Friday, October 8, 2010

Deborah Martin - "Deep Roots, Hidden Water" CD

This is a remaster of an early work (1999) by ambient composer Martin, who wowed me this past year with her outstanding "Between Worlds" collaboration with Erik Wollo. And while "Deep Roots" isn't as convincing overall, it's still a strong album worthy of attention from fans of ambient and space music.

This one's more electronic in nature, and, with the opening cut, "Haunted By Water", it even approaches a classical structure. "One Sun" brings around some tribal drums for a more nuanced, natural approach, and this is Martin's strength -- wedding sparse electronic elements with organic, worldly textures. "The Strength Of Stones" is a certain highlight, and an effective and mysterious collision of sounds. With former King Crimson member Tony Levin's moody, snaking bassline, this track is a memorable and exotic slice of fourth-world atmosphere. Levin features throughout the album, and the tracks with his involvement also benefit from a more rounded and diverse sound palette. "Voices On The Rim" works well, too, being a Native American-inspired piece. The closer, "Across Sky", is a synth-strings flight of fancy, leaving the ground for a more airborne journey.

Whereas "Deep Roots, Hidden Water" isn't perfect, it is a lovely and refreshing backdrop for some reflective meditation and relaxation. (Spotted Peccary)

Deborah Martin Music

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