Craig Padilla — Heaven Condensed
(Spotted Peccary SPM-1406, 2016, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2016-03-23
Padilla’s latest Spotted Peccary release, Heaven Condensed, his 40th release (both solo and in collaboration) in 20 years, is a swirling cauldron of synths – analog and digital, sequencers and sampled sounds, molded into four expansive, but discrete tracks. Each of the four pieces present an organic and ever-evolving timeline that travels the perimeters of space, exploring both introspective soundworlds and those fanning outward in all directions. The atmospheres and harmonic omplexities involved in each echo the influence of the Berlin school electronics of the 70s (Tangerine Dream, Michael Hoenig, Klaus Schulze) but we also have some heavily layered textures of massive density, occasionally following dark and treacherous paths into zones that others have only hinted at. Both the title track and the closer, “Heavenly Sails,” push the near-30 minute mark, easily allowing the listener to get completely lost within their dense corridors and spinning currents, while the opener, “Stonington Moon,” at nearly ten minutes offers the more floating melodic approach of warm textural washes punctuated with multiple concurrent streams of colorful sequences. “Across the Light,” the disc’s shortest track at seven and a half minutes, begins deceptively simply, folding sequenced layers of sparkling color over one another as it grows slowly into a mammoth of sonic complexity. There’s plenty here for the listener to absorb and be enveloped within.
Related artist(s): Craig Padilla
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