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Reviews
Encomiast - Havens
Monday, January 01 2007 @ 01:00 AM PST
Contributed by: DonTen

Havens

Artist: Encomiast United States

Title: Havens

Label: Crucial Blast / Crucial Bliss United States

Genre: Ambient / Experimental / Drone

01 Lunaire
02 Sanctuary
03 Jasli

A solo flute plays us in, its voice evoking images of dusk lit wood land and moonlight beginning to filter through the almost nude branches of autumn, before being joined by a shimmering orb or gently rotating electronics, a gradual hum building and folding in on itself whilst spreading slowly to fill all available space with its spectral presence.

So begins Lunaire, the opening track on Havens. The bell like clatter of metal on metal begins to filter through the mist, at first almost subliminally, but eventually joining the sweeping drone, adding substance to the so far ethereal soundscape taking shape before us. I already like this release a lot, and this only half way through the first of three tracks. A thought inducing construction, Lunaire is constructed from minimal component parts, but all the parts compliment each other to perfection, the manipulation of each element only adds to the overall feeling unity as the pieces continue to meld together, taking us through the fading twilight and into the approaching darkness.

Sanctuary continues in a similar fashion, a distant drone riding alongside a subtle bass, both swelling in size and becoming a gently pulsating rhythm which reaches out to envelope us in its mists. This is a slightly darker creature than Lunaire, a fact emphasized by the introduction of a vocal which is lowly teased out of shape as it drifts back and forth. The overall effect here is as if standing at the entrance to a tunnel and hearing a ceremony of sorts taking place at the distant far end, occasionally being permitted to approach almost close enough to identify the individual elements, before being gently led back out again. From almost blissful serenity into a dark place of mists, barely seen shapes and forms, Sanctuary is a journey that I will be taking again.

Jasli is the last of the tracks on offer here, and at a little over eleven minutes in duration is the shortest of the three. Lunaire started us, Sanctuary led us, and now Jasli takes its place in the scheme to bring us back home. Starting with Muted vocals overlaid with a stringed accompaniment, riding on a distant bass, drone the track undulates gently before rising and changing, becoming a lighter affair, sparkling percussive elements illuminating the scene. A familiar flute sound joins in and takes centre stage, the focus of our attention as the remainder of the track fades slowly to silence, a perfect ending to a perfect release.

Thoroughly enjoyable and highly recommended. Sonic constructions such as this should find a home with any discerning music fan, but Dark Ambient fans and fans of Drone based and experimental music should make locating this a high priority. Music for meditation, contemplation or just for relaxing and unwinding with. A solid, professional and polished offering.

     


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