Exposé Online banner

Robert Rich — Geometry
(Linden Music LM 2022, 1991/1994, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 1995-03-01

Geometry Cover artAs 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 relationships to the rhythm, melodics, and the very tonal constructs of the musical foundation itself. By using just intonation, Rich has eschewed the traditional Western scales in favor of the more mathematically pure. Then, by applying some of the more organic and explorative mood-scapes that are uniquely Robert Rich, these ideas avoid the tedious and cold experimental treatment that they would have received under anyone else's stewardship; instead, they blossom to life with beauty and warmth. So what does it sound like? The early tracks, "Primes Parts 1 & 2" and "Interlocking Circles," are vaguely reminiscent of traditional Javanese gamelan stylings — cyclical in flow and symmetrically structured, very flowing and natural. With "Geometry of the Skies," the music moves on to a more spacious plane, evolving slowly through ever-changing patterns of tonal color, building, growing and dissolving. This continues until "Geomancy," the sixth of eight tracks, where patterns and rhythmic structure are re-explored with bamboo flutes, kalimba and hand drums, yielding again to a more flowing synth-based piece, "Amrita," with the final track, "Logos," bringing the album full circle to a point not far from "Primes." Rich has wisely chosen to flow the album from the more structured and higher energy pieces to the more impressionistic low-key explorations, making it an excellent disc to wind down/out to; the music here is challenging as well, but the listener isn't forced to accept it only on that level. In all, this is a welcome reissue, and one that keeps finding its way back into my CD player with regularity.

Filed under: Reissues, Issue 6, 1994 releases, 1991 recordings

Related artist(s): Robert Rich

Latest news

2017-10-18
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart $amp; Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more

2017-10-13
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more

2017-09-26
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more

2017-09-06
Holger Czukay RIP – Holger Czukay, a musical experimentalist without boundaries who has been involved with expanding the sound palette of rock music since the late 60s, has died at the age of 79. After studying with Karlheinz Stockhausen in the early 60s, he became fascinated with the possibilities of rock music, and was a co-founder of the pioneering group Can. He leaves behind an impressive body of work both as musician and producer. » Read more

2017-08-22
John Abercrombie RIP – Another of the greats of jazz guitar has left us. John Abercrombie plied his way through a beautiful series of albums on the ECM label as well as bringing his talent to bear on albums by many of jazz's greatest artists. From his early work in the group Dreams to Gateway and outstanding work with Billy Cobham, Jack DeJohnette, Kenny Wheeler, and many more to his own trios and quartets, he brought a unique instrumental voice to the world. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Akron/Family & Angels of Light + Meek Warrior – Peaceful droplets emerge to deposit us on a plane of squeezing voices gently chiding a plane of aberrant existence. There is quite a bit of hubbub about this agglomeration of miscreants and it must be...  (2007) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues