dark Horizon 6:14
4. Ablution 2:19
Rare limited edition 3-inch CD