162

Ashera: Ambient Selections

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
This 2-CD album, produced in Australia by Anthony Asher Wright and a couple of guest performers, is well within the “traditional” spirit of Brian Eno’s original concept of ambient music. It is designed not to intrude, but to exist in the aural background of the listener’s consciousness, and enhance calm or meditative moods. The album cover says “Play at lower level; do not operate machinery or drive vehicles.” This sums it up pretty well. “Ashera’s” sounds feature, in different tracks, whispers of synthesizer chords, gently tinkling bells, Australian environmental sounds, and crooning female voices. It’s soft, really soft. Even if you turn the volume up, it’s still soft.

One of “Ashera’s” good points is that he picks good chords to float in. He likes modern jazz harmony, or perhaps a bit of French impressionism, all of it ever-so-drifting and ethereal, with that smooth shimmer that makes this kind of ambient so easy to listen to. There are a few slightly dissonant chords, which have a somewhat Roach-like feel to them, but even Steve Roach at his quietest was never THIS quiet. And “Ashera” stays well away from any evocation of either deserts, aborigines, or space; his track titles mostly allude to landscapes or nature.

Some of the more interesting tracks on the first CD are “Lullaby for Mother Earth,” (which has a lot of wordless vocals on it), “Noosa Rain,” and “Flowers of Colours.” The second CD standouts are “Cyclic Balance” and “Astral Travel,” as well as the mysterious and subtle (and sometimes so soft as to be almost inaudible) “Sotavento.” These pieces are not dissonant enough to be “dark” ambient; perhaps “twilight ambient” would be a better term.

If you have listened through both CD’s in succession, you will definitely be softened up, lulled, and half-asleep by the end. “Ashera” then wakes you up with the last track, an electronic sequencer piece, louder than the rest of the album, called “Spinning Dance of Joy.” With its perky repetitions and rhythms, it gives the listener a gentle jolt back into waking reality.

| Record Label: Anthony Wright | Style: Ambient


Shop

More Articles

Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Wild CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 26, 2017
Read This Is Nate Najar CD/LP/Track Review This Is Nate Najar
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Joy Comes Back CD/LP/Track Review Joy Comes Back
by James Nadal
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Apocalypse CD/LP/Track Review Apocalypse
by Julian Derry
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read "Twelve Moons" CD/LP/Track Review Twelve Moons
by Phil Barnes
Published: August 30, 2016
Read "Emergence" CD/LP/Track Review Emergence
by Budd Kopman
Published: March 15, 2016
Read "Three Miles From Avalon" CD/LP/Track Review Three Miles From Avalon
by Doug Collette
Published: October 15, 2016
Read "Seaside" CD/LP/Track Review Seaside
by John Eyles
Published: January 30, 2017
Read "Life and Other Transient Storms" CD/LP/Track Review Life and Other Transient Storms
by Troy Dostert
Published: August 26, 2016
Read "Summer Skyshift" CD/LP/Track Review Summer Skyshift
by John Sharpe
Published: August 18, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!