Exposé Online banner

Robert Rich — Electric Ladder
(Soundscape SP009, 2006, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2006-05-01

Electric Ladder Cover art

Always a beacon of unpredictability, Robert Rich has trained this writer’s ears to expect something unexpected with each new release. This time out it’s a bed of pulsating modular sequence-driven undercurrents overlaid with free flights of soaring synths, howling processed guitars, and cavernous winds, with a little help from a couple guests (sax, bassoon, guitar) on a few of the tracks. Seven pieces in all; some faster, some slower, others more paced, each balancing the various elements delicately to produce a variety of ever-evolving textures and colorations that satisfy on a number of levels. While one familiar with Rich’s body of work may occasionally be reminded of aspects of some of his earlier releases (Geometry, Rainforest, and Gaudi, from ‘87, ‘89, and ‘91 respectively, could at various times be reference points), there’s nonetheless a very forward-looking spirit to all of what’s encompassed herein. Generous use of acoustic instrumentation adds a bionic element into the mix of sounds. Since all of the cuts fade together, the disc becomes one epic journey – an odyssey through portals of ever shifting moods, combinative energies, and textural envelopments; the melodic elements breathe and percolate at he surface and just below, overlaying one another and mixing on a number of levels, backed in dreamy veils of subtle tonal coloration, light and dark, whether or not a rhythmic base is present. Overall, this disc offers a mystical experience as well as cerebral one; it’s up to the listener how best to absorb it. Recommended.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 33, 2006 releases

Related artist(s): Robert Rich

Latest news

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

2018-11-02
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Robert Rich - Geometry – As the title implies, this reissue — originally recorded in 1987-88 and previously only available as a French import CD — crosses the bridges between mathematics and music, applying these...  (1995) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues