Dan Pound – “Life Giving” (PoundSounds 2014, CD)

Life Giving is ambient-electronic space musician Dan Pound’s second release of 2014 and the follow up to Eros Thanatos. Pound includes some thoughts about the new album on his web site, but I think the opening line of his notes sums it up nicely: “Sublime, nocturnal space music“.

Some of the music is laser focused on deep space reflection. Age Of Innocence is a graceful if relatively brief snippet. I like the prominent use of guitar on the cosmically pastoral Only One. In Suspension is a meditative combination of deep space drift and whimsical cosmic ballet, with playful electronic configurations dancing across slowly soaring space waves.

But Pound kicks up the freaky factor in places too. The multi-layered title track brings together quirkily pulsating streams, syncopated patterns, space waves and drones, thereby striking a balance between image inducing scenes of space, hypnotic ambient drift, and a dash of Kosmiche-Prog. We’ve got some lengthier stretch out tracks too. The 16 minute Passing Through Time consists of heavenly Space-Ambient bliss, where the effects and melody are propelled by a gradually building electro rhythmic pulse. I like the harmonious contrast between feelings of serenity, alien effects, machine-like pulsations, and light melody. Throughout the piece the music slowly builds to a fuller symphonic feel, though the feeling is at all times light and angelic, and it’s all carried along by an increasingly energetic cadence which ebbs and wanes with the mood of the music. Taken By The Dream is similar, and I really dig the periodic funky groove which adds a bit of oomph to the cosmic tranquility, and as the music progresses the funk takes on a Dub characteristic which alternates with soothing melodic segments combined with pleasant drones and effects. Though it later becomes lightly orchestral, Life Pulse is one of the most purely ambient tracks of the set, where every bleep, rush of air and pulsation stands out prominently as the sounds and effects ride the crest of the slowly drifting soundscape wave. This segues seamlessly into the final track, What Matters Most, which winds the set down with a peacefully melodic finale.

If you like floating space electronica that teeters between New Age and Prog, you’ll dig Dan Pound.

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

Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz

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