Especially the previous four albums by Robert Rich have been demanding above average, sonically as well as thematically. Divided in two parts, “Location” and “Dislocation”, the first disc of the highly introspective double album “Tactile Ground” leads its listeners into a slow evolving, beautifully rendered inner place of calm and beauty, a kaleidoscope of pastel colours and soft wavering, drifting spheres. Ethereal textures and elegant piano keys lead the way here often in a kind-of Budd-Eno style, with more organic, naturalistic elements entering the stage on the second half of “Location”. Opener “The Sentience of Touch” (as well as “A Skein for Skin” and “Language of Breezes”) turns up as exceptional ambient gems where Robert’s pure magic spreads its wings to the fullest.
Although not immediate, the largest part of the second disc (starting with “Haptic Incursions”) is different cup of tea. This deep listening ambient is much more daring and a harder nut to crack with tonal progressions descending into a darkening, abstract netherworld where currents of unease and something foreboding are present almost constantly. I for one would classify this as organic-spiced nightshade musings for headphones. The primordial soup of “Heat Island Effect” though reveals a pleasant elevating vibe while a lighter tone is also found on “Tentative Unfolding” and the lovely immersive floater “Elevations”. Despite still morphing deep, album closer “Meridian Respiration” leaves us gently with a sense of longing and hope.
Next to the physical product, Robert also offers “Tactile Ground” as two large tracks in 24/96 high resolution, the original continuous format.
You can see what reviews I have done of this artist on the Robert Rich artist page