Dan Pound – “Eros Thanatos” (PoundSounds 2014, CD)

Prolific ambient electronic space musician Dan Pound is back with his latest album, Eros Thanatos (Greek for Love and Death). Dan explains on his web site that though analog and digital synths are prominent, the music on this album is based mostly on guitar soundscapes. “After trying on some newly acquired guitar effects, I decided to do a whole album dedicated to these guitar sound worlds I was discovering. Using different guitars, effects, techniques and ideas, I was able to extrapolate a myriad of tonal timbres that resembled other instruments like organ, strings, oboes, bassoons and even human voices.”

The result is 70 minutes of Space-Ambient bliss. From Love And Grace opens the set and is representative of what the album is about. The music washes over you in luscious waves of sound that are the sonic equivalent of a full body massage. I like the blend of space-orchestral and drone waves, and Dan later introduces syncopated patterns that hop up the energy level a tad. Listening with headphones the mix was ideal; the drones humming steadily and meditatively in the center of my brain, the lively patterns dancing above, and heavenly aura encasing it all. Finding Beauty is similar but with a heavier symphonic edge and cool effects that inject an aquatic vibe. Between Breaths brings in additional elements with slowly grooving percussion and mind-bending slide guitar. Incarnate is more purely ambient and sound exploratory, with a variety of effects that created images in my mind of life in some alien rainforest. Shadow In The Dark starts off quietly ambient but gets increasingly intense as it evolves and has a soundtrack feel, though the wind instrument and chanting vocals add a contrasting Eastern feel. Eros Thanatos shifts to a more light-hearted mode, with keys that give the music a New Age Space-Prog feel. Towards The Light starts out dominated by intensely cavernous drones, which are tempered, and eventually overcome by heavenly space-waves and lightly dancing synth patterns. Both this and the next track, From Beyond, have the most “normal” sounding guitar I’ve heard yet. From Beyond closes the set on a gorgeously cloud floating note, though the symphonic waves get intensely spiritual, and I like the combination of guitar and mind massage waves. Nice one Dan.

For more information visit the Dan Pound web site at: http://danpound.com

Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz

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