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Deborah Martin — Deep Roots, Hidden Water
(Spotted Peccary SPM-0503, 1999/2010, CD)

by Mike McLatchey, Published 1999-11-01

Deep Roots, Hidden Water Cover art

Spotted Peccary is a label that seems to have evolved its own sound, which consists of a slightly more accessible and melodic approach to ambient space music. Deborah Martin is a synthesist, like label mates and guests Jon Jenkins and Greg Klamt, that can combine the best of the deep ambient tribal genre with a brighter more impressionistic side to create a music of originality and beauty. There are ten pieces here that range from the more overtly warm and symphonic in the first half, to the deeper and more inquisitively ambient in the latter. While the first track, “Haunted by Water,” is definitive Peccary, as the album progresses, one begins to notice this unusual sense of atmosphere that Martin creates, a niche not quite currently occupied, one that combines a sense of melody with a drum rhythm on a rich sonic base (not to mention Tony Levin’s tasteful playing on the title track and “Crossing Plateau"). However, the sixth track, “Blue Lake,” turns the flow introspective, and the resonance grows. By the time we reach “Voices on the Rim,” at over nine minutes, we have treated flutes by Coyote Oldman, a piece also reminiscent of some of Robert Rich’s music. Deborah Martin expresses a yearning for deeper connections and her search takes her there, particularly the last five tracks which are aimed at a timeless and dreaming state. By the finale, one feels richly rewarded, not only for the soothing charm of the CD’s beginning and the meditative flow of its end, but that there are still vistas in electronic music to be pioneered. One hopes that Martin will continue to chart new waters.

Filed under: Reissues, Issue 18, 2010 releases, 1999 recordings

Related artist(s): Deborah Martin, Tony Levin, Coyote Oldman, Matthew Stewart

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