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 Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2) CD/LP/Track Review TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)
by Nicola Negri
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Goat Man & The House of the Dead CD/LP/Track Review Goat Man & The House of the Dead
by Dave Wayne
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by James Nadal
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "Vit" CD/LP/Track Review Vit
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 7, 2017
Read "Open Window / Flying Colors" CD/LP/Track Review Open Window / Flying Colors
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 22, 2016
Read "Piano Song" CD/LP/Track Review Piano Song
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 21, 2017
Read "Live At Shinjuku Pit Inn" CD/LP/Track Review Live At Shinjuku Pit Inn
by Nicola Negri
Published: September 9, 2016
Read "A Kenton Celebration" CD/LP/Track Review A Kenton Celebration
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 28, 2016
Read "Laughing At Life" CD/LP/Track Review Laughing At Life
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 27, 2017

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!