Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Craig Padilla / Zero Ohms / Skip Murphy - "Beyond The Portal" CD

A pair of skilled analogue synthesists (Padilla and Murphy) here team up with cosmic flutist/ethno-woodwind expert Zero Ohms (aka Richard Roberts), and the result is, not shockingly, a spacy ambient electronic album. Sans any kind of substantial beats, 'Beyond The Portal' is an expansive, drifty collection of sterile synth washes that unfortunately plays it rather safe. Percolating sequencers, lilting almost-melody, and blippy analogue effects make up the whole of the album, but it doesn't seem to really go anywhere, atmospherically or melodically. The title track, which concludes the album, reminds me of the myriad forgettable ambient releases of the 90's, which just isn't a good thing. Don't get me wrong, I adore well-constructed atmospheric ambient sounds, but 'Beyond The Portal' just seems to have no teeth whatsoever -- it's fluffy and lightweight, and I'm left a bit under-whelmed. (Lotuspike)

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