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James Johnson: Entering Twilight (2000)

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No stars How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

I recently saw this release listed in a newsgroup as ambient music to fall asleep to — I agree. This release of Johnson’s evokes that moment when you are coming down from awe or an intense epiphany. I mean it conveys that sense of relaxed but fading wonder, the in-between places of undirected contemplation.

The is a continuous play, one song, one composition, one mood piece. It has somewhat of a fade in, then weaves endlessly to nowhere and returns to the void of silence without fanfare. For those curious as to what this ambient miasma sounds like I suggest you find the works of Steve Halpern and early Jonn Serrie. Find the clear-toned notes that chime like bells or muffled gongs, that echo and vibrate resembling, those Spartan healing-keys meanderings of Halpern. Then weave in the passing drones, ethereally distant wailings of alien sirens, and vocalizations of angelic whales in a Serrie space music mode. Randomize it all into a gentle mix, adjust volume swells, carefully pan, and keep notes in a relatively restricted set of octaves. Assemble into an amorphous flow of sounds. Avoid spacecraft or cometary whooshing effects and lean towards picturing an otherworldly windchime store situated near an underwater train chute — ahhhh yes, that’s it.

Recommended for not listening to — but for general neuronal shut-down, snoring, and NDE recovery sessions. “Goodnight, Grasshopper. Please bring more rice paper for tomorrow. And quit playing with that gong already.”

Website: www.zeromusic.net or www.hypnos.com


Track Listing: Entering Twilight

Personnel: James Johnson - all synths and programming

Record Label: Hypnos Recordings

Style: Ambient


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