Rudy Adrian — Woodlands
(Spotted Peccary SPM-2603, 2019, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2019-11-27
The latest in a series of deep ambient explorations, Woodlands’ inspiration comes from the natural beauty in his home country of New Zealand, as did Coastlines, Atmospheres, and even Distant Stars before that. The natural world is the common thread that ties his releases together, taking what’s around him and translating into a deep, introspective, colorful, shimmering dreamscape. There is very little cadence within these thirteen pieces, but there is plenty of melodic color as well as slow paced moving changes, secretly morphing as new colors and textures are introduced and others are dispensed with. The titles are beautifully descriptive and leave the imagination wide open as the sonic imagery plays out between your ears, like “Treetops,” “Fields in Evening Light,” “Dancing Shadows,” “Lantern Walk,” and “Hidden Pond.” This is a world of mostly dark muted colors but sharp visions that change and flow gracefully inward as the experiences are absorbed. The subtle bells and gongs in the introductory section of “Moonrise” are reminiscent of an awakening, a curtain seems to be opening to a dense and almost sacred beauty, where the listener become completely immersed. For those interested in the nuts and bolts Adrian used a Yamaha SY77 synth and some in parts Kurzweil K200R plus Unicorn’s Performer software, and some subtle other-worldly vocal overdubs with Pro Tools on the final track "Three Views of a Japanese Garden," details all of which doesn’t interest me that much — it’s the end result that matters, and how that affects the listener while navigating the magical path that Adrian has set up from one track to the next. And of course this is a Spotted Peccary release, so all of the masterful production and mastering is here in abundance. Listeners who appreciate other ambient releases from Spotted Peccary, as well as other artists like Forrest Fang, Jarguna, Steve Roach, Alio Die, Craig Padilla, and the like will be right at home under the spell of Woodlands.
Related artist(s): Rudy Adrian
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