CD REVIEW: Arundas - Pathless Ways
By Alex Jasperse - 02/10/2007 - 05:19 PM EST
Album: Pathless Ways 
Label: Minds Eye Records
Genre: Ambient/New Age
Production/Musicianship Grade: 10/10
Songwriting Skills: 10/10
Performance Skill: 9.5/10
The intrigue of music is the power of its opposing forces on the listening experience. What do I mean by that? Well, think about the records you own. Some albums are like a security blanket in many ways – they are there to comfort you with their tones, and the last thing on their agenda is to challenge you. But there are a select few that are the complete opposite. From the opening bars, they break down walls of expectations and critical thought that the listener has spent years constructing. This aspect – the ability of an album to demolish a listener’s safeguards – is where the music speaks, perhaps, one of the most intimate languages of the creative mind.
Arundas’s latest release, Pathless Ways, is one of those albums that can not only comfort you, but also significantly change the way you understand music. The second installment in his three part ambient project, Dreamfulaudeasia, this album carves a distinctive musical path of densely organic soundscapes and heartfelt emotionalism that fuses into a work of genuine beauty.
Venturing into a sobering terrain with reflective pieces that inspire optimistic contemplation, the concept of opposing forces in the listening experience breathes within; it removes all sonic safeguards, allowing it to operate on both unsettling and hypnotic levels. With tracks like Across and The Wandering, its spiritual and peaceful dreamscapes supplant the passages of time – transforming simplistic musings into epiphanies with seductive and humbling capacity. It could well be considered a sonic snapshot of the sheer power of the imagination.
The title track, Pathless Ways, is more than worth the adventurous stroll. It begs to be played without pause, as hypnotic sitar lines and spine-tingling shamanic whispers lead the way across a terrain of incorporeal dimensions. Lustrous acoustic guitars weave in and out of the musical journey, anchoring all uncertain thoughts, inspiring further exploration. Seamlessly transitioning into Summoning, the guitars and sitars that lead much of the way gradually ascend into a dazzling and radial display of alternating melodic lines. This friction between the two lines brushing against each other is what makes it resonate with an otherworldly rhythm.
Rising and falling with a radial efflorescence, washes of music and repeating vocal lines pulsate throughout the multi-hued Of Our Star. Progressing towards an increasingly upbeat and prominent rhythmic direction, percussion and stringed melodies craft Whose Ever and Joyous Light into a tantalizing chase of the unfamiliar. Breaking through the swimmy soundscapes, Echoes in the Garden’s minimalist, musical purity soars to the disc’s end, only to have a fresh new line beg for reprise.
Arundas’s fusion of ingeniously repeated compositional structures and highly melodic improvisations – with a pronounced Eastern meditative influence – makes Pathless Ways an exquisite and accessible blend of intensity and beauty. Just outside of the limits of traditional logic, it opens the door to perhaps one of the most mesmerizing artistic statements of the twenty-first century.
The Verdict: 9.8/10
For more information, please contact Arundas at firstname.lastname@example.org
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