2003 Soleilmoon (CD)
Produced by Steve Roach
Loren Nerell's dark and humid soundscape releases date back to his 1996 release LILIN DEWA, as well as the more recent INDONESIAN SOUNDSCAPES. TAKSU takes cues from both of these albums, blending environmental sounds he records during his Indonesian travels, and Balinese instruments together into a glowing, amorphous cloud of spine-tingling sound.
Two musicians come to mind when listening to TAKSU: Jon Hassell, who popularized Fourth World music, and Brian Eno, the father of Ambient music. Loren Nerell's music takes inspiration from both of them. His music is evocative of mist-covered mountains and slow-motion waterfalls, so it owes something to Hassell. But it also pays tribute to the patient genius of Eno, with its endlessly evolving atmosphere, in which there is no beginning or end, only the present. Eno's landmark On Land recording is a solid reference point.
The crowning touch on this project came from Steve Roach, stalwart ambient music pioneer and long-time friend of Loren's, who came in to provide the final spacial treatments and CD mastering. In his liner notes for the CD booklet, Djam Karet founder Chuck Oken, Jr. describes the music as a "sound pool" that the listener is immersed in. His words couldn't be more accurate, and it's no exaggeration to say that putting this record on is like waking up at sunrise, deep in the tropical Balinese rainforest, surrounded on all sides by the sounds of the jungle. To describe ambient or atmospheric music as "a soundtrack" is clichéd, but it's really the best way to talk about TAKSU. It truly is a very special album, and one that asks to be seen, not merely heard.
Steve Roach spatial treatments, mastering