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Scott Mosher

Progressive Electronic

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Scott Mosher Ambient Earth album cover
2.74 | 5 ratings | 4 reviews | 0% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1996

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Descent Into The Inferno (4:51)
2. Atlantis Rises From The Waves (4:51)
3. Where The River Runs Black (3:42)
4. To The Promised Land (4:12)
5. The Burning Sea (3:50)
6. Spinning Binary Systems (5:46)
7. Innerverse (2:48)
8. Sinister Romance (Consummate) (5:46)
9. Discovery (5:25)
10. City Of A Thousand Lights (2:39)
11. Tenochitlan (7:42)
12. Eclipse (4:54)
13. Sleep Forever (4:53)
14. Dreaming In Distant Worlds (4:42)
15. Autumn Realms Of Twilight (7:49)

Total Time: 73:50

Line-up / Musicians

- Scott Mosher / guitars, bass, synthesizers, programming, sequencers, vocals

Releases information

CD The Ambient Mind (1996)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
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SCOTT MOSHER Ambient Earth ratings distribution

(5 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(0%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(20%)
Good, but non-essential (20%)
Collectors/fans only (60%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

SCOTT MOSHER Ambient Earth reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars A distinctive Tang

Released in 1996, "Ambient earth" is American Scott Mosher's first CD album. He is very much a solo artist playing all the instruments on the album and recording and producing the album himself. You could be forgiven therefore for expecting the kind of music created by many budding artists in their own homes, with long drawn out ambient pieces of primarily new age music. Happily, this is not the case here.

Mosher certainly recognises the new age influences in his music, but there are dynamics and energies throughout this album which belie its home brewed connotations. Take the second track "Atlantis rises from the waves" for example. This features loud bursts of fanfare synths and powerful percussion. Before that, the opening "Descent into the inferno" has a trance like feel, with Tangerine Dream like sounds mixing with a solid rhythm.

The diversity of the music is further emphasised by the world music rhythms of "Where the river runs black", and later "Tenochitlan", by which time the album has settled down into a more defined pattern. The overriding sound is that of various synths, leading to inevitable comparisons with Vangelis, Jarre, and the aforementioned Tangs. "The burning sea" is more in the Jean Michel Jarre camp, with a strong rhythm and relatively simple melody. There is though a certain menace to the deep beat of tracks such as this and "Descent into the inferno" which actually bring to mind some of Porcupine Tree's more ambient work.

While the album is entirely instrumental, Mosher does like to use vocal samples to provide choral effects on some tracks. "Spinning binary systems", a Tangerine Dream ("Rubycon") like piece utilises these sounds well. My only minor criticism of this and other tracks, is the rather clumsy fade.

On "Discovery", Mosher combines the choral samples with some fine old fashioned(!) monophonic synth, to create an highly atmospheric piece which is simultaneously contemporary and retro. "Eclipse" features the first real burst of lead guitar, the soloing indicating that Mosher is extremely capable on a diverse range of instruments.

In all, a highly proficient and enjoyable first CD by this talented musician. Do not be put off by the "ambient" title, this is a varied album of dynamic sounds and strong compositions.

This album can be downloaded free from the artist's website (see the link on Scott Mosher's ProgArchives page). If you do download though, do the decent thing and post a review.

Review by 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.

Review by aapatsos
3 stars I will do the decent thing and post a review (as Bob suggests...). And this debut album is worth listening to and spending some time to write a review. However, I have to warn the reader of my little knowledge and connection to electronic music (which this album entirely consists of).

As far as progressive electronic is concerned, I have to admit that the resemblance between this album with complex progressive arrangements and variety of instruments is minimal. This does not mean that the sound is always 'flat' and uninteresting as there are several moments that the melodies are more than pleasing to the ear. The majority of the record is based on a (mostly repetitive) synth background with drum machine sounds - a clear disadvantage to the final outcome.

Influences from artists like Jean-Michelle Jarre and Mike Oldfield are obvious but add to the quality of the album. I found myself enjoying the more epic moments (i.e. Atlantis rises from the waves) where powerful keyboard lines are dominant and 'dreamy'/ambient intervals in tracks like Dreaming in Distant Worlds. There are also tracks based entirely on dark or tribal rhythms (i.e. Descent into the inferno, Tenochitlan, Where the river runs black) that give a different 'spice' to what the artist is trying to achieve with this debut. Spinning Binary Systems has a 'Vangelis' feeling that runs through a few tracks while Ozric Tentacles-like arrangements can be heard in City of a Thousand Lights. The impressive use of electric guitar in Eclipse clearly shows the technical abilities of Scott Mosher and makes this track a highlight.

If you have not already understood by now, it is quite complex for me to compile my thoughts over this debut that shows a high potential but generally does not impress. Clearly the length of the album is on the 'cons' side along with the 'empty' sound of the drum machine. On the 'pros', a few innovative ideas and a well-established ambient feeling that makes the album a - at least - pleasant experience.

Decent debut from an artist that makes you expect more. Fans of electronic music might appreciate this album more than I did...

Review by rushfan4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Ambient Earth is Scott Mosher's debut CD which I downloaded for free from his website along with three other of his solo albums. It is this album that probably most explains his inclusion in the Progressive Electronic category as his future albums head into a more progressive metal direction. This album consists of ambient soundscapes with numerous repetitive themes. The guitar work on this album is decent. The keyboard playing is decent at times, but I did find it to be repetitive and kind of samesy throughout. Take this for what it is worth as I am not a fan of ambient soundscapes. They generally bore me. I believe that this album is most likely to appeal to fans of Prog that borders on New Age such as some Tangerine Dream, solo Rick Wakeman, and some Mike Oldfield. It is not terrible by no means, it just isn't music that I find to be all that exciting to listen to. On the Prog Archives rating system I give it 2 stars as being music that is for fans of this type of progressive new age sound. I don't feel that it will have much appeal outside of this group of fans or except for those type of occasions that call for that progressive new age sound.

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