Reviews – Tranquilicity (2003)



Soundician Tranquilicity [Self-published] Soundician first appeared in 2001_16, and now the Johnson duo return with a new album of melodic ambience which refines and focuses their sound. ‘Freefall’ and a sequence of rising scales, string bass, shimmers and shakes, balancing downwards spirals – dense aquatic propulsive layers. Another slowish rhythm in ‘Cherryblossom’, synthetic animals call, voice washes and long strings while tingy percussion takes the melody in eastern directions. ‘Adrift’ starts with sounds that could be sites – bells, a rumble – then slow echoed tones, spirals beep, similar piano, layered and restrained, there is a nostalgic mood as it drifts along. Organ pulses form strata for ‘Slow motion snow’ created by Japanese strings, tones and a haunting note reminiscent of a bowed saw. Directed drift again in ‘Leviathan’ whose hollow tone and slow piano swims through a deeper undertone, encircled by ringing skittering and rumbles. A swirl of bubbling keyboards surrounds ‘Glides’ melody. Within the context ‘Kradle’ is minimal and experimental as a deep tone slowly steps with a higher (sax) over it, lightly touched by voice tones, and yet achieves a classical feeling. Again, synthetic animals call through ‘Canopy’ as a threatening deep, shakers, echoing burbles and melody build, the tune dancing and flittering while the threat remains below. A tching rhythm loop and bubbling synth underline the melody of ‘Starfish’ while a thoughtful piano steps through the zinging. And finally ‘Waltz No.3’ builds through harpsichord, washes, harps sweeps and finally piano in a swirling dance. This is not a threatening or difficult album, but it is up there with other albums of music to be enjoyed for their beauty and pleasure – with some hints at darker undercurrents and a complexity which allows new elements to be discovered.

Bill Binkleman Wind and Wire – Tranquilicity (2003)

 Soundician Tranquilicity 3 stars CD-R, Self-Released 2003 “Tranquilicity” is the last CD of the duo until now, with again a special melange of rather challenging ambient music. “Freefall” offers an inviting welcome, followed by the laidback and light atmosphere of “Cherryblossom” with a great melody that runs the surface. “Adrift” is a piece of traditional ambient music with distinct, soft dwelling soundscapes and echoing piano-keys, and the same style also applies to “Leviathan” (although a certain underwater-feel is apparent). “Glide” is an airy piece of music, taking the listener on a 3-minute journey above the clouds. “Kradle” is a different story with its penetrating, sampled flute sounds, and a bit harsh to my taste. “Canopy” takes a dive into ambient textural landscape, but also features some remarkable sequence patterns. “Starfish” is a nice, rhythmic track giving an almost happy feeling again, before “Waltz No3” concludes the album in a classical way, but also carries a vague traces of the soundtrack “Bilitis”.“Tranquilicity” offers something for every fan of nowadays ambient music, so make sure to give this CD or soundbites of it a listen.

Bert Strolenberg -SonicImersion – Tranquilicity (2003)



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