With "Interlace", California-based musician Dan Pounds adds another chapter to his series of ambient electronic, shamanic space music, which he likes to call musical medicine for the soul.
The outcome is an ambient voyage beyond the tangible world of matter while simultaneously reaching into the inner depths of ones personal psychic realm. Well, the surrealistic, dreamy impact is obvious in this long form work with atmospheric flavours, which comes in six separate pieces.
Moreover, the outcome are eclectic and deep symphonic ambient musings which gradually evolve, while searing drones and synth pads pass by with analogue sequencer pulses. This especially comes to the surface on the third "Rare Refraction", with its peculiar elevating effect and spectral sequencer patterns.
"Interlace" is for those who love deeper listening. Or to put it in Dan’s own words: mind altering, mind bending, shape shifting, trance inducing soundworlds that are sure to take you on another other-worldly voyage.
Dan Pound returns with another in his unique brand of shamanic ambient electronic music. Though it still has his trademark organic washes of sound, Interlace is considerably more synthetic sounding than its predecessor The Fourth Way. Case in point is the mellow, bubbly opener “Fade To Black”. The sequencing is low key and yet mesmerizing. Bright shimmering sounds interlace with low growling electronics on the 16-minute title track. The brisk but quiet electronics here remind me a lot of Steve Roach’s album Proof Positive. The gentle floating nature of “Rare Refraction” is quite enjoyable, with sparse keys for added atmosphere. Percolating electronic grooves rise up again, followed later by a bit of flute, chanting, and soft tribal touches. Crisp, tinny percussion and amusing, bouncy synths adds a lighter touch to “Point of the Laser.” “Shadow Screen” reminds me of the looping, slightly glitchy stuff that Vir Unis has done on recordings like Book Of Mutations and Mercury and Plastic. “Inside The Crystal” is a nice relaxing way to finish, with quirky electronics dancing about over the top of floating ambience.
This release from 2010 features 73 minutes of pensive electronic music.
Moody sounds are harnessed to achieve sparkling results on this album. The pieces tend to flow into each other, generating a sense of limitless space.
The first track blends dark atmospherics with agile pulsations, resulting in a haunting pastiche that seeps beyond the eardrums to saturate the cortex with lasting influence. The mood is pensive, yet uplifting, as the swaying textures tickle the blooping and chittering effects with their distinct buoyancy.
The next piece introduces clockwork elements that wobble amid a grinding drone that is nicely seasoned with piercing tones. The composition possesses a breathing inclination that remains resolute.
Delicate keyboards appear in the third track, injecting a softly melodic presence in the otherwise harmonic soundscape. Additional texturals enter the mix, swelling to command things and institute a moody flow that is tempered by auxiliary electronics of a nervous nature. Despite this subtle agitation, the music�s temperament remains sedate and pleasant.
Next, things adopt a growling edge as denser tonalities ebb into play. This sober foundation is enlivened by sprightly electronics which mount into an engaging ebullience that slowly rises into comfortable dominance and remains assertive for a while, coaxing the flow into an ambrosial ascension.
The fifth piece returns to a more introspective template as bass tones establish sluggish ripples traveling through a melange of haunting electronics and steadfast e-perc rhythms.
The final track introduces soulful flutes to the shadowy electronic flow. Glittering keyboards surface to vitalize the moodiness and help things evolve a more positive outlook for the dreamy finale.
From Aural Innovations #41 (October 2010)
Though unfamiliar with any of Pound's previous work, it's clear after hearing Interlace why this California-based musician/producer fits into the post-new age coterie of West Coast soundscapers. Pound's lengthy compositions spiral out into the uncharted vistas beyond the galactic rim, drifting as they do on long washes of synthesizer and processed guitar, though he incorporates a variety of other sounds, including mutated multi-samples, flute, and sundry tribal percussion instruments. The effect is somewhere between Steve Roach, Carlos Nakai and the Orb. There is a darker edge, however, to Pound's new age aesthetic that is in many ways much closer to some of Robert Rich's more disturbing, apocalyptic work (A Troubled Resting Place comes to mind immediately as an analog to some of the tracks on Interlace), a direction which is fully explored on the 16-minute title track with its low-frequency modular drones, machine-like syncussion and majestically gloomy string pads. And like any self-respecting new age composer, Pound is capable of creating sonic atmospheres of pure stasis, while avoiding the obvious trap of rhythmic and harmonic monotony. The delicate transparent sheen of Rare Refraction hovering just above a rumbling undertow of modulated low-frequency oscillations is paradigmatic of Pound's approach to sound and structure: a conscious synchronization of the subliminal and the spiritual. Pound rarely departs from this well-defined palette of tonal colors but because of the seamless nature of the individual tracks on Interlace, the listener can simply merge into its steady state flow. Even "edgier" tracks like Point of the Laser and Inside the Crystal, both of which feature more rhythmic propulsion and sharper sonic angles, seem equally at home on what is otherwise a collection of electro-acoustic largos for night marooned somnambulists. For this reason, Interlace is every bit the equal of work by similar sound architects with a more prestigious pedigree (the aforementioned Rich and Roach, for example). Acolytes of ambient fusion will almost certainly want to give Interlace a fair hearing.
For more information visit the Dan Pound web site at: http://www.danpound.com
Email at: email@example.com
Reviewed by Charles Van de Kree
Dan Pound, Interlace CD's
January 20, 2011
One of the things that continues to strike me about the ambient and electronic genre is that for a sector of the musical world as fairly narrow in appeal as it is (excusing, for a moment, club/dance music) it’s quite deep. As I make my own way through it as a reviewer, I constantly come across musicians who, while new to me, have been toiling away at it for a while and in many cases have built a respectable following. Then, having found them for myself and if I like them, I set about scooping up the stuff I’ve missed, feeling somewhat silly that I missed them in the first place.
Such is the case with Dan Pound. Upon first listening to his 2010 release, Interlace, my initial reaction was, “Why haven’t I heard of this guy before?” Then I went to his web site and saw the list of about 35 releases and I felt even more like a dummy. With that first listen, however, Pound launched into my consciousness as an artist to whom I needed to pay attention.
Interlace starts out with a strong spacemusic feel–dribbling bits of electronics, solar wind effects, bass rumbles. It touches on darkness (the first track’s title, “Fade to Black,” might have been a clue) but possesses an interesting expectancy–a sense of impending light, if you will. There comes a moment in the third track, “Rare Refraction,” where the meaning of the CD title suddenly becomes clear–along with Pound’s intent. The track begins with piano over synth washes, curling down into a rhythmic electronic tangle balanced on a twanging beat. Out of this rises a flute, blowing a strong Native American-influenced song. Here is the interlace, the point where old meets new, ancient meets modern, organic meets technical to achieve a wholeness. The effect is enhanced by its coming after a solid half-hour of pure electronic worldcrafting. We have been brought deep inside ourselves to be reminded whence we came–and then we glide back out with “Point of the Laser,” where rich pads give way to a sequencer pulse and tidal-pull waveforms. From here Pound keeps things modern with the glitchy feel of “Shadow Screen” and the complex angles and whispers of “Inside the Crystal.” Through it all, though, the memory of that moment, that brief glimpse through the gap between worlds, remains. It’s quite a trip. Interlace is a Hypnagogue Highly Recommended CD.