We Stand With Standing Rock

Review of “Transitions” by Richard Gürtler

Many thanks, Richard!!

::

Darwin Raymond & Jacob Newman “Transitions” CDr

Starting with Darwin Raymond, an Ohio based guitar-infused soundsculptor, I must say he is a brand new name to me, while his teammate in this project, Jacob Newman from Colorado, I noticed for the first time back in 2011 when he released on DataObscura a thrillingly textured collaboration “The Vivid Unmapped” with Devin Underwood. To be honest, I first overlooked this release when making my DataObscura order, but fortunately Anthony Paul Kerby (APK), the driving force behind this highly sympathetic Canadian label turned me onto this well-hidden project, and I am now very grateful for his efforts!!! Huge thanks, Anthony!!! “Transitions” CDr is out since the beginning of July 2015 and as usual for all DataObscura physical editions, it comes in a slim poly case, which is very handy, light and stable, especially when it comes to rather longer and pricey overseas shipping nowadays. The artwork is always attractive, identified as a wrap-around insert, printed on both sides. Usually executed by APK (who is also responsible for mastering), but this time Jacob Newman joins the visual part with his photographs.

Focusing on a wintery theme, which is quite common for this label, the album opens with “Beneath A Frozen Moon”. Although some glaciate soundscaping might be expected, the journey reveals gorgeously expansive, yet velvety meanders. Ethereal voice-like drones are hovering above and mingle with soothingly yearning traceries. A really nice introduction to these “Transitions”!!! “The Quiet Air” with poetically silken strings precisely displays the track title, while deeply poignant retrospective drones, hauntingly hazed, emanate here and there along with transiently tinkling contemplativeness. Fragile, sparse and cinematic. This is strikingly evocative aural bliss, bravo, gentlemen!!! “Wind And Winter” promptly elevates into graciously immense monochromatic magnitudes meticulously interwoven with delicate grains and wistful harmonies. Another beauty!!! Glitchy fragments announce “Night, Shimmers”, but the center stage is quickly stolen by deeply evocative stringed subtlety, while transient organics, intangible tinkles and misty reflections precisely interact. Rather shorter with 3-minute length, but utterly captivating!!! “Flames And Shadow”, only a few seconds longer, delves into grandiosely drifting enigmatic paths, again quite flatlined. It looks like more floating pieces on the album constantly alternate with strings-driven nostalgia. The next composition, “A Plains Remembrance”, at nearly 9 minutes the longest piece on “Transitions”, immediately confirms this scenario with richly textured, yet utterly nostalgic electric guitar filigrees delicately surrounded by subtle drone reverberations. Immensely reflective aural paradise!!! “Blue Evening Snow” soothingly embraces the listener with its euphonious sinuousness, spreading across strikingly beautiful crepuscular sceneries. “Frost Covered Field” keeps on a fascinatingly scenic path, this time reinforced by enigmatic opaqueness, where faintly humming monochromatism is bridged with stringed imageries and continuously emerging, gently dramatic cinematic tides. “Fade To Sleep” sustains its monotonously droning surface, while fragile strings commingle here and there, along with distant yearning blankets and vague contemplativeness. My ears are bathed in absolute atmospheric elixir!!! Shorter “Distant Mirage” with its mild undulations might serve here as a transitional piece, because “Re-emerging” quickly attracts us with its heartwarmingly poetic strings backed by grandiosely infinite sky-high drifts and murmuring glimpses. Gossamer guitar magic at its most enveloping in punctilious equilibrium with vaporously sweeping remoteness. A magnum opus!!! “Unseen” follows a rather sinuous route, persistently permeated by gleams of stillness. “Re-emerging (ii) Spring Sun Turning” closes this highly accomplished collaborative effort with voluminously gliding layers coalesced with longing meanders and masterly juxtaposed by diaphanously tinkling chimes.

62-minute “Transitions” exhibits a truly splendid amalgamation of two undeniable virtuosic subtleties. Darwin Raymond’s guitar wizardry is intricately synchronized with Jacob Newman’s dronescaping, and all is impeccably polished. Creative insignias of two talented artists are in full bloom, “Transitions” album is a hidden gem and a must-have for each true connoisseur of distinctive guitar drone auralscaping!!! When focusing on the most recent works of both protagonists, I should add that Darwin Raymond has released several weeks ago his digital album “Honor”, dedicated to all Indigenous Peoples of Turtle Island, while Jacob Newman has resurrected his collaboration with Devin Underwood and their second CD album entitled “Sending The Past” is out since the end of August on Carpe Sonum Records. Plus two additional solo digital downloads “Quanta Flora” and “Summer” on his credit. And the summertime at DataObscura was quite busy too with three additional CDr albums, Nunc Stans “Further Afield”, The Winterhouse “Slow Awakening”, and Robert Davies “Dwelling Place”. Lots of amazing music to discover!!!

Richard Gürtler (Oct 25, 2015, Bratislava, Slovakia)

New Releases Coming Soon

First up is a collaboration with the fantastic Jacob Newman on DataObscura records – this is something we started back in early 2013 and that through many twist and turns became “transitions”. A mix of melodic drone and sparse guitar, it’s at turns light and dark, soft and haunting. And it should be out in the next couple of weeks!

do068_200

More here: http://www.dataobscura.com/

Also, my first solo album on Ghost Arrow Records is nearing completion too. I don’t want to say too much about it now – suffice to say some of it is a departure from previous albums and that I’m excited about everything about it.

Please keep an eye out and thank you for the support!

Now Available!! Maa’ingun :: Four Directions

Maa'ingun Four Directions Frfnwb

Maa’ingun is Jiibay Shadow Dancer and Darwin Raymond and the New Limited Edition CD or Digital Release is now available!

This release has been a long time in the making and we’re really excited to see it released as a beautiful CD through Ghost Arrow Records.

Please check it out here:

https://maaingun.bandcamp.com/

or if you are just looking for digital: https://ghostarrowrecords.bandcamp.com/

Thank you!

Coming Soon: Maa’ingun :: Four Directions

 

 

Maa'ingun Four Directions Frfnwb

 

The test pressing was received and reviewed and the order has been placed.  Coming very soon:  Maa’ingun – Four Directions.

This album will be available as a limited CD release of 50 copies.

Maa’ingun is Jiibay Shadow Dancer and Darwin Raymond

 

Earthtones Volume 2

I’m extremely honored to have “Hollow” included on this amazing collection of recordings from the incomparable Tessellate Recordings.  Grab a copy, help support their physical releases, and enjoy some seriously amazing music!

http://tessellate-recordings.com/2014/03/30/tsr004-various-artists-earthtones-out-now/

Open Sky

This EP is more minimal than my previous work and didn’t get a lot of support back when it was released in October 2013, but I still have a real fondness for this little collection.  It still speaks to me; I hope it does to you as well.

http://darwinraymond.bandcamp.com/album/open-sky