135

Robert Carty: Serotonin Ashram

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
Robert Carty: Serotonin Ashram Serotonin Ashram , Carty's 1999 release, is quite different from 1998's The Living. This album has much more variety, ranging from "chill" or "drone" ambient, to medium-fast rhythms, to beat-driven pieces along the lines of European synth-rock. It begins with the eleven-minute "Follow Your Bliss" which in its modal melodies, optimistic harmonies and swaying rhythm has become one of my favorite electronic tracks of the past few years. In fact, if I had heard this album earlier, I would have named it as one of my top ambient albums of 1999, and in retrospective, I will include it in the list.

Carty continues to add nature sounds as a background, though unlike the previous album these are overshadowed by louder music. I especially like the sound of distant thunder (real? synthesized?) in track 2, "The Periphery," and track 4, "Medicine Quest." In track 5, "Extended Stillness," Carty travels a bit into Roach territory, with rattles and shakers, low chanting sounds, and "floating" electronic chords. But the sound is still Carty's, thanks to his harmonic choices which are quite different from those of the Tucson veteran. Carty ends the album with a sparkling Euro-rock piece that moves right along until it fades into a silicon dawn.

Robert Carty is more than just an ambient soundsmith, he is a composer, who knows how to vary pace, texture, and structure, and who is not afraid to unify an entire album by bringing back motifs from earlier tracks in the later pieces. So much ambient seems aimless, with little or no design behind it, which is why I enjoy the thinking behind Carty's music as much as I do his natural sound samples and clear harmonies. The cleverly titled "Serotonin Ashram" is an ambient achievement that deserves lots of listening.

Rating out of 5: 5


Title: Serotonin Ashram | Year Released: 2000 | Record Label: Deep Sky Music


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read The Attic CD/LP/Track Review The Attic
by John Sharpe
Published: July 24, 2017
Read Outside The Comfort Zone CD/LP/Track Review Outside The Comfort Zone
by Roger Farbey
Published: July 24, 2017
Read # 1 CD/LP/Track Review # 1
by Troy Dostert
Published: July 24, 2017
Read Tetrawind CD/LP/Track Review Tetrawind
by Geannine Reid
Published: July 24, 2017
Read Triplicate CD/LP/Track Review Triplicate
by Doug Collette
Published: July 24, 2017
Read Ballet: The Music Of Michael Gibbs CD/LP/Track Review Ballet: The Music Of Michael Gibbs
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 23, 2017
Read "Tiptoe" CD/LP/Track Review Tiptoe
by Jerome Wilson
Published: December 1, 2016
Read "Tracé Provisoire" CD/LP/Track Review Tracé Provisoire
by Mark Sullivan
Published: August 10, 2016
Read "King For A Day" CD/LP/Track Review King For A Day
by Glenn Astarita
Published: June 3, 2017
Read "Dawg Yawp" CD/LP/Track Review Dawg Yawp
by Jim Trageser
Published: October 29, 2016
Read "Esse" CD/LP/Track Review Esse
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 5, 2017
Read "Ripple" CD/LP/Track Review Ripple
by Bob Kenselaar
Published: November 29, 2016

Support All About Jazz: MAKE A PURCHASE  

Support our sponsor

Upgrade Today!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.

Donate!