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Rudy Adrian is a New Zealander who works well within the tradition of "music for relaxation," electronic ambient with a quieting, soothing mood. He can also roll out some harder, sequencer-rhythm material in the style of the famous Germans of the '70s. Both these sides of Adrian's work are available on this album. For instance, track 1, "Eclipse," introduces the album in a purely ambient mood, but then track 2, "Towards the White Mountains," is a soft but insistent sequencer piece, with a harder- toned synthesizer drawing a melodic line. Track 3, "Enveloping Mists," is rather reminiscent of Robert Carty's work, using some natural sounds accompanied by retro-electronic drones. Then back to the electronic rhythm drives in track 4, "Summa Cum Laude." After that, though, the album returns to ambient and stays there throughout the remaining six tracks.
I much prefer the slow ambient pieces to the more rhythmic material. Adrian works best when it's dreamy and quiet, and he can take advantage of those time-honored ambient features, such as modal harmonies, floating chords, and soaking digital reverb. The flute-playing of Nick Prosser also adds some fine acoustic touches in tracks 5, 7, and 9. However, there is nothing much that is new or original in this album; you've heard it all before. But unoriginality doesn't stop this from being gentle, pleasant, and, in keeping with the title, nocturnal - or at least crepuscular.*
Years ago now--in Rhodesia--listening to Voice of America with Willis Conover I heard Bunk Johnson play When The Saints Go Marching In, and Billie Holiday sing Don't Explain. I knew then there was no other life for me than jazz.