Deborah Martin — Eye of the Wizard
(Spotted Peccary , 2015, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2016-01-04
Inspired by the realms of wizardry and alchemy, Martin’s latest release on Spotted Peccary uncovers a mysterious meeting ground between acoustic music, floating ambient, symphonic sounds and powerful melodic phrasing that dances between dark shadows, and bold colorful brilliance. This is closed-eyes headphones-on soundtrack music at its finest, and though the composer’s intent is to evoke images of wizards, faeries, and such, the music presented here could fit any number of possible scenarios driven only by the fertile imagination of the listener, though there is an earthly connection that permeates these dreamlike vistas. The eight pieces herein were created on acoustic and electric guitars, dulcimer, synths, percussion, and loops by Martin (all composed by Martin) along with engineer Matthew Stewart, and guest Paul Frye playing e-bow on the album’s title track; Spotted Peccary regulars Jon Jenkins and Howard Givens both have a hand in the mixing and mastering as well. For those familiar with Martin’s earlier works like Ancient Power and Deep Roots Hidden Waters, this latest collection measures up to those without being a replication of the past, covering new ground using a compatible template, remaining adventurous and innovative. The cover illustration matches the music perfecly, although this is a case where the small CD sized packaging doesn’t really provide the expansive effect that a good old-fashioned gatefold LP would have, but let’s not lament progress, one can be thankful that the sounds herein are not competing with the clicks, pops and surface noise of the old format.
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more
Neil Peart RIP – One of rock music's defining drummers has died at the age of 67. Neil Peart's work with Rush provided one of the templates for percussion in rock, and he certainly ranks in the top ten most influential drummers of the 20th Century. Peart retired from playing in 2015 due to health issues, and succumbed to brain cancer on January 7, 2020. » Read more