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Honorary Collaborator
3 stars An innovative artist who composed sound collages in the early Seventies built around experimental Krautrock-like mixes of electronics with ethnic elements on a rich variety of musical instruments from around the world, Georg Deuter began gradually moving towards a calmer, pleasing sound that would come to be identified with the emerging New Age styles of the early Eighties. Sure enough, 1982's `Cicada' offered mainly placid and thoughtful acoustic compositions with subtle keyboard enhancements, but there were still traces of the interesting longer pieces here and there proving precious and inspired. Credited here as Chaitanya Hari Deuter in line with his spiritual rebirth, the artist offers a soundtrack of soothing Eastern mysticism presented by flute, harp, acoustic guitar, sitar and the gentlest of synths.

Tiny trickles of synths unwind around breezy flute on opener `From Here to Here', a cosy and comforting theme that embraces the listener to begin the album. Much more interesting is the nine- minute `Light', where a hypnotic yet restrained sequencer loop, twinkling chimes and floating flute drifts around victorious rising synth themes, and it even lightly calls to mind the dreamier moments of Novalis, Mythos and early Eloy. The title track is another of the longer pieces running over six minutes (and the first half comes the closest to Deuter's early Krautrock flavours) with contemplative acoustic guitar gradually unveiling behind twitchy spacy bubbling synth ripple ambience with just a hint of Yes worked in, and `Sun on my Face' is a placid acoustic guitar, reaching sitar and delicate flute rumination to close the first side.

After a reprise of `From Here to Here' to open the second side, the crystalline synths, flute and acoustic guitar of `Sky Beyond Blue' could easily sit alongside the first few albums from Kitaro, and `Haiku' is a reflective awakening flute meditation with harp. The longer and predominantly electronic `Alchemy' is a blissful dreamscape of ringing chiming synths spirallng into infinity behind contemplative flute and an emerging groaning mantra. The album closes with a thoughtful and almost sombre ambient flute drone `Between Two Breaths'.

While it's in those early works like `D' and `Aum' that the real magic remains, Deuter can still be admired for a long series of tasteful, quietly intelligent and sumptuously performed ambient-related albums. His spiritual and creative inspiration permeates everything here, and `Cicada' works best as an unassuming, melodic and sweet background listen with a few little welcome surprises waiting to be discovered as well.

Three and a half stars.

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Posted Friday, March 18, 2016 | Review Permalink

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