Terrence Dixon
Ten Favourite Labels 2012

1982 + BJ Cole
Oren Ambarchi
Alexander Berne
Born Gold
Carlyle & Cox
Kate Carr and Gail Priest
Paul Corley
Roland Etzin
Yuichiro Fujimoto
Godspeed You! Bl. Emp.
Ivar Grydeland
Sophie Hutchings
Kane Ikin
Jeanne Jolly
Paul Mac
Michael Mayer
David Michael
David Newlyn
No Regular Play
Oskar Offermann
Olan Mill
Roomful of Teeth
Bruno Sanfilippo
Valgeir Sigurdsson
The Sleep Of Reason
Jessica Sligter
Slow Dancing Society
Prins Thomas
The Use Of Ashes
Maarten van der Vleuten
Stian Westerhus
Wires Under Tension
Woolfy vs. Projections

William Basinski

Elektro Guzzi
Porya Hatami
Maps & Diagrams
Stephan Mathieu
Michael Trommer

Numina: The Deception of Reality

Judging on the basis of The Deception of Reality, Numina's deep ambient is about as deep as ambient gets. American ambient composer Jesse Sola takes the listener on a seventy-five-minute journey through the outer reaches of space on his fourth Numina release on Hypnos and his first since 2007's Shift to the Ghost. Though five tracks are indexed and titled, the material plays like an uninterrupted travelogue of epic proportion and immersive character. As a purely listening experience (and played loud enough for maximum impact), the material exudes a grandiose quality and registers as the sonic equivalent of a towering classical architectural structure.

The Deception of Reality carves out an immense reverberant space within which radiant synthetic elements resound and where impenetrably dense textures form backdrops to shimmering electronics and serpentine melodic patterns. Percussive strikes intermittently emerge, though they have less impact in this context when the non-percussive elements are already pitched at such a high level. Long swaths of synthetic sounds stretch across the vast spaces and ethereal choral voices occasionally surface, too. The intensity level remains feverishly high throughout the opening parts, “The Illusion Transmission” and “Our Elegant Experience,” which makes “In Cerulean Haze” all the more appealing for providing a ten-minute interlude of relative placidity and quietude. The nearly twenty-minute “Empire of Nothing” perpetuates that serene state in its swirls of washes and softly whistling tones, after which the luminous “Translunary Return” provides an equally soothing resolution to the project as a whole. That the album is heavily synth-based is borne out by sleeve info that lists the synthesizers (eight by my count) that Sola used to generate the tracks' sounds. Production details aside, The Deception of Reality clearly suggests that lovers of deep ambient will find Numina's material satisfying in the extreme.

November 2012