Exposé Online banner

Robert Rich — Sunyata
(Hypnos 2026, 1982/2000, CD)

by Mike McLatchey, Published 2015-12-24

Sunyata Cover art

McLatchey's Second Tier

Even before the classic Trances and Drones there was the debut cassette by one of the great electronic musicians of the last 30 years. These days a good 20 minutes of this has been moved to share CD space with the Trances/Drones reissues and Sunyata itself is now paired with Inner Landscapes and still available. It's important to remember that this cassette was released in 1982 and recorded the previous year in an era where this kind of electronic music was almost unheard of. I think only Michael Stearns was really mining this kind of territory with any kind of success at the time and I know I had been listening to Robert's music for a few years before I even knew this existed. Its really central piece is the cassette side long "Oak Spirits," which I see as a predecessor to the electronic-organic music of Alio Die years later, a very quiet, slowly mutating drone ambient piece that evolves tonally over its 40-45 minute length. The other pieces are really no less excellent and it was nice when the album came out on CD to hear it divested from the hissy cassette format. It's a real indication of the quality of these early Robert Rich works that they still manage to get a new issue when the previous one disappears.


Filed under: New releases, 2000 releases, 1982 recordings

Related artist(s): Robert Rich

Latest news

2018-04-05
OBEY Convention XI Set for May 24-28 in Halifax – As the 2018 festival season rapidly approaches, we’d like you to be aware of a real treasure of diverse and creative music that’s going to take place in Halifax, Nova Scotia, next month. The OBEY Convention is on its 11th outing, and features a wide range of artists from around the world. From avant-industrial noise to experimental takes on Classical Chinese music, from chamber jazz to doom metal, from ambient soundscapes to Canadian First Nations drumming, you’d be hard pressed to find a festival with more variety in sound anywhere in the world. » Read more

2018-04-04
Close to the Rain Festival in Bergen Announces Lineup – Now in its second year, the Close to the Rain Festival of progressive music is scheduled to take place in Bergen, Norway, on June 7 - 9. They've got an amazing slate of bands lined up, including such powerhouses as Anekdoten, Major Parkinson, Arabs in Aspic, Tusmørke, and many more. » Read more

2018-03-01
Seaprog 2018 Artist Announcements Raise Festival's Profile – Seattle's Seaprog festival has been going since 2013, and the 2018 edition features a slate of artists that's sure to bring more attention to the event. Cheer-Accident, Bubblemath, and Free Salamander Exhibit are in the first round announcement of performers. In keeping with their tradition of focusing on regional artists, they will also present a number of artists from Washington and Oregon. [Edit: Just added: Inner Ear Brigade] » Read more

2018-02-26
Adelbert von Deyen RIP – Word reaches us that German electronic musician Adelbert von Deyen has died. His recorded legacy reaches back to 1978, when Sky Records released Sternzeit. Von Deyen, who was born October 25, 1953 in Süderbrarup, was also known as a painter and graphic artist. » Read more

2018-02-18
Didier Lockwood RIP – Word reaches us today of the death of one of France's great jazz musicians, violinist Didier Lockwood. His playing bridged many worlds, from traditional jazz to fusion to progressive rock, and his talent can be heard on recordings by Magma, Clearlight, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, and many more. Lockwood was 62. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Atavism of Twilight - Atavism of Twilight – [reviewing advance cassette - ed.]Known best for opening at Djam Karet's most recent show, this is yet another band from the Los Angeles area making progressive music. An instrumental five piece...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues