Howard Givens & Madhavi Devi — Source of Compassion
(Spotted Peccary SPM-9093, 2016, )
by Peter Thelen, Published 2016-11-12
Howard Givens is the founder of Spotted Peccary Music, and although only a few releases outwardly bear his name (or his project Brain Laughter), nearly every release on the label (over 100 now) and many on its various sub-labels have his name in the credits somewhere, either production, mixing, or mastering, as well as work done for other artists in similar genres. Madhavi Devi (Cheryl Gallagher) creates reflective ambient music from electronic and acoustic sources, with intention toward supernal inner growth and development; her 2004 collaboration Tibet with Deborah Martin stands as one of Spotted Peccary’s best ever releases. The collaboration at hand, Source of Compassion, offers six long tracks of introspective spiritual discovery, carrying the listener through ever-deeper subconscious levels, where mysticism and serenity balance in cosmic spaciousness. Using analog, modular, and digital synths, samples and heavily processed acoustic elements, the sonic swells and textures push forward in an effortless liquidity that envelops the listener in a peaceful and wondrous bliss. Embedded within the soundwall of textures are subtle currents and rhythms that at once keep the motion energetic and forward moving, often calling up stark and haunting melodies that shimmer and fold into a surreal backdrop. Moment to moment, there is beauty and power in abundance throughout this work that connects the inner spirit to the soft edges of a new musical universe. Givens and Devi are masters of their craft, creating an exceptional release that is at once organic, visionary and inspirational.
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