Electronic Ambient Dimension

Boira | Richard Gürtler | Discogs, Facebook & Ello | 2017

Patxi Hernández aka Landru has crossed my radar for the first time during the spring of 2012, not only as one of the driving forces behind Spanish label Altera Orbe, together with another fellow soundscaping countryman Ran Kirlian, but also as a creator of very impressive debut CDr "Neurotransmitters" (released in November 2011). In the meantime Landru has released several other notable solo albums available on CDr format like "Fimbria", "Scotoma", "Facets" and a collaborative project "Waterfront" with above mentioned labelmate Ran Kirlian. Some of them I have reviewed throughout 2012 and 2013. Although, I believe, Altera Orbe is on hiatus now, both artists still continue on releasing their own music, particularly Landru has a new album "Boira" out since June 2016 on his newly formed label Lepysma, even if the CDr edition was released as a limited edition few months later. "Boira", which means fog in Catalan language, comes in a standard jewel case with immersing black and white 4-page front insert.

Nearly 7-minute long "Dormant State", the shortest one on "Boira", ignites the venture with subterraneanly labyrinthine drone cascades, which are delicately reinforced by assorted, translucently cyber-tech swirls and smashes or ambiguously cavernous pulses and bleeps. Auxiliary warmer cinematic vignettes clandestinely permeate across engulfing hypogeal sceneries. A very strong opening! "The Water Cycle", stretching to 11 minutes, merges richly biotic and mesmerizingly transporting location recordings with constantly circling longing undulations, while intangibly noisier bangs are persistently guarding above. The next piece, "Hydroscopic Particles", only slightly shorter than its predecessor, straightly shifts into sonorously dronescaping Eden, where magnificently multi-dimensional monochromatic monoliths are meticulously coalesced with perpetually helixing primal rumbles and intriguingly traverse through awe-inspiringly panoptic vistas. A towering dronezones at its climax!!! "Evolving Landscape" delves into more future-tech-driven terrains highlighted by polished crystalline bleeps and oddities, and surrounded by balmily expanding and tranquilly nuanced cinematic horizons. Another big one!!! "From A Certain Height" masterfully blends nebulously engrossing choir-infused solitudes with subtly vibrating and intricately high-tech grooves. As much engrossing as electrifying, an aural elixir is served here! "Quiescense" reveals with soaring enigmatic drifts, roaming through perplexing altitudes and backed by remotely elusive throbs and eerily glancing groans and squeaks. The closing 20-plus minutes long title opus "Boira" dives deeply into grandiosely unfathomable depths, navigated by gracefully celestial and spellbindingly humming drone stratums and oracularly illuminated by extraterrestrial signals. And then inconspicuously crescendoing through jaw-droppingly transporting meridians. Massively mysterious finale fully reveals all its magic!!! Bravo, Landru!!!

Landru offers with "Boira" 75 minutes of prodigiously tenebrous atmozones exquisitely augmented by a diversity of cybernetic, futuristic or primordial-charged curiosities, no matter if shimmering, pellucid, granular or puzzling. Undoubtedly "Boira" is another very strong recording by Landru, so don't hesitate to explore this crafted Spaniard, because he really deserves much more attention than he gets. Landru's discography features several well hidden gems and your support would be greatly appreciated with many rewards awaiting!!! Patxi, muchas gracias and keep on creating!!!

Richard Gürtler (May 31, 2017, Bratislava, Slovakia)

https://www.discogs.com/es/Landru-Boira/release/9101467
https://ello.co/richardgurtler/post/67tzfkyd5ij6_tbb3ekwpg
https://www.facebook.com/richard.gurtler.50/posts/820925444733103

