J. Arif Verner — From a Distant Horizon
(Spotted Peccary SPM-0603, 2005, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2006-05-01
The image on the front of the CD booklet illustrates the music herein perfectly: a well-traveled dirt path near a fence follows into the distance through dense fog, fading into pastel colors as it goes. Far off in the fog, the silhouettes of some trees are barely visible in the distance. This surreal and impressionistic imagery is a thread that follows all throughout this disc, one of beautiful drifting washes of tonal color, intense yet understated melodies, suspended drones of gently evolving sounds, sparkling sonic events and sampled effects. There are no hard edges here; every note at every level seemingly fades into all others as the time continuum rolls forward at a pace that slowly erases every moment into memory. Cinematic in nature, the ten tracks seem to be the soundtrack of some story of the listeners own making – perhaps a dream, walking along that fence on the cover in the fog until day turns into night. A couple of the tracks feature hand percussion (courtesy of guest players) that break up, and ultimately intensify, the otherwise softer aspect of the program, as if channeling a higher power. Other parts utilize bits of acoustic guitar loops and samples of natural sounds to highlight the floating synth-based dronescapes. In all, this is a magical adventure best experienced somewhere at the threshold of unconsciousness.
Related artist(s): J. Arif Verner
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