Rich, Robert - Seven Veils

Year of Release: 1998
Label: Hearts Of Space
Catalog Number: 11806-2
Format: CD
Total Time: 60:35:00

This latest release by Robert Rich is very much percussion oriented - they more than just form the lattice on which the other instruments grow and build. They are the focus, where the synthesizers, violins, guitars, etc., are that which defines and highlights the rhythm. The percussion here, whether digital or analog, is often played with a light touch, tough often the bottom end can be heard. The arrangements are open, giving one the sense of upward movement, like smoke coiling up from campfire, like a dancer whos hands are making shapes out of nothing.

The first track, "Coils," wends its way around you with a slow, fat bass, sinewy stringed instruments, and perculating drums. As the pace picks up, the coil gets closer, tighter. Admittedly, there are instruments listed here that I can conceptualize, but am not familiar enough with to tell you what they sound like. But, that bass is, I suspect, a rubberband marimba.

"Ibn Sima" undulates, like floating on water while a hot sun beats down upon your face. "Dissolve" is shrouded in mystery, a certain darkness lingering at the edges. Voices whisper on the air, revealing secrets that no one can hear, as a flute plays sweetly, yet mournfully.

On "Lapis" a sad flute cries out plaintively, seeking a response, perhaps?

One thing I like about ambient music is that is never the same thing twice. If I were to write this review tomorrow, I might hear and see different things in the music. It is music like this, that is more than just audio-wallpaper, that becomes even more intriquing after each listen.

Some of Rich's guests are known in their own right, such as David Torn and Forrest Fang, who provide guitar and violin respectively. It is Fang's violin, we hear echoing the synthesizer's flght in "Talisman" - sounding at times dark, as it cuts diagonally across the rhythm.

I have liked nearly everything I've heard by Robert Rich, and this disc is no exception. There is a tendency here to editorialize on the beauty of ambient music, knowing, of course, that the fan of bombastic rock - progressive or otherwise - might find this a little tame. But, nonetheless, Rich's Seven Veils is a relaxing, thoughtful, and intriquing release. Recommended.

Coils (6:03) / Alhambra (10:09) / Talisman of Touch (4:50) / Book of Fantasy: i) Silken Thread (5:07) / ii) Hungry Moon (4:00) / iii) Veiled Oasis (5:56) / Ibn Sina (8:33) / Dissolve (5:34) / Lapis (10:19)

Robert Rich - synths, samples, drums, percussion, bamboo, PVC flutes, lap steel guitar, rubberband marimba, dulcimer, waterphone, glurp (?)
David Torn - guitar (2, 4)
Hans Christian - cello (4, 7)
Forrest Fang - violin (3)
Mark Forry - Balkan kaval (6)
Andrew McGowan - bass (2)

Sunyata (1982)#
Trances (1984)#
Drones (1983)#
Live (1984)
Urdu (w/Urdu) (1985)#
Inner Landscapes (1985)#
Numena (1987##/1993)
Geometry (1987#/1991/1994)
Arcana Coelestia (1987)
Dry Lungs IV (1988)*
Frozen Fireworks (1988)
Rainforest (1989)
Rational Music For An Irrational World (1989)#
Strata (w/Steve Roach) (1990)
Universe Sampler '90 (1990)*
Dal?, The Endless Enigma (1990)*
Gaudi (1991)
A Door In The Air (1991)
Adventures In Music - 10/10 Sampler (1991)*
Soma (w/Roach) (1992)
Universe 2 (1992)*
EyeCatching (w/Amoeba) (1993)
Escape From The Cage Vol. 3 (1993)*
Of Sound Mind Compilation (1993)# (ltd ed)The Promises Of Silence (1993)
The Absolute Sound (1993)
Propogation (1994)
Trances/Drones (1994) From Here to Tranquility(1994)*
Universe 3 (1994)*
mbnt (1994)
Yearning (w/Lisa Moskow) (1995)
Night Sky Replies (1995) (ltd ed. 3'' CD)
Stalker (w/Brian Williams (B Lustmord)) (1995)
The Throne Of Drones (1995)*
Endless II (1995)*
Twilight Earth II (1995)*
Swarm Of Drones (1995)*
A Troubled Resting Place (1996)
Narratives (1996)
Storm Of Drones (1996)*
Soundscape Gallery (1996)*
Watchful (w/Amoeba) (1997)
Fissures(w/Alio Die) (1997)
Living Room Concerts Vol. #3 (1997)*
Below Zero (1998)
Apokalypsis Explicata (1998)
Dry Lungs VI (1998)*
Seven Veils (1998)

(# = cassette release, ## LP, * compilation of artists)

Genre: Electronic

Origin US

Added: April 10th 1999
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website:
Hits: 3309
Language: english


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