åpne sinn | espiritista

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Electronic: Ambient Avant Garde: Computer Music Moods: Instrumental
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espiritista

by åpne sinn

Genre-spanning electro-ambient from Boston-based composer åpne sinn.
Genre: Electronic: Ambient
Release Date: 

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1. Espiritista
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7:40 $0.99
2. Advaita
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6:06 $0.99
3. A White Space (for DGS)
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1:50 $0.99
4. Tabula Rasa
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4:30 $0.99
5. Twinewheel
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5:40 $0.99
6. Freefall
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6:35 $0.99
7. Lucky Enough
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5:46 $0.99
8. Remcycle
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7:24 $0.99
9. Slowdive
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6:04 $0.99
10. Arclight
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14:45 album only
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


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åpne sinn

Repost of 'espiritista' review by Hypnagogue Reviews (1/29/11)
The phrase “Åpne Sinn,” I am told, is Norwegian for “open mind.” It’s an appropriate choice of moniker for musician Geoff Small, given the diversity of style on his excellent debut, Espiritista. As the disc flows along, Small shows something of a chameleonic adaptability, working cool ambient flows and uptempo constructs with equal ease. He starts off by weaving a mesh of barbed sound in the title track, then reaches in to slowly extract long, breathy drifts that he balances against the noise. The feel is of starting from a point of chaos (the world, essentially), being brought to a place of meditative calm, and then coming back out. And just when you think you’ve got a handle on Åpne Sinn’s approach, he drops in the beat and bass pulse of “Advaita,” which may be my favorite track here. In this I hear a memory of Oldfield’s “Songs of Distant Earth” melded with an Enigma-esque groove. And it takes me over from the beginning. This track not only has funk, it’s got depth, something else Small is good at creating. All these pieces have a great sense of sonic dimension. Small’s beat-based offerings are just straight-up fun to get into. “Twinewheel” throbs its way along on energetic, rubbery chords; “Slowdive” goes straight to my analog-lovin’ heart with mid-tempo Berlin-style sequencer lines and that wonderful, geometrically precise sense of meter. That being said, I have to admit that Small’s drifts may be my preferred side of Åpne Sinn. There’s no way to avoid losing six and a half minutes to “Freefall,” but you’ll give them up gladly to Small’s ethereal, perfectly layered sounds. The closer, “Arclight,” is 15 minutes of classic slow-chord, cloudflow ambient that carries echoes of “Early Man”-era Roach. There’s a subtle touch of rainstick throughout (if I hear correctly) that beautifully grounds the piece for me. It’s a simple touch that Small manages to make important. A great track, and surely the right one on which to end!

Espiritista is another rock-solid release from Relaxed Machinery and I feel that Åpne Sinn will quickly evolve into an artist to keep an ear on. This is a superb first effort that simply gleams with potential.

Greg M (eyes cast down)

A Riveting Musical Quest
The old truism about an artist’s first album embodying his entire life’s musical quest up to that point certainly holds for this first effort from åpne sinn (Geoff Small). Espiritista (Relaxed Machinery 0015) explores a fine range of styles, weaving a rich tapestry out of its numerous, eclectic influences. I think this album will please listeners from all corners of the ambient/electronic music world.

The word "espiritista" is Spanish for "spiritist", or spiritual healer. Such a healer's work is to help one, by introspection, to understand and come to terms with one's inner demons, to heal psychic/emotional conflicts. As an album title, the word nicely embodies the album's modus operandi as a dynamic, riveting interplay between shadow and light, surface and substance.

The album’s ten tracks are evenly divided between pure atmospherics and rhythmic gung-ho. While the atmospheric pieces employ just a few elements, the rhythmic ones have materials piled on – but the music is never crowded. It’s just clear that the artist is having a lot of fun trying out and weaving in more ideas, and he does well to maintain balance.

Of the rhythmic pieces, two stood out for me. The title track sets the stage with
heavily-processed voices and an industrial atmosphere. Ethereal chord visitations fill the space with pulsing energy and light. Remcycle (which also appears on the new Relaxed Machinery sleepMODE compilation) evokes a stormcloud and machines, setting a darkening atmosphere. Mechanical tones swell and fade, intruding on our stasis – a disturbing, unsettling dream. This piece makes for a challenging and rewarding journey, and promises deep rewards for repeat plays.

Among the other rhythmic tracks, standout elements include the ghostly choir atmosphere and bouncy synth-clavinet of Advaita; Twinewheel's glassy echoed marimba-like rhythm and vaguely African feel; and the stuttering, hollow techno-like synth chord voicing of Lucky Enough, which sets up a very cool rhythmic impulse.

My favorite tracks happen to be the atmospheric ones. The short interlude A White Space definitely left me wanting more, its visceral sound setting a solemn, Dead Can Dance-like mood. It's followed by the mystic Tabula Rasa, seeking without and delving within. Deep space is out there and within, looping and spiraling deeper inside, letting the past fall away.

Freefall has a cool flying feel, with flute-like lines flying off into space and other sounds dropping away. Don’t look down – the horizon is where it's at. The solid drone doesn’t feel static; this piece really makes you feel like you’re flying. Slowdive is similar, but underwater this time – a chugging but unhurried pace suggesting descent and exploration. Two chords is enough for this expedition. This would be well-placed in an IMAX deep-diving film.

My favorite, however, is saved for last. Arclight, the album’s closer and longest piece, is most aptly-titled, with singing, torch-lit synth chords slicing through the dark. It's perfectly paced, with no hurry for anything, ethereal atmospherics and chimes, and perfect pauses between phrases. Just the right touch of clattering percussion keeps us grounded.

On Espiritista, åpne sinn explores enough diverse musical territory to inform at least a handful of albums. Let’s hope that we get to hear those albums in due course.

RainyB

AMAZING
this is an amazing debut by a very talented composer. This music will take you on a journey you can't help but enjoy. I recommend everyone to add this to their collection. A must Have.