Exposé Online banner

Mask — Heavy Petal
(Mandalic MCD001, 2005, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2006-05-01

Heavy Petal Cover art

The members of this duo should be familiar to all Exposé readers, although this latest project is quite a surprise. Cellist, synthesist, and composer Marvin Ayres has released several discs of ambient and film music in recent years, several of which were reviewed in #32. Sonja Kristina is best known as the voice of legendary progressive band Curved Air, but has an even longer career as a folk singer and composer; here she sings, co-writes, and plays guitar. A brief story line in the gatefold follows the subtitle “The Tenebrous Odyssey of Jack and Virginia,” but apart from song titles that may follow this concept, the music the duo makes together stands solidly on its own. The result is a synthesis of the backgrounds of both musicians: a drifty, dreamy ambient sound into which touches of pop, folk, and world music are fused. The songs, which tend to be fairly laid back and mellow, are tied together by even more relaxed free ambient interludes of layered synths, processed cello and vocalizing; it all works together superbly as the energy level builds and releases regularly throughout the album. Sonja’s voice is as beautiful as ever, whether she’s singing lyrics or providing a layered floating backdrop in an instrumental setting. This is a two-sided disc, including a DVD with 23 minutes of material, videos of two tracks from the CD side and an extended version of another fused with stunning imagery. Very nice indeed.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 33, 2005 releases

Related artist(s): Mask, Sonja Kristina Linwood, Marvin Ayres

Latest news

2019-01-31
Keyboardist Ingo Bischof R.I.P. – Keyboard player Ingo Bischof, best known as the longtime keyboard player of German band Kraan, passed away on January 29th, 2019. Bischof was born January 2, 1951 in Berlin-Kreuzberg and joined Kraan in 1975. » Read more

2019-01-11
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more

2019-01-02
Chicago-Based Surabhi Ensemble Tours the World in January – Surabhi Ensemble was formed more than a decade ago in Chicago with the aim of bringing together musicians from varying traditions to make music. Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays veena, assembled a cast that includes Arabic oud, Spanish guitar, and percussion from Africa and India. This month, the group will be sharing their sounds with concert-goers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa. » Read more

2018-12-23
Seaprog Festival Seeks Donations – Seaprog is a small festival in Seattle that highlights creative music from many genres with artists from around the world. It's also a US non-profit organization. They're seeking donations to help keep the ball rolling. Starting in 2013, the organization has been growing, and has featured such artists as Free Salamander Exhibit, Jack o' the Clock, Nik Turner, Cabezas de Cera, Miriodor, Thinking Plague, and many more. » Read more

2018-11-16
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

The Fiery Furnaces - Gallowsbird's Bark, Blueberry Boat, Rehearsing My Choir, EP, & Bitter Tea – A circus medley of distinct musical apparitions like a non-nasal Holy Modal Rounders of the twenty-first century with equal parts Jonathan Richman, The Velvet Underground, and Grease! Hey, Rizzo! ...  (2007) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues