1000 Schoen - Amish Glamour (music for the sixth sense)

Monday, June 01 2009 @ 03:00 AM PDT

Contributed by: Henry Lauer

Genre: Ambient

Track Listing:

01 Rituals of Dualism
02 Approach
03 Dormant Pool
04 Synestesistik Religions
05 Ssono (Evils Feels Like Gods)

The minimalist cover art for this CD shows verdant foliage reflected in a river or stream. It’s a dreamy, almost psychedelic image which hints both at gleaming beauty and subtle darkness. As such, it is the perfect companion for the music contained within.

This release deploys drones and synth lines to drifting, thickly harmonic effect. Each of the five lengthy tracks opens up remarkable vistas into which one’s ears can dive for a seeming infinity. Indeed, at the conclusion of each song I feel like my sense of time has dissolved: I’m not quite sure where I am or what has just been going on.

Each track unfolds a different journey through textured imaginal landscapes. There is a sense of languid drama to the compositions as choruses of synth build and decline. At times a darker, thicker atmosphere takes hold (for example on “Dormant Pool”), but for the most part the music is airy, life-affirming and utterly beautiful.

At times it feels like this is not electronically generated ambient music but rather the singing of choirs of otherworldly spirits which has somehow been recorded. The overall feel of the album is simultaneously that of creation holding its breath before the Big Bang; and creation dissolving into an ecstatic diffusion at the end of time.

I think this is part of the key to the incredible atmosphere and light this album invokes – the endlessly layered drones take on personalities of their own even as they submerge into larger fields of blurry sound. There is a roughness, too, to some of the timbres and this creates a wistful, woody sound.

It, in fact, reminds me a little of Vangelis’s Bladerunner soundtrack in places and I can’t think of much higher praise to offer for this sort of music than that!

One of the particularly classy elements of this release is the use of percussion. It’s always low-to-mid-tempo, faded a little into the background, quite linear electronic beats. Somehow these percussion elements create the feeling of a living pulse throughout the music; their submersion within the sound fields fleshes out the atmosphere in a fashion which is quite counter-intuitive and masterful.

I really cannot say enough good things about this release. It has an atmosphere, romance, richness and piercing beauty that I have almost never encountered.

In a way the cover art reminds me of Monet’s infinitely spirited and soul-nourishing paintings – and I daresay this CD presents us with something that might just approximate a sonic answer to Monet’s brilliant visual legacy.