Many may know the music of Mike Carss, aka Altus, as vast textural and out-of-this-world music. Sonically, “Ecotone” though opens a new, vibrant chapter in his already extensive discography.
The recording contains more varied music covering a lot of ground, which (according to the composer) was necesarry to tell and unfold its story properly. The album concept refers to the fact we humans should be more appreciative about the simple, unspoiled beauty making up our globe. It’s something that is simply there and surrounds us day after day.
The journey of “Ecotone” starts out in an unusual and confronting manner, where Mike even implements spatial sequenced and rhythmic excursions (“Land of the Grey”, “Such fleeting advancement”) along dreamy background pads. After that, the neo-classical music with mesmerizing vocal and choir pads smoothens down while opening up spaces for personal reflection and thought in the lingering, vast compositions, such as the 17-minute “Remnants”.
The impeccable beauty and splendour spread out on “The Awe and Wonder” is even more impressive, beside sounding like a great soundtrack excerpt for an imaginary movie. For me, the environmental message of the nicely crafted “Ecotone” evaporates a beautiful sense of hope and faith that things will still be alright, but the deep sense of loneliness and melancholy embedded in the last track doesn’t miss its goal either. Thanks Mike for bringing us this honest and personal release.
“Ecotone” is available as free digital download in Flac and mp3 format on various online platforms.
You can see what reviews I have done of this artist on the Altus artist page