Transmuting Currents
by John Shanahan, Hypnagogue
January 2007


On his debut CD TRANSMUTING CURRENTS, John Vorus creates a dark, fathomless and purely evocative soundworld that is equal parts mystery and wonder. Unhurried and fluid, Currents moves through its nine component pieces on lush, deepwater-drift synth pads augmented with bits of organic sound, always bordering on darkness without crossing fully into it. We are clearly in deep water, perhaps the deepest, in the reaches where the sun cannot penetrate, where our consciousness first began to form, and we are not alone--but we know we're safe here. And so we float in willful surrender, trusting in and given over to the soundcurrent.

The middle section of the CD, the excellent combination of the tracks "Water Cairn 1" and "Swampland Dub," lifts the listener toward the surface with stronger physical elements--drums and Vorus' superb didgeridoo work. The arrival of the beat in no way detracts from the slow, relaxing journey. Rather, it enhances, breathes air into and invigorates it. From there, the impression across the next three tracks is of emerging in some vast grotto rife with secrets and ancient, undisturbed life. The current bears us easily along until, in the final track, "Krill," we submerge again, drifting ever downward and accepting our gentle return to something quietly and comfortably primordial.

It is impossible not to completely immerse yourself in this work. Vorus has seamlessly layered myriad elements here, and Currents reveals more of itself and the elegant density of its crafting with each subsequent listen. It is an ideal headphone experience, and superb for meditation or low-volume repeated play.

Kudos also to Vorus and whoever put the disk together for the packaging design on this CD. The CD sleeve slides into an outer cover with the track listing on the back. The all-black material is smooth and embossed, and the cover art on the CD sleeve is stunning.

For lovers of drifting ambient, TRANSMUTING CURRENTS is a Hypnagogue Gotta-Get CD.


Transmuting Currents

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Transmuting Currents
John Vorus
2006 (CD)
Produced by Steve Roach
Reviewed by Electroambient Space, Hypnagogue

TRANSMUTING CURRENTS is an outstanding debut by ambient-electronic and accomplished didgeridoo artist John Vorus. John has been patiently evolving his sound and ambient sound creation approach since the 90's. Now we get to share in his travels with this debut release. Presented as a continuous blend of electro-acoustic atmospheres, natural sounds, hypnotic beatscapes and didgeridoo rhythms, all boiled down into a delicately simmering aquatic tidepool oozing with audio lifeforms melting from track to track like a balm for mind. The mixing and co-production was performed by Steve Roach in his Arizona based Timeroom studio during an intensive 5-day marathon session in 2005. Framing this sonic statement with a feeling of genuine artistic commitment and vision, the disc is packaged in an elegant custom-made die-cut fiber board CD wallet with slipcase, and printed using a special 6-color process. This is a real beauty to hold and to hear, and a must-have for connoisseurs of deep organic ambient.
 
1. TransmigrateMP39:29 
2. Ripple EffectMP35:49 
3. CoveMP36:58 
4. Tide PoolMP34:23 
5. Water Cairn 1 5:16 
6. Swampland DubMP39:12 
7. Remote ViewingMP35:31 
8. MeridianMP310:06 
9. KrillMP315:55 

1, 6. produced by Steve Roach; all mixes produced and performed by Steve Roach.



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