Fimbria | Richard Gürtler | Ello | 2016

Landru is Patxi Hernández, one of driving forces behind Altera Orbe label, and "Fimbria" is his second solo ambient installment, released during September 2012. "Fimbria" comes as CDr edition packaged in elegant digipak. "Corrosion" unfolds the album and dives straightly into shadowy cavernous realms. Eerie, but richly organic-flavored ambience is melted with diverse distinguishing industrial and cybernetic fragments, some of them more harmonious while some others more discordant, with 12 minutes the longest composition on "Fimbria". "Substantia Nigra" keeps its synergetic path melting darkly spiraling pads, sparse future-tech elements with the sounds of flowing water. "Echoes" remain in subterranean domains, but comprise a quite hymnic drone. "The Passage", as its title suggests, is a shorter transitional number, where frightening zones are merged with otherworldly voice-like sounds and swirling effects, quite unique piece. "Cosmic Strings" bridge deep drones with various sharp dissonances and low primal rumbles. Again remaining rather sparse and weird, but strongly effective. "Miñaco" attracts with its semi-rhythmed cyberscape, sculpted with razor sharp whip sound effects and distant rumbles and winds. It gets closer to cybernetic-flavored first album "Neurotransmitters". And this future-tech sound can be explored also through "Amalgam", a composition of hazed, but vibrant technoscape crossed with cyber noises. However, "Katabatic Wind" quickly soars to wondrous primordial worlds with graciously floating and pleasantly soothing dreamscapes. A truly immersing composition, which grows on me with every repeated listen. The title composition "Fimbria" unfolds with the interplay of denser, high-tech soundscapes and water sound effects, but later cascades into hypnotically coiling and mid-paced, pulsing grooves. Electrifying cyber-tech escapade!!! "The Last Quelonid" integrates again various future-tech effects, rumbles and relaxing nature sounds, surrounded by immense sacral washes with ethereal choir-like essence. "Melted Stone" opens with deeply absorbing atmozones enriched sparkling noises, but the journey is soon stolen by spiraling, crystalline electro pulses, which transform this composition into steadily living and breathing trajectory, masterfully backed by mesmerizingly flowing water soundscapes. Absolutely brilliant finale!!! "Fimbria" is another freshly vital, adventurously sculpted and hauntingly distinctive work by this potential Spaniard, who is not afraid of searching his own pathway. And by the time I am completing these lines, a brand new album "Scotoma" has been released on Altera Orbe, so I really look forward to more exciting endeavors from Landru!!!

Richard Gürtler (July, 2016, Bratislava, Slovakia)

https://ello.co/richardgurtler/post/-3emscqv55zmf4xzzmdwtw

Fimbria | Richard Gürtler | Discogs & Facebook | 2013

Landru is Patxi Hernández, one of driving forces behind Altera Orbe label, and "Fimbria" is his second solo ambient installment, released during September 2012. "Fimbria" comes as CDr edition packaged in elegant digipak. "Corrosion" unfolds the album and dives straightly into shadowy cavernous realms. Eerie, but richly organic-flavored ambience is melted with diverse distinguishing industrial and cybernetic fragments, some of them more harmonious while some others more discordant, with 12 minutes the longest composition on "Fimbria". "Substantia Nigra" keeps its synergetic path melting darkly spiraling pads, sparse future-tech elements with the sounds of flowing water. "Echoes" remain in subterranean domains, but comprise a quite hymnic drone. "The Passage", as its title suggests, is a shorter transitional number, where frightening zones are merged with otherworldly voice-like sounds and swirling effects, quite unique piece. "Cosmic Strings" bridge deep drones with various sharp dissonances and low primal rumbles. Again remaining rather sparse and weird, but strongly effective. "Miñaco" attracts with its semi-rhythmed cyberscape, sculpted with razor sharp whip sound effects and distant rumbles and winds. It gets closer to cybernetic-flavored first album "Neurotransmitters". And this future-tech sound can be explored also through "Amalgam", a composition of hazed, but vibrant technoscape crossed with cyber noises. However, "Katabatic Wind" quickly soars to wondrous primordial worlds with graciously floating and pleasantly soothing dreamscapes. A truly immersing composition, which grows on me with every repeated listen. The title composition "Fimbria" unfolds with the interplay of denser, high-tech soundscapes and water sound effects, but later cascades into hypnotically coiling and mid-paced, pulsing grooves. Electrifying cyber-tech escapade!!! "The Last Quelonid" integrates again various future-tech effects, rumbles and relaxing nature sounds, surrounded by immense sacral washes with ethereal choir-like essence. "Melted Stone" opens with deeply absorbing atmozones enriched sparkling noises, but the journey is soon stolen by spiraling, crystalline electro pulses, which transform this composition into steadily living and breathing trajectory, masterfully backed by mesmerizingly flowing water soundscapes. Absolutely brilliant finale!!! "Fimbria" is another freshly vital, adventurously sculpted and hauntingly distinctive work by this potential Spaniard, who is not afraid of searching his own pathway. And by the time I am completing these lines, a brand new album "Scotoma" has been released on Altera Orbe, so I really look forward to more exciting endeavors from Landru!!!

