dw030 - Circle of Pines - Darkwater Pond

Windwalzer.de (c) 2007
Beautiful autumn release. Quiet sound landscapes spread, some titles flow to warmth (Lichen ritual, Fissures), altogether however rather frosty and far isolation (water Madrigal, Cloak OF Fog...). Although one actually expects a spectrum at possibilities, rather limited, with Drone music, any people succeed there outside nevertheless again and again, from all possible added the category new and interesting impulses to wrest. In any case comes into the next autumn-mixes... with me. (Translation by Babelfish)

Carsten Pötter - notsorelevant.com (2006)
A new release on US netlabel Dark Winter which is specialising in dark ambient and experimental releases. And these eight tracks are no exception. Circle of Pines is a collaborative effort of Seetyca and Samsa aka label owner Nathan Larson.

While listening to new recordings I usually think about descriptions, moods, and all that stuff that relates to the recording. Though this time the label name is the description already: Dark Winter. It perfectly describes what this release is about. It is cold, droning, dark.

The production is perfect, crystal clear and it certainly adds to the dark mood. Hardly any hints of warmer sounds throughout the more than 60 minutes. However the soundscapes created by Circle of Pines won’t leave you unimpressed. Echoes, sweeping winds, drops of water hitting the ground,… and everything blended to an intense and not easily consumable amalgam.

If you have listened to any ambient release so far and liked it you will love this one.

Thomas Park (c) 2006
Begun as a sharing of images involving a darkened pond / forest setting, "Darkwater Pond" progresses into a deep and hypnotic exploration of ambience, involving both the intriguing experimental quality of Samsa and the dark, liquid soundscaping of Seetyca. There is plenty to capture the imagination here-- including sounds that approach natural ones, created God-knows-how and expertly rendered. Pebbles drop into water, bells ring and fill the atmosphere, whispers flicker at the edges of hearing. The sky itself seems to be an instrument, as washes of tones and chords play across the horizon. Many of these pieces have a ritual element-- an element of chord or chant, as though some rite was being enacted-- a trait which hearkens back, I assume, to the artists themselves and the way they studied the seed-photographs. Piece 4, "Down To The Dreamy Sky" is interesting in its blend of synthetic and acoustic sounds-- most pieces definitely lean towards pad sounds and field recordings (and both approaches are quite effective). One part of Piece 4 especially caught my attention-- when the synth chords seemed to "bend" down, all at once-- very nice! Piece 6, "Zerfrorenes Glas", serves as a spacious encapsulation of the project at large, with its hypnotic tonal pulses and huge, reverberent ambient sounds. This piece, incidentally, reminded me a bit of Eno's "On Land." A good thing! Piece 7 reminds me of the sound of wind, and Piece 8, "Fissures", resurrects the synthetic-style sounds of Piece 4, though pad and other sounds predominate.

In summary, this release I believe is a definite candidate for the strongest ambient / drone netrelease of 2006. (I might add that both Samsa and Seetyca have always sounded better with a nice pair of headphones, and this release is no exception.)

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