Exposé Online banner

A Produce / M. Griffin — Altara
(Hypnos hyp1918, 1999, CD)

by Mike McLatchey, Published 2016-12-22

Altara Cover art

It's easy to look back to various eras of music with nostalgia, but as time goes by that tends to happen to even those things you thought were new. I find myself frequently looking back to the late 90s and early 00s as perhaps the golden years of the ambient-electronic genre. Dozens of amazing albums came out around this time, many artists in the field were doing some of their best work, and some intriguing collaborations grew out of various associations. Altara was created by two of these musicians, the late Barry Craig, who by this point had released a string of increasingly impressive ambient albums (including Smile on the Voide from the same year), and Mike Griffin, owner of the Hypnos label and part of Viridian Sun, musically also on an ascendance. They created one of the era's classics with Altara, cemented by one of the genre's great longform pieces, "You Send Me the Message." So much of ambient music was about the timbre of the sounds and I believe Altara remains fairly unique with its glossy longform drones and the way they were polished to a high level of individuality. Without losing any cosmic touch, the album was warmly contemporary and very sleek with the influences of both musicians merging in perfect balance. This one often ended up in my nighttime 6-CD changer during the time, suffusing the environment with deep atmosphere.


Filed under: New releases, 1999 releases

Related artist(s): Barry Craig (A Produce)

Latest news

2018-07-09
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more

2018-07-01
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more

2018-06-25
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more

2018-06-13
Jon Hiseman RIP – One of the great drummers of the rock era has died. Jon Hiseman was a veteran of such ground-breaking groups as Colosseum (I and II), Tempest, John Mayal's Bleusbreakers, and was a founding member of the innovative large band United Jazz + Rock Ensemble. » Read more

2018-06-05
Koenjihyakkei Seeks Funding for New Album – It's been quite a few years since the last new studio album by the amazing Koenjihyakkei. Now they are preparing Dhormimviskha for worldwide release, and they're asking fans to pre-order via a Kickstarter campaign to help it happen. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

The Black Noodle Project - And Life Goes On... – I’m not above enjoying a good clone band. I quite enjoy a lot of them. And Black Noodle Project may not necessarily be a complete Pink Floyd clone, but in the world of clonedom, some of these songs...  (2005) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues