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ROBERT RICH

Progressive Electronic • United States


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Robert Rich biography
With over two dozen albums, Robert RICH has helped define the genres of ambient music, dark-ambient, tribal and trance, yet his music remains hard to categorize. Part of his unique sound comes from using home-made acoustic and electronic instruments, microtonal tunings, computer-based signal processing, chaotic systems and feedback networks. RICH began building his own analog synthesizers in 1976, when he was 13 years old, and later studied for a year at Stanford's Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA).

RICH released his first album Sunyata in 1982. Most of his subsequent recordings came out in Europe until 1989, when Rich began a string of critically acclaimed releases for Fathom/Hearts of Space, including Rainforest (1989), Gaudí (1991), Propagation (1994) and Seven Veils (1998). His two collaborations with Steve Roach, Strata (1990) and Soma (1992), both charted for several months in Billboard. Other respected collaborations include Stalker (1995 with B. LUSTMORD), Fissures (1997 with ALIO DIE) and Outpost (2002 with Ian BODDY.) RICH's contributions to multi-artist compilations have been collected on his solo albums A Troubled Resting Place (1996) and Below Zero (1998). He also records with his group, AMOEBA, exploring atmospheric songcraft on their CDs Watchful (1997) and Pivot (2000). Live albums such as Calling Down the Sky (2004) and 3-CD Humidity (2000) document the unique improvised flow of his recent performances.

Rich's performances helped solidify an aesthetic focus on psychoacoustics, perceptible in early recordings such as Geometry and Drone Records. Rich's more mature works such as Rainforest and Propagation have sought to combine that interest with more recognizable electro-acoustical elements (Rich plays a wide range of instruments, from synths and effects racks to hand drums and flute), but the influence of digital sound manipulation has also moved increasingly to the fore.

RICH has performed in caves, cathedrals, planetaria, art galleries and concert halls throughout Europe and North America. His all-night Sleep Concerts, first performed in 1982, became legendary in the San Francisco area. In 1996 he revived his all-night concert format, playing Sleep Concerts for live and radio audiences across the U.S. during a three month tour. In 2001 Rich released the 7 hour DVD Somnium, a studio distillation of the Sleep Concert experience, possibly the longest continuous piece of music ever released. Rich...
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Numena & GeometryNumena & Geometry
Valley 2011
Audio CD$12.85
$9.99 (used)
FilamentsFilaments
CD Baby 2015
Audio CD$10.92
$10.91 (used)
GaudiGaudi
Valley 2011
Audio CD$10.35
$4.95 (used)
A Troubled Resting PlaceA Troubled Resting Place
Valley 2011
Audio CD$12.28
$3.98 (used)
YearningYearning
Valley 2011
Audio CD$8.98
$3.04 (used)
Trances & DronesTrances & Drones
CD Baby 2013
Audio CD$12.33
$12.32 (used)
NestNest
CD Baby 2012
Audio CD$10.72
$10.71 (used)
Perpetual: Somnium ContinuumPerpetual: Somnium Continuum
CD Baby 2014
Blu-ray Audio$21.35
$22.00 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
Robert Rich-Below Zero CD NEW USD $14.13 Buy It Now 14h 15m
React by Ian Boddy/Robert Rich (CD, Mar-2008, Din Records (UK)) USD $16.61 Buy It Now 1 day
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Amoeba, Watchful CD, Brian Eno, Tangerine Dream, Windy & Carl, Robert Rich, Can USD $4.95 Buy It Now 2 days
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Robert Rich - Troubled Resting Place [CD New] USD $13.48 Buy It Now 2 days
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Sunyata & Inner Landscapes Robert Rich Audio CD USD $27.89 Buy It Now 3 days
Robert Rich-Temple of the Invisible CD NEW USD $14.13 Buy It Now 4 days
Robert Rich / B. Lustmord - Stalker (CD) Russia ArsNova Limited Edition 500 USD $19.50 Buy It Now 4 days
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Open Window by Robert Rich (CD, Sep-2012, Soundscape) USD $8.50 Buy It Now 5 days
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A Troubled Resting Place by Robert Rich (CD, Feb-2011, Hearts of Space) USD $19.34 Buy It Now 5 days
Yearning by Robert Rich (CD, Feb-2011, Hearts of Space) USD $19.34 Buy It Now 5 days
SoMa by Robert Rich/Steve Roach (CD, Feb-2011, Hearts of Space) USD $19.34 Buy It Now 5 days
Propagation by Robert Rich (CD, Feb-2011, Hearts of Space) USD $19.34 Buy It Now 5 days
Fissures by Robert Rich (CD, Feb-2011, Hearts of Space) USD $19.34 Buy It Now 5 days
Robert Rich - Calling Down The Sky [CD New] USD $13.94 Buy It Now 6 days
Temple of the Invisible by Robert Rich (CD, May-2004, Soundscape) USD $16.93 Buy It Now 6 days
Open Window by Robert Rich (CD, Sep-2012, Soundscape) USD $16.93 Buy It Now 6 days
Robert Rich-Sunyata & Inner Landscapes CD NEW USD $17.68 Buy It Now 6 days
Trances & Drones - Robert Rich (CD Used Very Good) USD $15.67 Buy It Now 6 days
Robert Rich Geometry CD recorded 1986 USD $11.99 Buy It Now 6 days
Medicine Box - Robert Rich (CD Used Very Good) USD $13.66 Buy It Now 7 days
Bestiary - Robert Rich (CD Used Very Good) Explicit Version USD $11.94 Buy It Now 7 days
Robert Rich - Bestiary [CD New] USD $13.94 Buy It Now 7 days
Bestiary by Robert Rich (CD, Sep-2001, Relapse Records (USA)) USD $16.93 Buy It Now 7 days
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STEVE ROACH & ROBERT RICH CD Soma - Hearts of Space HS-11033-2 USD $11.75 Buy It Now 7 days
Fissures Robert Rich and Alio Die Audio CD USD $25.07 Buy It Now 7 days
Robert Rich - Fissures [CD New] USD $13.48 Buy It Now 7 days
Robert Rich - Rainforest [CD New] USD $15.02 Buy It Now 7 days
Fissures - Robert Rich (CD Used Very Good) USD $11.48 Buy It Now 7 days
Rainforest - Robert Rich (CD Used Very Good) USD $13.02 Buy It Now 7 days
Rainforest [Robert Rich] [1 disc] New CD USD $16.27 Buy It Now 7 days
Robert Rich & Steve Roach - Strata (CD, 1990, Hearts Of Space) (Promo) USD $4.99 Buy It Now 8 days
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Bestiary Robert Rich Audio CD USD $22.32 Buy It Now 8 days
Nest - Robert Rich (CD Used Very Good) USD $13.70 Buy It Now 8 days
Robert Rich - Seven Veils [CD New] USD $15.01 Buy It Now 8 days
Robert Rich - Propagation [CD New] USD $15.82 Buy It Now 8 days
Robert Rich - Gaudi [CD New] USD $13.48 Buy It Now 8 days
Filaments - Robert Rich (CD Used Very Good) USD $13.70 Buy It Now 8 days
Temple Of The Invisible - Robert Rich (CD Used Very Good) USD $11.93 Buy It Now 9 days
Numena & Geometry - Robert Rich (CD Used Very Good) USD $13.31 Buy It Now 9 days
Robert Rich - Numena & Geometry [CD New] USD $15.31 Buy It Now 9 days
Numena/Geometry by Robert Rich (CD, Feb-2011, 2 Discs, Hearts of Space) USD $19.34 Buy It Now 9 days
Open Window Robert Rich Audio CD USD $22.28 Buy It Now 10 days
Calling Down the Sky Robert Rich Audio CD USD $22.28 Buy It Now 10 days
Temple of the Invisible Robert Rich Audio CD USD $22.28 Buy It Now 10 days
Robert Rich Lisa Moskow Yearning (CD, Feb-2011, Hearts of Space) sealed USD $9.99 Buy It Now 10 days
Rainforest Robert Rich Audio CD USD $25.07 Buy It Now 11 days
Numena and Geometry Robert Rich Audio CD USD $25.22 Buy It Now 11 days
Robert Rich - Progagation CD Hearts Of Space 1994 USD $8.95 Buy It Now 11 days
Robert Rich - Filaments [CD New] USD $15.70 Buy It Now 11 days
Filaments [Digipak] by Robert Rich (CD, 2015, Soundscape Productions) USD $13.25 Buy It Now 11 days
Soma Steve Roach, Robert Rich Audio CD USD $6.10 Buy It Now 12 days
Robert Rich-Filaments CD NEW USD $15.71 Buy It Now 12 days
Robert Rich - Temple Of The Invisible [CD New] USD $13.93 Buy It Now 13 days
Yearning [Robert Rich & Lisa Moskow] New CD USD $16.27 Buy It Now 13 days
SoMa [Robert Rich] New CD USD $16.27 Buy It Now 13 days
Strata [Robert Rich] New CD USD $16.27 Buy It Now 13 days
Gaudi [Robert Rich] New CD USD $16.27 Buy It Now 13 days
Various DARK ROOM BEATS Aleph Zero 2010 ROBERT RICH Vataff Project FAX Namlook USD $12.98 Buy It Now 13 days
Robert Rich & Ian Boddy "Lithosphere" Ambient! DiN CD! Limited to 2000 copies! USD $15.99 Buy It Now 14 days
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Ylang [Digipak] by Robert Rich (CD, Mar-2010, CD Baby (distributor)) USD $13.22 Buy It Now 15 days
Seven Veils Robert Rich CD USD $25.52 Buy It Now 15 days
Below Zero by Robert Rich (CD, Jul-2004, Soleilmoon) USD $11.46 Buy It Now 15 days
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ROBERT RICH - Bestiary CD ** BRAND NEW : STILL SEALED ** USD $25.77 Buy It Now 16 days
Robert Rich-Trances & Drones CD NEW USD $17.68 Buy It Now 16 days
Rainforest by Robert Rich (CD, Feb-2011, Hearts of Space) USD $9.99 Buy It Now 16 days
Below Zero Robert Rich Audio CD USD $22.25 Buy It Now 17 days
Ylang [Digipak] by Robert Rich (CD, Mar-2010, CD Baby (distributor)) USD $18.74 Buy It Now 17 days
STEVE ROACH ROBERT RICH Soma CD Hearts Of Space Ambient USD $10.00 Buy It Now 17 days
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ROBERT RICH discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

ROBERT RICH top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 3 ratings
Sunyata
1981
0.00 | 0 ratings
Trances
1983
0.00 | 0 ratings
Drones
1983
4.04 | 5 ratings
Numena
1987
4.33 | 3 ratings
Geometry
1988
4.00 | 2 ratings
Rainforest
1989
2.50 | 2 ratings
Strata (with Steve Roach)
1990
2.50 | 2 ratings
Gaudi
1991
0.00 | 0 ratings
Soma (with Steve Roach)
1991
0.00 | 0 ratings
Propagation
1994
2.00 | 1 ratings
Yearning (with Lisa Moskow)
1994
3.00 | 1 ratings
Night Sky Replies
1995
2.83 | 11 ratings
Stalker (with B. Lustmord)
1995
3.92 | 6 ratings
Fissures (with Alio Die)
1997
5.00 | 1 ratings
Seven Veils
1998
3.98 | 3 ratings
Bestiary
2001
4.50 | 2 ratings
Temple Of The Invisible
2003
0.00 | 0 ratings
Open Window
2004
4.00 | 1 ratings
Echo Of Small Things
2005
0.00 | 0 ratings
Lithosphere (with Ian Boddy)
2005
3.95 | 2 ratings
Electric Ladder
2006
4.50 | 2 ratings
Music From Atlas Dei
2007
0.00 | 0 ratings
Illumination
2008
3.00 | 1 ratings
Ylang
2010
0.00 | 0 ratings
Medicine Box
2011
4.00 | 1 ratings
Nest
2012
4.16 | 29 ratings
Filaments
2015

ROBERT RICH Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
LIVE
1984
4.00 | 1 ratings
Inner Landscapes
1987
0.00 | 0 ratings
Humidity
2000
0.00 | 0 ratings
Calling Down The Sky
2004
0.00 | 0 ratings
Morphology
2013

ROBERT RICH Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

2.56 | 11 ratings
Somnium
2001
0.00 | 0 ratings
Perpetual - A Somnium Continuum
2014

ROBERT RICH Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.50 | 2 ratings
A Troubled Resting Place
1996
5.00 | 2 ratings
Below Zero
1998

ROBERT RICH Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

ROBERT RICH Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Filaments by RICH, ROBERT album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.16 | 29 ratings

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Filaments
Robert Rich Progressive Electronic

Review by richardgurtler

5 stars Robert Rich "Filaments" CD

Quite long time has passed since the last album of Robert Rich, "Nest" was released in September of 2012. However, it doesn't mean this iconic soundexplorer was silent during the last two years. On the contrary, in this period of time he resurrected his legendary sleep concert format, which firstly led to his live presentation in Krakow, Poland, in October of 2013 on Unsound festival (his first sleep concert in 15 years), and one year later, "Perpetual - A Somnium Continuum" monstrous 15 hour Blu-ray was released with 8 hours of new soundscapes. In the meantime, Darren Bergstein's Anodize label has released in December 2013 "Morphology" CD, a stellar sonic document from May 15, 2010. On the top of all that, April 2014 saw the release of "Premonitions 1980-1984", a 4 LP set featuring highly treasured pieces from cassette releases, out on German Vynil-On-Demand label. A quite productive silence... Now it's time encounter the "Filaments" odyssey!!! Released during January 2015, the first impression is splendid, no question about that, because the 6-panel digipak comes with gorgeous front and inside paintings by Nad Wolinska and Daniel Cake and photography by Christian Tanimoto III. As usual, the design and layout is expertly handled by John Bergin. This visual bliss is completed by in-depth liner notes by Robert Rich, displaying the title story behind each track, when focusing on cosmology realms. I am holding in my hands a true piece of art!!!

I am taken on the board as quick as the opening track title, 5-minute "Filaments" spreads across the listening room. The journey has been ignited with utterly immersing and spellbindingly expansive driftscape, gorgeously nuanced with cinematic climaxes, spacious quietudes and cyber-tech biotics, all intriguingly shaped by Robert Rich's innate wizardry. I would say this grandiosely stellar composition is slightly untypical for Robert Rich's soundforging. I am weightlessly drifting into ultimate sonic Heaven!!! "Majorana", with 10:45 the second longest composition, remains on the immense spacefields, cinematically undulating and guarding above euphorically swirling sequences, which continuously counterpoint with piercing lap steel cries. Also utterly gorgeous transitions emerge over the course, when celestial choir-like insignias guide the voyage, before entering breathtakingly unfathomable depths toward the end. Wow, another triumphant aural adventure showcasing musical genius of Robert Rich in full bloom!!! Shorter "Scintilla" effectively merges unmistakable sequencer work with stunningly evocative siren weeps and ear-tickling clinks. "Aetherfields" invade straightly with enigmatic reverberations, gently cacophonous and mindscaping, but wistful piano motif serenely meanders across and meticulously softens this delicate perplexity. "Entangled", the longest track clocking to nearly 11-minute mark, embraces the listener with its peaceful, but gently expressive piano, while lap steel whines ride atop along with distant pulses, which slowly permeate through the nostalgic blankets, transmute and steal the center stage as earmarking melodious meridian, sublimely joyous that is only Robert Rich, before silently fading away into infinite paradise of stillness. But my ears won't get any rest of this delight, because "Eulalia" keeps the attention with its sequencing signature wizardry, again cheerfully shimmering with distinguishingly exuberant cyber-organic percussive layer, all virtuosically reinforced by gorgeously yearning lap steel guitar imagery. Yes, the lap steel sounds in this wonderfully evocative composition are absolutely magnificent, a pure sonic bliss awaits here again, bravo, Maestro!!! With "Laniakea" some exquisitely mysterious horizons reveal, although safely floating on the waves of brightly shinning sequences. The next piece, "Aetherfolds", bridges nearly reverberating, squeaked-like sound ventures with poignantly flavored sparse piano subtleties. Stunningly peculiar, yet deeply contemplative sound collage!!! 10-minute closer "Telomere" gets back to fresh sequencer-driven domains, hauntingly winding and crescendoing through wide-screen, warmly fascinating space expanses. A very strong conclusion to this highly accomplished recording!!!

"Filaments" album is another proof of Robert Rich's musical superiority and a tremendously essential addition to his already glorious discography. Each of his new releases is worth the wait, no matter how long it takes. This album is, as always, filled with Robert's many signature sounds, even without his flute artistry this time, and trademarking perfection is displayed in every single detail of this album. Even the way the transparent tray is glued to the digipak is absolutely flawless... Aural and visual thrill is served here in huge doses, certainly another tour de force by this Californian sound aficionado!!! And don't forget, by the time I am publishing these lines, Robert is optimizing dates for his North American spring tour, with most dates during April and May, so if you have a chance, don't miss another spectacular experience!!! For those based not far from Copenhagen, Denmark, note that April 18th is a date for Robert's another sleep concert taking place in the beautiful former church of Nikolaj Kunsthal. We couldn't ask for more!!!

Richard Gürtler (Mar 22, 2015, Bratislava, Slovakia)

 Numena by RICH, ROBERT album cover Studio Album, 1987
4.04 | 5 ratings

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Numena
Robert Rich Progressive Electronic

Review by admireArt
Collaborator PSIKE Team

4 stars Robert Rich's "Numena", a four piece album, is by itself and its date of release 1987, a turning point in progressive electronic music, which by then was happening in the USA not Europe, The Bay Area / Los Angeles school of electronic music, to be specific. By blending different electronic music stylings and primitive or traditional acoustic influences the style uprised and was called "alchemical" or "Sacred" space music.

Therefore according to its date of release and its direct plunge into this kind of artistic expression, NUMENA sets a perfect referential for this "New" school's directions and goals. But this work certainly grows beyond its date or taggins or style. Robert Rich's abilities as electronic composer did find the perfect route, which in his discography will eventually reach extraordinary sophistications, but it all started to take shape with this project and its daring blend of environments which travel back and forth music wise and time wise, thus the combined elements complement each other to perfection.

An unexpected emotional and frantic electronic "sacredness" counterpointed by excellent music composition, a true understanding of its primitive roots and a perfect sense of simplification by not sounding simple but deep and dynamic.

****4.5 PA stars

 Bestiary by RICH, ROBERT album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.98 | 3 ratings

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Bestiary
Robert Rich Progressive Electronic

Review by admireArt
Collaborator PSIKE Team

4 stars Welcome to the jungle!

"Bestiary", Robert Rich's 2001 release, is certainly a jungle, an electronic one of course. Experimental without any kind of compromise but his own self-refinement and taste, opposite in that regard to "raw for raw sake" electronic experimentation, this one is carefully threaded .

An assorted trip in every song, it flows freely creating obtuse, obscure, soft and rough, cosmic, unappealing/hypnotic, unearthly/ earthly, uncompromising spaces, full of bubbling as buzzing surprises as showering delights and windy storms. And like a jungle, anything goes, and you have to go through it in able to enjoy.

It is quiet fun to listen to such unambiental "Ambient" music for a change. Those familiar with the Cubase of yore, will certainly re-think its possibilities in the sense of songwriting and sequencing.

Irreverent playfulness, more in tune with Rock in Opposition in a Progressive Electronic environment!

****4 PA stars

 Filaments by RICH, ROBERT album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.16 | 29 ratings

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Filaments
Robert Rich Progressive Electronic

Review by admireArt
Collaborator PSIKE Team

5 stars In a perfect world, Tangerine Dream would have ended sounding this good!

Robert Rich-Filaments, 2015, is Progressive Electronic to the core, Berlin School in its bones, Contemporary Classic in its heart and environmental or Cosmic more than the usually misunderstood Ambient tagging, in its soul.

Perfection coming from a quiet unknown musician, even among the PE crowd. (Business as usual). Although it is quiet understandable, considering the inherent thinness and transparency of his musical structures from album to album, which will never outcome the disadvantage of a world of fast-noise.

Filaments consists of nine THICK individual musical structures. Each one travels its own route and direction. Each song is unique in its language and Robert Rich's personal style evolves between poles of electronic or contemporary music influences (TD & Steve Reich´s ones are quiet notable) , BUT transmuting them to his own self constructed musical idiom. The results are overwhelming opposite to my expectations. Speechless!

I have to confess, I was just expecting another Robert Rich's environmental album, to play along while I painted. I was completely wrong, this work deserves full attention to understand why it rates for me *****5 Masterwork PA stars.

 Somnium by RICH, ROBERT album cover DVD/Video, 2001
2.56 | 11 ratings

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Somnium
Robert Rich Progressive Electronic

Review by floflo79

4 stars Robert Rich is best known for his "sleep concerts". During the 80's, in the San Francisco Area, his ambient music was playing, and the audience has to sleep. Robert Rich woke them up with piano notes. So, Robert Rich make ambient music to sleep or to meditate. So, often, the ambient music is long, right ? Somnium is SEVEN HOURS LONG !!!! Seriously, it's huge. It's a music to sleep, and night is long so the music have to be long, but seven hours, it's really long. It is boring ? If you listen to it like a classic rock album, of course it is. But if you try to sleep or to meditate, it's just the perfect album. There's very uplifting moment. For this huge work, Rich deserves 4 stars.
 Fissures (with Alio Die) by RICH, ROBERT album cover Studio Album, 1997
3.92 | 6 ratings

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Fissures (with Alio Die)
Robert Rich Progressive Electronic

Review by octopus-4
Special Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team

4 stars I have recently reviewed a "duplicate entry" of this album as I had added it under the "ALIO DIE" page. Later, realisung that it was already on the site as a Robert Rich's album I have informed the admins and now I'm posting the review again.

Please consider that I knew this collaboration as an ALIO DIE album, but it's effectively a 50/50 effort and what really matters is that this is a very good album. This was my original review:

Speaking of progressive electronic I think that Stefano Musso (aka Alio Die which in Latin means "another day") deserves a particular mention.: As the Tangerine Dream of the debut he didn't start directly with the electronics as his musical research includes acoustic and ethnic instruments plus everything can make a sound, so in this collaboration with Robert Rich the second plays things like flute and dulcimer. Years ago, buying some pills against migrain, I had a "bonus CD" of meditative music by the flutist Andrea Griminelli. I'm saying this because the opening track of this album is very similar: a relaxing keyboard layout on which flute and percussion create a dreamy environment which speaks to my mind of woods, winds and nature in general.

The sudden passage to the second track brings us to Asia. The percussion have an Indian flavor but the flutes are more far eastern. Behind all, the keyboard layer is on minor chords so that the ambient is a bit darker than on the previous track. I think to a mountain landscape before a storm. The track title "A Canopy Of Shivers" demonstrates that what the artists succeded in transmitting the impression they wish to.

"Sirena"(Mermaid) starts, of course, with the sound of water and seashores. The soundscape is now very dark, similar to the spacey drones of Phrozenlight, with incomplete keyboard chords coming and going, apparently nowhere, but surely more things happen in this 9 minutes track than in a 30 minutes Phrozenlight's drone. I think that this track could be inspired from the famous episode in Homer's Odyssey when Ulysses listens to the mermaids' chant. After 4 minutes the keyboard layout becomes more consistent and the track reaches the level of the previous two. Unexpectedly there's a classical guitar which adds a floydian flavor so that the second half of this track is much more interesting. I think to Cluster One from the Division Bell or some slow atmospheric parts of "On An Island".

"Mycelia" starts with one minute of jungle noises (rain or fire?). The keyboard background is cold and a little dissonant. The percussion contribute in making it darker while the sound grows in volume. At the top of the crescendo the flute enters. It takes some time to get where the artists want, but at the end they reach the target. Meditative ambient music with a touch of darkness.

"The Divine Radiance" begins with noises which make me think to mechanical devices in a SciFi movie. A minor chord of Keys and flute accompanies them. After two minutes the keyboards are louder than the other instruments even though the initial noises are still perceivable. There's a string instrument below. Probably it's the dulcimer played by Richard Rich, but it could also be a guitar. The track which was apparently static is now developed. The atmosphere seems taken from Blade Runner, but later some strong noises and tapes are added so the final result is quite psychedelic.

Now it comes the longest (more than 18 minutes) track. Bells and drone noises in a jungle village. The bells sound like in a Buddhist temple and the contrast with the flute creates a strange atmosphere. The percussion are well inserted into this environment which grows sligthly. If I close my eyes I see a jungle in the morning and I can imagine a temple nearby, something like Angkor Wat. I'm used to let my mind travel when I listen to ambient music and enjoy when the music is able to transmit images to my mind. However the "Road to Winkuta" is in Mexico, not in Asia. I don't think it's a real place. I have read somewhere that "Winkuta" is where the peyote gatherers go. Thinking to this, the central part of the suite appears very mystic, and some sounds can also remind to the atmosphere of Ken Russel's movie "Altered States".

The closer "Tree of the Wind" is a relaxing piece with an unusual touch provided by the dulcimer which is played like an oriental instrument. The track starts in a very light way but when the dulcimer enters the keyboard chords become minor and the environment is darker. The instruments fade out in different moments and the album is gone.

If you like this kind of ambient electronic you'll surely be happy to get this album in your collection.

Dream.

 Electric Ladder by RICH, ROBERT album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.95 | 2 ratings

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Electric Ladder
Robert Rich Progressive Electronic

Review by colorofmoney91
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Robert Rich is very well known in the world of ambient and is also known for being multifaceted in the genre. He's crafted very successful works of ambient drone, world music, and sometimes he even rides on the edge of IDM.

On Electric Ladder he creates primarily ambient soundscapes but are considerably energetic, highly sequenced, and also uses a little of the jungle-music type of influenced found on many of his albums like Ylang and Rainforest (possibly his most popular album), but the samples of tropical birds and tribal percussion are nowhere to be found. Instead, the amazonian twist on this album is very light and exists only in atmosphere -- the way that I personally believe it should've been in the first place -- and doesn't distract much from the misty, tropical soundscapes that have been crafted to sound so perfect. These tropical elements come mainly from the use of marimba-sounding electronic sequencers that generate both basslines and melodies in the forefront, and they don't come off as sounding cheesy because it seems that he's realized that the more authentic sounding percussion usually does sound cheesy and has instead opted for a more obvious synthesized tone.

The album opens with the title track, starting off with glitchy high-pitched noise and a swelling buzz that emanates from out of the background that sounds kind of unsettling at first before it morphs into a consuming groan that continues to evolve into a convoluted melody that sounds almost exactly like the beginning of Terry Riley's Rainbow in Curved Air. It eventually gets darker in tone as it further develops a large array of background percussive elements and short sequencer melodies to the point where it becomes hypnotizing, but never lets go of being intoxicatingly psychedelic. I explain the track because the first few minutes of it are easily the worst on the album -- if it seems like something that you might enjoy, then you should have no trouble being pleased with this whole hour that Robert Rich has crafted.

Being primarily an ambient album, many of the tracks kind of meld into each other as the album goes on, but some individual tracks, like the title track described above, do stand out above the rest. "Sky Tunnel" is the least ambient and sounds more like a keyboard solo- artist's composition based on the melodies and rhythm of tribal celebration music, sometimes being so active near the end that it sounds like a symphony of tribal wind instruments. "Aquifer" is the most ambient track on the album and is centered around wooden flute, the subtle sounds of dripping water, an void-like drone, and distant rattling that comes and goes -- it sounds like exploring a newly discovered cave in the amazon during a day of spelunking.

The entire listening experience of Electric Ladder is similar experience to the look of the album's cover. This could be the soundtrack for an entire day of walking on the grounds of a rainforest and peering up through the treetops only to vaguely see the sun shining through the canopy, heavily shaded but comfortable and harmless. Electric Ladder is a very good ambient album with that special twist that uniquely identifies it as a Robert Rich production, and it's one of his best and most modern albums yet as well as one that successfully accumulates elements from past achievements in his career.

