Robert Rich | Medicine Box

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Electronic: Ambient World: World Fusion Moods: Type: Instrumental
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Medicine Box

by Robert Rich

Ecstatic, shamanic, surreal, spiritual: Medicine Box may be Rich’s most dynamic album yet, an adept blending of technology with the ancient.
Genre: Electronic: Ambient
Release Date: 

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Tracks

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1. Alba
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4:16 $0.99
2. Kaaruwana
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6:18 $0.99
3. Macula
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6:27 $0.99
4. Cornea
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5:26 $0.99
5. Crepescule
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6:40 $0.99
6. Pollen
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7:33 $0.99
7. Callyx
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5:59 $0.99
8. Salamander Quay
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7:39 $0.99
9. Helios
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10:42 $1.99
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
A sonic tincture of shamanic energy, at once ecstatic and shadowy, fragile and surreal, fluid and psychedelic.

Chari Chuang’s wordless crystalline voice graces three songs, with traces of Persian inflection. Deep basslines hint at dub, while analog modular synth skitters and chuffs the outlines of a rhythmic grid, propelled forward by pulsing north African drums. Sustaining guitars bring a searing edge. Cello and reeds echo plaintively in the distance. Rich’s sparse piano adds droplets of modal jazz to this dark tea.

Haroun Serang: guitar on 1
Chari Chuang: voice on 2,6,9
Edo Castro: bass on 3,6,9
Hans Christian: cello on 3,5,7,9
Slim Heilpern: chromatic harmonica on 4
Robert Rich: synths & MOTM, flutes, steel guitars, piano, bass, percussion

Recorded, mixed and mastered by Robert Rich at Soundscape, 2011.
Microphones by ADK, Blue, Josephson, Royer.
Custom Sustainiac lap steel guitar by Todd Plummer.
Software by Camel Audio, Izotope, Flux, Audio Damage, Galbanum.
Thanks to Jeff Taylor-Cross/Apple, Paul Schreiber/MOTM, Dan Brown/AudioSage, Chuck Oken/Noise Bug, +Dixie.
Edo Castro appears courtesy of Passion Star Records.
Cover art and design by John Bergin



REVIEWS:

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A beautiful poetic album... soaked by a fascinating shamanic aura. (Sylvain Lupari, GoD)

Fragility, free-floating, psychedelic, shadowy and surreal. (Ulf Backstrom - Merlin Prog)

Pure listening pleasure... (Archie Patterson, Eurock)

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Thirty years, still going strong. Medicine Box might be Robert Rich's finest release -- no small accomplishment considering it's his 26th solo work along with 14 collaborations.
The ambient maestro started out performing nine-hour "sleep concerts" for audiences dozing in sleeping bags. Over the years he has shifted from atmospheric drones to more organically lush compositions fusing electric and acoustic instruments while dabbling in world-beat rhythmic patterns. Using alternate tunings, microtones and an array of homemade instruments, Rich's music is a far cry from new age.
Medicine Box opens with warmly textured percussion, heavenly keys and acoustic guitar supporting a gorgeously crying electric guitar. The beauty of following cut "Kaaruwana" is indescribable, with Chari Chuang's haunting wordless vocals gliding over a somber Middle Eastern-flavored soundscape. Her angelic voice graces two other selections. Rich's imaginative use of lap steel guitar on "Callyx" is another of many high points as well as his keyboard mastery throughout. Some cuts are anchored by exotic percussion, others gently float with minimal rhythmic support. This album pleases body and soul as well as the ears. (Warren Barker, Progression Magazine)


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Reviews


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Richard Gurtler

An ultimate and triumphant shamanistic healing journey!!!
Ambient icon Robert Rich strikes back with brand new sonic pearl "Medicine Box", released at November 1st, 2011, on his own Soundscape Productions imprint. Following the footsteps of legendary albums like "Propagation", "Seven Veils" or more recent "Ylang", this new album bridges all trademarking ingredients of these masterworks, but also adds other unique and challenging flavors. "Medicine Box" unwraps with "Alba", a sublimely euphoric blend of world fusion and ambient, it's attractively perfumed and richly textured warm, rhythm-charged composition featuring as guest Haroun Serang on guitar, who already contributed to several other Robert's albums. Intro with very intoxicating melody! "Kaaruwana" brings to the stage shimmering wordless voices of Cheri Chuang, a classically trained composer and vocalist, moving from absolutely ethereal and angelic to fragilely whispering ones, beautifully interacting with Robert's crystalline soundscaping, a truly poetic bliss for my ears!!! Strongly organic and colorfully unique "Macula" is dominated by evocative gentle piano and crispy pulsing percussions with notable appearances of Hans Christian on cello (long time collaborator of Robert Rich) and Edo Castro on bass. Chromatic harmonica of Slim Heilpern wonderfully spices "Cornea" and adds western feel to this rather psychedelically eclectic composition. "Crepescule" succeeds magnificently in portraying the power and beauty of Robert's flute magic, with subtle polyrhythms that are joined by poignant cello and cheerful piano. A truly haunting masterpiece evoking yearning and nostalgia!!! "Pollen" is another emotionally moving and heartwarming composition highlighted by Cheri Chuang's heavenly voices and exotic-charged subtle movements. "Callyx" masterfully fuses sensitive melodies with eerie lap steel guitar ambiences. Denser landscapes are explored through "Salamander Quay", showcasing Robert's outstanding skill in expressing emotions through his electroacoustic wizardry and musicality. The journey culminates with almost 11 minutes long epilogue "Helios", painted with magnetizing exotic polyrhythms in the first half, while the second part excels with celestial voices floating above shadowy sonic panoramas. I think this composition displays the best Robert's distinctive sound painting with carefully selected and merged virtuoso performances of Cheri Chuang, Hans Christian and Edo Castro. An absolutely magnificent "all inclusive" blend holding the signature that is only Robert Rich and designed directly for my Ambient Hall Of Fame!!! "Medicine Box" is an ultimate and triumphant shamanistic healing journey with genius performances on every level dedicated to all connoisseurs of world fusion/tribal/ambient essentials!!! Audiophile sound quality and gorgeous 6-panel digipak artwork by the Bergin gang should be immediately awarded too!!!

Richard Gürtler (Nov 17, 2011, Bratislava, Slovakia)