Artist/ Band: Tim Motzer + Markus Reuter
Title: Descending
Label: 1K Recordings
Year of Release: 2010
Offical Artist/ Band Link

The Review:

As with all recordings in the ambient category, I find myself having to be in the mood for them in my 50's. When I was much younger, I listened to any record with the same zeal and interest. Such albums as Tangerine Dreamís Rubycon and, Fripp & Enoís Evening Star were really special as I drifted off in their world each time I listened ( especially with headphones). Life changed that as all the older folks know. Life gets cluttered and there is less time to just sit, relax, and enjoy the music. The pace of life is madness. You wonder where time went. With this said, I had to take more time than usual reviewing this disc. I wanted to be just as fair with this as all the other recordings I have ever reviewed. Honestly, one night I tried to listen to this and I was worn out from work, just needed something familiar and happy go lucky. So I took this off and waited until the next night. It sounded way nicer that next night simply because I was in the right frame of mind for it.

Motzer and Reuter work very well together as this seamless set of beautiful compositions evolve through the minutes. Much of it sounds more like improvisation with touches of an ECM like jazz, but more dominated with a spacey ambient background of soothing guitars. The two guitars (one being a more fading and cloud creating, the other being finger style guitar but still fairly sparse and dreamy) are created by Tim Motzer and Markus Reuter. They are joined by Pat Mastelotto ( Crimson drummer and Mr Mister), and Doug Hirlinger both using acoustic and electronic percussion. Itís never a drum set thing, but just more textures and rhythm done with drums and cymbals. Theo Travis also plays flute and if two guitars werenít enough, they employed B.J. Cole to play steel guitar. This works extremely well throughout. You get a nice pallet of sounds in compositions that may remind you of Fripp in his more celestial works, but also really had lots of a Klaus Schultz sound in his earlier days (if you substitute the keyboards for the guitars and then add percussion). I use these comparisons as always, so that the reader might get a general idea of the sound of the disc I am reviewing. This is slow moving, dreamy, and very meditative from start to finish. So you can count on it being a great relax type CD. It is also cerebral, so for the deep listeners ( such as myself ), you get lots going on with mini poly-rhythms, intricate collages of music and a very clear presentation of it all. In other words, you can easily hear every single note played by every single musician. That is one thing I give giant applause for. The recording and mixing decisions were brilliant and well executed.

This CD is not too long, nor are any of the individual songs too long. They are in fact perfect lengths for this type music. Another brilliant move by Motzer and Reuter. They understand that if you let ambient music go on too long, even a minute , then it can lose all itís appeal and get shutdown by the listener. I hate to see this part of my life become so busy, so fast, so cluttered...that I can no longer be able to sit down in front of my much beloved high end stereo, and just listen for hours. No, that life is just a past memory. But I do still get to listen maybe twice a week in at least 3 hour sessions at a time. Itís just a reminder that recordings such as ĎDescendingí are best played when you are ready and able to listen to them attentively, and with open ears. I can say this CD was a pleasure and it had all the smarts of a well planned ambient music project which I hope more artist will think about the same. With less time to enjoy, I suppose adjustments in our musical world are obvious, and sadly, forced. Hereís raising a glass to retirement, if any of can still do that one day. Then will we have more time to listen?

Reviewed by Lee Henderson on October 26th, 2010

Tracks:

01. 12OO Sundays
02. Emanuella
03. We Were
04. Sound of the Sun
05. Ritual Observace
06. Descending

Copyright © 1998-2010, ProgNaut.com, All Rights Reserved.