 Stalker (with B. Lustmord) by RICH, ROBERT album cover Studio Album, 1995
2.83 | 11 ratings

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Stalker (with B. Lustmord)
Robert Rich Progressive Electronic

Review by Dobermensch
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Pretty much what you'd expect to hear if you materialised on a life bearing planet in the Andromeda galaxy. Large amounts of unintelligible whispering are swamped by waves of deep, dark electronic drones creating what many may find to be a scary album. Not me though.... I love this kind of stuff. Beatless, guitarless and without a snowball's chance in hell of penetrating the top 100.

Robert Rich definitely adds a bit of life to what would have been a fairly dull, regular Lustmord album. Superb late night listening which could almost leave you comatose. There's a tremendous sense of space created which prevails throughout this 68 minute album, which continually warps ever so slowly in a kaleidoscopic manner.

This is one collaboration which truly bore fruit and is quite rightly viewed as one of the best dark ambient recordings ever produced.

On a more morbid observation 'Stalker' could just as easily be viewed as the sounds Ted Bundy heard in his mind whilst creeping up on his victims. You can just imagine him peering over hedges and garden walls looking at people. Yikes!

Very quiet, and without too much tune, 'Stalker' hits all the right notes with its atmosphic darkness. Almost like a vulture hanging over your shoulder like impending doom.

It's too late for Earth, save Uranus.

 Gaudi by RICH, ROBERT album cover Studio Album, 1991
2.50 | 2 ratings

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Gaudi
Robert Rich Progressive Electronic

Review by Dobermensch
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Gosh, I think I'll be sticking with the far superior 'Steve Roach' from now on. Two crumby Robert Rich reviews in a row is something I never thought I'd encounter.

You know, the problem with Robert Rich and his counterpart Steve Roach is that when they add elements of percussion to their albums things just sound cheesy and pretentious.

'Gaudi' wouldn't be so bad if it had some semblance of a tune or hook, but for the first 30 minutes this is just a dreary meandering album that leads nowhere. Thankfully around the half way point things pick up with 'Harmonic Clouds' where a beautiful non percussive track with delicately echoing bells and highly sustained keyboard chords float about like fluffy white clouds in a blue sky.

What begins off as a stinker, rapidly improves during the second, mostly beatless half where the album sounds reminiscent of 'Harold Budd's' more ethereal moments. Unfortunately 'Gaudi' falls flat on its face again on the last track with some unwanted run of the mill electronic percussion.

 Yearning (with Lisa Moskow) by RICH, ROBERT album cover Studio Album, 1994
2.00 | 1 ratings

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Yearning (with Lisa Moskow)
Robert Rich Progressive Electronic

Review by Dobermensch
Prog Reviewer

— First review of this album —
2 stars At face value this album is pretty, but scrape through the peel and you're left with nothing but a cheesy, New Agey recording from 1994. It has its roots in Indian music's slowest part - 'Raga'. which makes sense. Don't build your hopes up folks, as this is a thoroughly unremarkable album which begins with a tune named 'Bija' which means 'Seed' in Hindu . Big Wow...

Seeing as this is a first review for this particular album, I should point out that it's drum, bass and guitar free, relying on filtered effects through which acoustic instruments are 'played'.

Slowly twanged Sarod strings are thrust through reverb but remain very dull throughout the duration of this curiously annoying album.

I'm a big Ambient fan, but this is just downright boring. The entire album is basically just plucked strings of various Eastern instruments put through filters and effects. It really just comes across as being pretentious from beginning to end.

An overwhelmingly dull and repetitious album that I have no time for at all, but then that might be because I don't particularly like Eastern music. I am, however, a big fan of Robert Rich, but this is one to forget.

An incredibly dull and uninspiring album from an artist who is capable of SO much more. Possibly the weakest of his entire catalogue and as fascinating as a wet week in Manchester.

Thanks to Ricochet for the artist addition. and to NotAProghead for the last updates

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