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Scott Mosher - Ambient Earth CD (album) cover

AMBIENT EARTH

Scott Mosher

 

Progressive Electronic

2.74 | 5 ratings

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clarke2001
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars After a few repeated listenings, I was always convinced this guy is without any musical talent at all. His other albums proved that I'm wrong, however I have issues with this debut.

Ambient Earth, as its name suggests, is an album full of ambient soundscapes, inclining towards the New Age music. I'm not a fan of that kind of music - but that's not hitting the nail of my disliking for this one. The timbres are lush, digital, ambient, majestic; sampled choirs are omnipresent. Occasional guitar moments, that could ad an extra dimension and warmth to an electronic number, actually sound more sterile and lifeless than keyboards - they're heavily clipped with digital distortion, sounding almost like bit-reduced. If that means nothing to you, let's just say that guitar sounds too artificial. Moreover, they're mostly thrown into the songs - playing a pattern and then ending abruptly. A sustained ending note or a fade out combined with altered keyboard tones would be much better - but it's not the guitar that is problem neither. Drum patterns are not bad, considering the fact they're a bit dull, and entirely programmed. So the drums are not problematic neither.

What bothers me a lot are two things: the first one is aforementioned choice of keyboard timbres; they're fine in their own right, but identical through entire album (which is too long anyway). Artist managed to reach a certain level of professionalism on this album, but it still sounds like it's entirely programmed on one mid-class keyboard workstation. Some change from time to time, please.

The second thing is the songwriting itself; it caused my harsh comment about a musical talent in the first paragraph. Chords, progressions, melodies. Take for example a title Atlantis Rises From The Waves (and what a generic title at that!): basic, basic, simple, non-demanding, un-original, you-name-it chords. The musician playing around his piano keyboard, discovering simple major and minor chords - but, pardon me, only white keys. And a scale entirely played on black keys. This applies to the most of the songs. The final result - song as a whole - is not actually that bad - but it had been heard before. Dozens of times. And it's long, long, unnecessarily long.

You may ask me: what do you want? It's electronic music, it needs to be somewhat simple, repetitive, meditative, to present a transcendental floating as opposed to a weight of everyday life blah blah blah. Well, I agree. And I like electronic music - from 50's experimental, 70's progressive, 80's poppy to 00's intelligent dance music. Some of it, of course. But you know, even if a simple sequence is going on and on, I need something that will pop out of the album and force my brain to pay a closer attention. This one is not doing it; Ambient Earth is flat as a flat Earth.

I like my progressive music to shock me, to burst because of density of ideas per song. This one is just playing it safe. Kudos to the artist for the maturity - he is controlling himself all the time, not letting the music go to far into pointless noodlings, which can not be said for many contemporary prog artists. But when it's too much, it's too much. This one is not moving too far.

There are a few good things though. The chord progressions, no matter how banal, are lovely. The timbre - and I'm not a fan of digital keyboards - are not annoying. There are some nice sequences and a few nice layerings. The usage of world music-like percussion sounds is also worth mentioning. But all this good things are few and far between; if released as a 10-minute single, Ambient Star would be fabulous. However, as a 74 minute album it's not so easy to digest. I must mention that the other albums by artist are much more worth checking - he generously offered them all free for download on his web-site, and I'm recommending them as he evolves his artistic expression through them. But the debut is forgettable.

clarke2001 | 2/5 |

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