Richard Gürtler (Jan 20, 2013, Bratislava, Slovakia)

Waterfront | Richard Gürtler | Discogs & Relaxed Machinery | 2012

"Waterfront" is the first collaboration between two Altera Orbe creators, Ran Kirlian and Landru, both emerging talents and kindred spirits from respected Spanish ambient scene. Released during the May 2012 through their Altera Orbe label. "Alkali" opens the journey and dives quickly into shadowy cavern with gentle primordial tribals, various tinkling bells, gongs and rumblings, all surrounded by mysteriously majestic drifts and spiced by rattlesnake-like sounds. A deeply magical prologue!!! Continuous cavernous feel invades also the next, 15-minute long piece, "Diffraction". Nearly free-floating atmospherics are joined by assorted high-tech fragments. Some repeating mechanical noise, evoking vaguely tribal-infused claps can be detected as well, but to me, this sound, even if quite hypnotic, is a bit dissonant to the overall mood of graciously soaring ambiences. But otherwise this soundscape is soothingly absorbing. These profound soundscapes are explored also through "Interdimensional", which paints again a hauntingly sculpted synergy between darker drones and cyber-shamanistic collages. "Pulsating Core" gets more massive with gently swirling gurgles, soon floating through celestial realms and tranquilly expanding towards the end into more mechanical escapade with more dominating, sharper sonic outbursts. A pure sonic bliss precisely merging the talents of both protagonists, the drifting wizardry of Ran Kirlian and cyber-futuristic adventures of Landru!!! Magnífico!!! "Alluvium" unveils quietly, but soon it reaches the most active, tribal-driven terrains highlighted by gently tinkling percussive elements, but always covered in sublimity and mystery. Explosively thrilling!!! Deeply organic intro of "Waterfront" exactly portrays the title and slowly transforms into slightly more intense, but peacefully flowing seascapes. The closing "Metamorphism", second longest piece getting close to 15-minute mark, opens with strangely odd buzzes and squeaks, but it soon slips into tribal paths leaded by slowed down, heavier beats, primordial ingredients, and circling, nearly hallucinogenic effects, discovered already on "Diffraction" and again injected with some disquieting feel, all blended with spectacularly intense and panoramic soundscapes. "Waterfront" is deeply expansive and mysteriously enchating journey!!! I am awarding extra points also for the elegant design of the digipak packaging. This collaborative work deserves your support, go for it!!!

Richard Gürtler (Jul 06, 2012, Bratislava, Slovakia)

Neurotransmitters | Richard Gürtler | Discogs & Relaxed Machinery | 2012

Wow, this is a really nice surprise for me, discovered only few weeks ago through newly launched Altera Orbe website. Landru, based near Barcelona, Spain, is a solo project of Patxi Hernández. He is also one of the creative forces behind Altera Orbe, together with Ran Kirlian. Landru was before focusing more on dance or chillout oriented electronics, but when I entered into "Neurotransmitters" territory through introducing "Serotonin" composition, my eyebrows were raised right away and brand new sonic dimensions were awaiting to be explored. Yes, "Neurotransmitters" is the first purely ambient-infused album of Landru, released in November, 2011. As mentioned above, this exciting excursion begins with "Serotonin", an icy cold dronescape colored with various, sharply hitting and erupting high-tech percussive sounds. Quite an electrifying performance I must say, introducing Landru's ambient soundscapes at most scientific!!! Important to mention, this album is a strongly conceptual work based around various neurotransmitters, the chemicals which allow the transmission of signals from one neuron to the next across synapses. Now that's a challenging theme to express through sonic visions by an artist who freshly ventures into ambient genre!!! "Acetylcholine" keeps on strongly futuristic route, but this time with more rhythmic approach, while the next piece, "Histamine" unites rather experimental, cacophonic sounds with atmospheric soundscapes. Low drone work, invading "Glycine", is soon joined by various razor-sharp effects and mechanized movements and shifts into coldly pulsing industrialized ambience, amazing!!! "Dopamine" immediately strikes with beautifully crystalline melody, crossed with harsher cybernetics, I really enjoy this catchy blend of nicely balanced softer and rawer passages, filling this journey with imagination and curiosity. "Epinephrine" hits with ice cold spiraling drones, spiced by assorted bleeps and hums, all backed by cavernous sounds. A truly immersing cybernetic dreamscape!!! But "GABA" dives even deeper with sonar-like pings and few eerie high-tech effects, slowly submerging into more massive drone walls before few slightly tribal-spiced grooves are thrown in. Audible ecstasy is guaranteed!!! "Aspartate" evolves into the most upbeat sculpted piece on "Neurotransmitters" with cold, industrialized rhythms. Various noises, rumblings and signals are nicely bridged with deeper atmospheres, evocative melody and ethereal voice-like sounds on "Glutamate". "Melatonin" closes this amazingly adventurous ride with richly sculpted and sharply sounding texture, assembled with hazed factory-like breathings, harsher distortions, catchy metallic implements and warmer, nearly cinematic drifts. "Neurotransmitters" is a very impressive ambient debut by Landru!!! I definitely will keep en eye on this Spaniard, because his co-work with Ran Kirlian entitled "Waterfront" is in the pipeline and his next ambient album "Fimbria" is in the works too. Until then, "Neurotransmitters" album gets my highest recommendation!!!

