Ruhr Hunter – Moss and Memory

ruhrhunter_032707_mossMoss and Memory” requires an attentive ear that can also fall back on the imagination to put fragmented pieces of images, emotions, and sound together into a cohesive and personal journey. A song like “Moss and Memory” is effective in that it creates such rich strokes with a simple brush. The track opens with sounds like the tips of fingers manipulating wine glasses just as much as cymbal scraping – both crystalline and metallic. This alone showcases the artist’s ability to manipulate sound with an idea striking us as otherworldly. Emerging from these sounds comes a hypnotic and trance-inducing hammered dulcimer melody. The strings of the hammered dulcimer seem to carry a great weight as though moss itself graced them or some sylvan burden preventing them from carrying on as they should. A delay, an echo, an extremely natural reverb? Who can say but the creator? These sounds hit our ears with qualities so familiar to us that we have little desire to be skeptical of their own nature. Instead we become immersed in the world laid out before us as these sounds rise and fall in our subconscious and eventually create a home for themselves in the chakras of the Earth. An underlying theme of the natural world shrouds this release. To my mind, it is specifically the power behind natural forces. “Denned Earth/Decay & Rebirth” displays this energy with horn and chant amidst a damp, moss-covered soil. This energy seems to be harnessed in cyclic themes (both in music and imagery) as something that is continual in nature and in spirit. Because of this, the power behind these sounds as they come and go throughout the album strike the listener with an immediate association to memory or what we have attributed to the soundscape as a whole. Not since an album like “The River of Appearance” by Vidna Obmana have I encountered such an effective journey to the furthest reaches of another’s spiritual landscape. This is a rewarding album to take in for all that it is. – TRA

~ by martyworm on January 3, 2009.

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