Ancestral Voices: Navagraha (Horo)

A concept album based on Hans Cousto’s “Cosmic Octave”. Hmmm all very po-faced. Not sure we need to know that, or if it’s just irrelevant intellectual ingenuity. Plenty of different shades of grey over the the 1:34 play length for sure, some dark some light, but sorry, it doesn’t “create a profound effect on the consciousness of the listener.” Not on this one anyway. No more than any other technically accomplished ambient outing. (Compare and contrast for example, to the equally cosmic newly released 1999 recording Kshatrya (The Eye of the Bird)’ from the avant-garde composer Igor Wakhevitch on Transversales Disques).

We’re all too tainted as cultural consumers in the cinematic sweep of common or vulgar film scores, the failed attempts at sublimity (pathos). It gets way more interesting when harnessed to a pulse, a beat and ultra low tectonic sub bass.

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Oscar Mulero: Acceptance (Semantica)

I don’t often dip my toe in the IDM pond these days (and I normally run a mile when faced by enormous discographies/back catalogues and business like release schedules of the likes of Madrid’s own Semantica here…) but this EP from the Spanish DJ veteran seemed to shine with a veneer of class and crystalline focus that makes it pretty captivating. It drifts and judders simultaneously, not exactly weightless or lost in zero gravity (except at the end maybe, on the appropriately titled ‘Exhale and Expand’) but with an absence of stress and strain. That doesn’t make it too innocuous or blank either – there’s some intensity and pressure on ‘Acceptance’ and particularly ‘Edges of Mortality’ with its shards of paranoia.