Richard Gürtler (Apr 14, 2012, Bratislava, Slovakia)

Neurotransmitters | Ran Kirlian | Celiar Stuctures | 2012

Neurotransmitters es el más reciente trabajo de mi buen colega Landru y lo que supone su primera incursión en el género ambient. Se trata de un trabajo altamente conceptual basado en los compuestos químicos liberados por las neuronas durante su proceso comunicativo, la sinapsis nerviosa.

Los temas de este álbum, a menudo abrigados por secuencias y ritmos de corte industrial y electrónico, se caracterizan en gran medida por ofrecer una vertiente poco común en este tipo de estilos, alejándose de los abigarrados colchones de pads y oscuros drones para acercarse a atmósferas casi minimalistas que le confieren un aire frío y limpio. Esto aporta un frescor poco habitual al género, lo cual es fruto de la experiencia del artista en tendencias más comerciales como el chill out o el tecno así como de los múltiples focos de influencia que demuestran una amplia educación musical.

Así, el álbum se inicia con Serotonin, un tema con un marcado ritmo a base de secuencias combinadas y un drone encargado de provocar una equilibrada tensión (propios de su función en el sistema nervioso), ofreciendo una atmósfera intensa e inquietante. El segundo tema, Acetylcholine, nos traslada a otro espacio mediante una percusión electrónica arropada por frases de pads y un sencillo pero efectivo drone que oscurece dramáticamente la escena. Histamine supone uno de los puntos más planeadores del álbum aunque también en cierto modo experimentales. Encontramos aquí una atípica fusión de pads expansivos junto a un ritmo casi cardíaco que acaba derivando en un convulso collage de sonidos delirantes que recuerdan a instrumentos de cuerda. Glycine aporta un pequeño respiro en la escucha aportando un soplo de aire fresco con cierto carácter étnico, subrayado nuevamente por unos pads de tremenda personalidad. Mientras, Dopamine provoca una sensación algo agridulce al combinar una secuencia de lo más sencilla con sonidos y melodías de tono mucho más sombríos.

Epinephrine y GABA, los dos temas siguientes, marcan la zona más planeadora y ambiental del álbum. El primero de ellos es un sosegado delirio de pads densos y expansivos cubiertos con una deliberada aspereza electrónica que ocasionalmente se ven visitados por sutiles secuencias y sonidos en la distancia. Por su parte GABA, principal neurotransmisor inhibitorio cerebral, aporta una zona de calma con casi 10 minutos exactos de pieza etérea, muy al estilo de Exuviae o Tom Brennan.

Y tras la calma llega la tormenta: Aspartate es el tema más agresivo del disco y muy probablemente mi favorito. Un marcado ritmo y un elaborado entramado de secuencias y frases son aquí los encargados de reforzar un microclima con un aroma cada vez más melancólico. Glutamate es, de nuevo un tema que resulta altamente inquietante por la atípica combinación de elementos, desde sonidos industriales hasta lo que recuerda a un sonar rodean a pads y leads en lo que podría ser la banda sonora de un cortometraje nórdico. El disco se cierra con Melatonin, el corte más eléctrico del álbum y que sin embargo vuelve a retomar aspectos ligeramente étnicos e industriales a la vez, sirviendo como excelente resumen de este singular trabajo.

Neurotransmitters es un álbum que destila un aire frío y fuertemente electrónico con una producción impecable y un sonido muy personal, por momentos más cercano a la obra de Pete Namlook u Orbital que a la de Brian Eno o Steve Roach. En mi opinión no podría esperarse un mejor primer trabajo para un género como el ambient, a veces tan difícil y exigente, en el que se agradece, como suele suceder a menudo, el frescor de quien aporta elementos más propios de otros estilos, abriendo a veces nuevas puertas.

Neurotransmitters está disponible en
Altera Orbe en formato descargable (Flac y MP3) por 7€ o en una preciosa edición limitada CDR por 10€. Más detalles en landrumusic.com


Publicado por Ran Kirlian en Celiar Structures

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