1 Echo I 7:16
2 Prism 3:36
3 Point Line Plane 16:52
4 Curtain 15:41
5 Plato's Cave 14:10
6 Temple 7:57
7 Echo II 5:19
SOUNDSCAPE | SP012 (71:06) ***½
Yet again another Robert Rich opus that lands in the virtual pages of Synth&Sequences. The man does quiet music. Sometimes too quiet. But I also recall that a certain Brian Eno also does absent music. And yet he is renowned as the master, the creator of ambient and abstract music. Why this correlation between Eno and Rich? Because “Illumination” is all about abstract and absent music with somber sound textures cloistered in a whirlwind of atonal sound waves which move in the shade its illuminations. “Illumination” is an album without movements except for some light oscillations here and there which are prisoners of a blackness which has an equal only his somber amplitude. Uninteresting? Not really. That depends on humors, but especially on the understanding that one can have about this last Robert Rich's opus. An album writes in homage at the very abstract works from Michael Somoroff's collection; Illuminations. So, who can give a neutral color as well as an abstract life to projections as dark? Only Robert Rich could dare to put on music a work so linear where strange reverberating fluids wrap the spirituality of his visions.
The result is a hyper floating and smoothing album fill of grave tones. It’s a crossing between Steve Roach's lunar odes and the dark nostalgic breaths of Ramp. “Illumination” is an album of subtleties and nuances hardly perceptible, reflecting the somber aroma around the paints and the work of Somoroff. Seven titles for six videos, each one having its secret and its personality that Rich defines with a strange and dark melancholy. From sound waves to some slow moving sound arches, “Illuminations” is a lifelessness fresco. Titles like "Line Plane", "Curtain" and "Plato’s Cave" are immense mirrors with reflections passive. This is pure ambient on soft oscillations blowing a poetic nebulosity which succeeds to reach the listener. For fans of dark, sensitive and experimental ambient “Illumination” is offered with an explanatory notebook where we can read about the images which have inspired Robert Rich's work.
Sylvain Lupari (October 13th, 2007 and translated on November 8th, 2012)