1. The Flower of Life 11:56
2. Where Two Great Rivers Meet 9:57
3. Djehuti, the Architect 13:33
4. Columns of Light 8:19
5. Looking Into the Other 9:53
6. Wrapped in Leaves 14:00
Steve Brand has been creating sound art and visual art since the mid-80's. From 1995 to 2003 he was active as Augur, creating obscure and organic music which was released on many labels worldwide, including The Foundry, Manifold, Alluvial, Self-Abuse and others.
During the years he had the chance to collaborate with artists such as Jeph Jerman (Hands To, Animist Orchestra), Rick Kitch (I Am Umbrella, Lucky Cricket), PBK, James P. Keeler (Wilt), Brooke Oates (Birds of Tin), etc.
His atmospheres, alarmingly austere, with varying shades of gray, are drenched in allusion and a heightened sense of cinematic noir for the listener. According to his own words, "emotional aspects of a recording always come first".
Consisting of six long tracks, "Looking Into the Other" takes up where "Awakensong" (...released on Afe in April 2006...) left off, expanding the exploration of twilight worlds.
The album utilizes bells, synthesizers, voice, various flutes, medicine drums, cymbals, fiddle, rattles, prayer bowls, etc.
"Looking Into the Other" begins with the ritual horns introduction of "The Flower of Life", a piece full of pathos which is subsequently filled with morbid sythesizers lines and insects sounds provided by Johnathan Benham.
"Where Two Rivers Meet" starts as a percussive number and then proceeds with keyboards and flute intertwining each other before percussions re-emerge towards the end of the track.
Clocking at more than thirteen minutes, "Djehuti, the Architect" is one of the longest and most complex tracks on the album. Its structure keeps on changing as different percussions, cymbal, voices and synthesizers flow in and out of the mix. Listening to this track is quite an experience.
"Columns of Light" it's a quieter and dreamy piece constructed on floating keyboards sequences and background rattles, bells, chimes and other small objects / hand-held percussions.
"Looking Into the Other", the title-track, was already featured on our 10th year celebrative on-line compilation in late 2005, the one on this album is an improved version. With its flutes, voices, phased drones and repetitive drumming, this track has a strong introspective quality.
The fourteen minutes long "Wrapped in Leaves" closes the album with a mocking laugh. A shorter version of this track previously appeared on the "Things Asunder" compilation released by The Foundry.
Once again, with this work Steve Brand has created an high quality and excellent album of deeply emotional music, and proved himself as one of the most inspired authors in contemporary Ritual Ambient.
"I am reaching into the interior realities, the meaning behind the symbols we accept as everyday reality, into the dream of the abundant natural self that knows no boundaries or limitations."
"Con "Looking Into the Other", Steve Brand prosegue l'esplorazione di culture "altre", al fine di calarci in un mondo buio e vasto, nel quale riecheggiano suoni che sembrano appartenere a tribù primitive: percussioni, flauti e altri strumenti etnici si fondono con sintetizzatori quasi lisergici e altri campionamenti, cancellando lo scorrere del tempo. Brand non conosce eccessi e fa del silenzio una delle sue armi, in quanto la presenza di percussioni non significa tribalismi incessanti e invasivi, ma solo suggerimento dello svolgersi di qualche misteriosa attività rituale in un angolo del paesaggio sonoro..."
"The tracks flow in and out of one another with perfect symmetry and continuity... Nothing dark here, all light, the innocent, unreserved, spontaneous kind of light you felt as a child, while lying peacefully in a very beautiful meadow, letting the sun sink in, almost burning your skin, letting your mind languidly wander all around you. At the time when everything you touched or observed was a small miracle, and you somehow seemed to be able to communicate with it. The greatest conspiracy of all, and one rarely surpassed by adult life. I for one, if nothing more, am grateful for the reminder. If you’re always looking for original and of very high quality ambient, so will you."
Heathen Harvest [more]
"This is meditative, almost spiritual music in its most primitive sense. Brand manages to wake up that part of you that longs for days past and lost cultures. Every track on this almost 70 minute long album is beautifully worked, and nothing is done in excess. These soundscapes will put you in a calm, almost other-worldly state of mind."
Lunar Hypnosis [more]
"Steve Brand aveva già pubblicato "Awakensong" poco più di un anno fa. Quel percorso si estende ora con l'odierno "Looking Into the Other", aperto dall'assoluta serenità ambientale di scuola Eno di "The Flower of Life", con appropriati elementi naturali che ne accompagnano con costanza lo svolgersi serafico, scosso dalla breve intro percussiva di "Where Two Rivers Meet" ma riafferrato da tastiere soffici ed aeree. L'album subisce poi un'impennata oscura con "Djehuti, the Architect", in cui si affacciano tormentati echi di rombi industriali che s'acquietano appena nel corpo centrale, per ritrovare una calma prodfonda in "Columns of Light" che in "Looking Into the Other", ben costruita su fiati ed ovattate percussioni, trasmuta in mistica meditazione, con rifrazioni rituali che travasano anche nella stasi della conclusiva "Wrapped in Leaves"."
Blow Up [more]
"...a heady sometimes expansive, some ominous journey into tribal and ritual ambience utilizing bells, synths, flute, fiddle, various percussive elements, rattles and field recordings to create these involving sonic rituals and dramatic and evocative sound worlds. Most of the six tracks running around the just under or just over the 10 minute mark and drifting from rich, mysterious and harmonic synth dwells peppered with dramatic percussive elements and under lit by bird song and lulling environmental sound. To haunted, eerier flute hums and wails, to closing in and chilling percussive drones elements and bad luck hazes of rhythm. The tracks conjure up landscapes of vast overgrown ornate stone temples, weaved by vine and overshadowed by dense leaf cover. Sunsets over cooling deserts as robed figures gather to begin scoring in the sands with strange marks and symbols to prepare for upcoming ceremonies. Awaking in clanking and sinister moss weaved bonze corridors, where the walls are seemingly alive with strange voices and darting eyes. Brand clearly has a great understanding of building tension, wonder and mysteries with-in sound and he never sounds contrived or hollow..."
Musique Machine [more]