Exposé Online banner

Robert Rich — Inner Landscapes
(Hypnos 1915, 1985/1999, CD)

by Mike McLatchey, 2018-07-26:

Inner Landscapes Cover art

Based on a March 9, 1985 concert, Inner Landscapes has had two incarnations, both of them different enough to be notable. After (or around the same time as) his first three studio-based cassettes, Rich released the cassette Live and then his first non-cassette album, Numina. After this the Auricle label reissued the Live cassette as well as releasing Inner Landscapes. This concert in particular is notable for changing the mood quite a bit from his early work, and it's quite representative of the darker territory some ambient artists in the mid to late 80s explored (both Steve Roach and Lightwave come to mind). Music like this always sort of reminds me of a soundtrack to Charon transporting the souls of the dead on the river Styx. It's as if you're hearing the resounding echoes of the voices of the damned through subterranean caverns only for them to fade away into silence until the boat goes around the next bend. The cassette and later CD version of this uses different edits from this concert and even though there must be a lot of overlap, the sequencing really mixes up the feel in both versions to the point that when Inner Landscapes was reissued on CD, I never felt that it replaced the tape version. Also, this sort of nighttime ambient was dramatically different from subsequent releases Geometry and Rainforest, both of which demonstrated an incredible breadth and acuity of vision, one that still continues to this day. This one, however has always had a touch of mystery, as if by the very end of the underground journey, Charon has floated onto the branch known as Lethe and my preceding memories fade away until the very next listen.


by Mike McLatchey, 1999-11-01:

There is a wealth of music to be found on Audion / Ultima Thule’s Auricle cassette label. Right off the bat, there are the Peter Frohmader classics Jules Verne Cycle and Orakel / Tiefe, the early Lightwave cassettes, and Robert Rich’s fourth and fifth cassettes, Live and Inner Landscapes. Be advised that this is not the same mix or sequence as the Auricle tape, although the music is all pulled from the same concert of March 9, 1985, Berkeley, California, and it can’t comfortably be considered its reissue or a new release. There are a number of differences between the tape and CD, such as the lack of the tape’s opening track “Approach” on the CD, and the different track order. The remastered and edited form on the CD; however, it is sonically far superior to the cassette. Without the sequencer opener “Approach,” the CD of Inner Landscape seems more directly related to the days of the classic Trances and Drones, with a mostly atmospheric base created by warm analog synthesizers, a dense blend that Rich mastered early in his career. The layers of effects and the sounds that fall ambiguously between synthesizer programming and environmental ambiances are far more vivid here than on the Auricle tape. The result of the new version is that a new CD is created of classic caliber, while the tape remains an equally interesting and indispensable item. Two versions of Inner Landscapes taken from the Berkeley March 9, 1985, show, and two distinctly different and excellent albums. Extremely highly recommended.


Filed under: New releases , Issue 18 , 1999 releases, 1985 releases

Related artist(s): Robert Rich

More info

Latest news

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

2018-10-17
Eurock Documentary Seeks Funding – We've been fans and fellow travelers with Archie Patterson and his Eurock project on the journey to discover great music. After many years of promoting and trying to spread the word,a new phase is beginning: a documentary film. Things like this don't just happen, and money does not magically appear to make it happen, so it's up to the fans to get it done. » Read more

2018-09-29
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more

2018-09-25
Help the Psychic Equalizer Avoid Extinction – Last year we reviewed the debut album by Psychic Equalizer, a musical project of Hugo Selles. He's now working on the ambitious follow-up to that release, and is seeking funding from listeners around the world. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Jean-Luc Ponty - Life Enigma – I’m probably not unique in my history with Jean-Luc Ponty. I discovered his inventive, melodic jazz-fusion violin playing with his albums of the seventies like Enigmatic Ocean and Imaginary Voyage,...  (2002) » Read more

Musica Urbana - Iberia – Spanish ensemble Music Urbana are quite an interesting group of musicians, creating a very original music. Their first album, recently reissued showed a band blending a plethora of styles –...  (1996) » Read more

Cutler/DiMuzio/Vrtacek, Church of Betty & The Code - Ponk 1995 Releases – These are three of the latest releases from the Ponk label, formerly FOT, probably best known for their series of "Passed Normal" compilations. Besides sharing a label, the only other thing...  (1995) » Read more

Ivanhoe - Symbols of Time – Ivanhoe represent the harder side of neo-prog. That is to say, they incorporate keyboards, a big guitar sound, and dramatic lyrics. On first listen to this album, I whooped with delight as I heard...  (1996) » Read more

Tanger - Ciudad – While this latest offering from the Argentinean quartet (+ guests) compares favorably to their 1999 self-titled debut and its 2002 follow-up La Otra Cara, there are few real surprises here. The band...  (2007) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues