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Ambiente Solstice — Out of the Void
(Wayfarer WR 0824023-66, 2023, DL)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2023-12-17

Out of the Void Cover art

Ambiente Solstice is the nom de plume of Austin, Texas based composer, arranger and musician JJ Rey. He creates immersive, meditative soundworlds that stretch from the introspective to the infinite, and frequently touch all points in between. Out of the Void is the latest of half a dozen or so full length albums, stylistically comparable to works by Michael Stearns and Steve Roach, yet informed by the melodicism of Vangelis and the like. In the nine tracks at hand a listener will find shimmering textural widescreen panoramas illuminated by deep and powerful mysticism, beautiful blasts of tonal color, and sweeping but subttle imagery that chronicles the listener’s imagination. Although Rey was primarily trained as a saxophonist, he taught himself keyboards, which opened up the world of synthesizers to accommodate his creative muse; the slow moving drifts and melodic embelishments that the album’s compositions encompass offer the listener a warm and explorative dreamlike environment that will at once calm the nerves and gently sooth the soul, perhaps providing a gateway to slumber if one so chooses to drift away with it. What you won’t find are a bunch of busy sequences, percussive elements, or noisy chatter — Rey’s music is meditative and calm, though filled with washes of color, perfect for a wandering imagination. Sean O'Bryan Smith and Dave Luxton join Rey on "Heaven's Chord." While I haven’t heard any of the previous Ambiente Solstice recordings, I can certainly say that Out of the Void is superb in every way, tailor made for fearless explorers of floating ambient music.

Filed under: New releases, 2023 releases

Related artist(s): Sean O'Bryan Smith, Ambiente Solstice / JJ Rey

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