Since I got to know the music of Altus it’s been evident for me many -if not all- of his releases feature a lovely cinematic, imaginary and deeper quality that one enjoys best with quality headphones. To achieve this properly and satisfactory it’s important to dedicate enough time and have the proper mind set to discover Altus sound art.
The dark, brooding character of the 79-minute “Below the Root”, based on an open-world game from 1984 of the same name, is no exception. As Mike explains further, its ambient travelogue is an aural representation of what one might discover beyond the gameworld’s borders. In eight tracks, the listener wanders through a vast netherworld of dense (sometimes even foggy) spheres along ethereal and remote landscape scenery toward barely visible horizons.
“Cathedral” and “Pense”e.g. aptly evoke a gloomy atmosphere of things lurking somewhere in the dark, but its descending, foreboding textural vastness doesn’t become too disturbing or menacing. The next tracks wander into mellower territory. Like on previous Altus releases, the rise, fall and smooth shift of aural waves on “Below the Root” create a pleasant subdued dynamic securing your attention all the way. The tender yet grander symphonic soundscapes of “The Root” rounding out the album air a beautiful sense of release and fulfilment to this nicely rendered, game-inspired concept album.
Overall, the adventurous-flavoured sound of this release extends most interesting on what’s yet available in the Altus catalogue I reckon.
You can see what reviews I have done of this artist on the Altus artist page