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Robert Rich — Neurogenesis
(Soundscape SP038, 2021, CD / LP / DL)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2021-03-29

Neurogenesis Cover art

Neurogenesis from December 2020 is the follow-up to Offering to the Morning Fog released earlier in 2020, however the two releases couldn’t be more different. The seven tracks are analog and digital modular synth constructions that offer sparkling microtonal sequenced patterns mixed with powerful textural washes that offer powerful colors, rich gradients, and mystical pulses that radiate on a number of levels as each piece evolves in its own distinct and unique way. The opening title track runs just over nine minutes (the longest piece here) and at times seems a bit reminiscent of what one might have found on his Geometry album, awash with beautiful and shimmering sprites that evolve in place as the piece grows and rolls forward, and even at that there are several wholesale shifts in the textures and sequences at various points along its duration, all giving the listener dreamy atmospheric spaces where ideas collide beautifully. One could wish that this piece went on for an hour or longer, but the limitation with Neurogenesis is that it all had to fit on an LP — two sides of roughly twenty-two minutes each (just in case you forgot, and the LP is due out in March 2021, which one can preorder on Rich’s Bandcamp site now). Another standout is the kaleidoscopic “Connective” that stirs and shimmers busily as powerful and mysterious jets of sound open up in the background and overhead, offering a dreamy effect within a sequenced wonderland. The twisting and dreamy elements of “Arcadian” offer a similar scope, yet the resulting crosswork patterns opens in a completely different way giving a dreamy and more textural feel. Closer “Erinacea” elicits bell-like sounds in the sequences, much like that of central Javanese gamelan, but mixes that up with gentle percussives and soaring, colorful melodic washes. All taken, Neurogenesis is at once an emotional and immersive experience that touches the soul on many levels.

Filed under: New releases, 2021 releases

Related artist(s): Robert Rich

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