The love for sound creation in the analogue domain has been (and continues to be) the heart and soul of Chuck van Zyl’s music. “Votive” features three 20-minute tracks with an array of elements of old Berlin school cosmic music. In this aural world, varied, nicely-paced sequencer patterns merge meticulously with tender, warm layers of synth pads along with an occasional solo voice.
Opener “The Western Gate” displays a lovely sense of timelessness and mellowness, before the listener ends up into something totally different: the abstract, alienating and psychedelic ambient soundworlds making up the almost 23-minute “Vigil” that proves quite hard to digest, especially in its first 10 minutes. From there, harmony, calm and introspection start travelling to the surface but are always embedded in ominous, static and otherworldly atmospheres.
“Where the Woodbine Twineth” -my personal favourite- sees a return to pure cosmic, freeform and most sensitive sonic environs. It displays smooth building, expansive textural layers where rays of celestial, uplifting vibes shine through gently but it also rides a few darker edges briefly as the track evolves. I’d say this piece evokes nostalgia as well as pure time travel.
You can see what reviews I have done of this artist on the Chuck Van Zyl artist page
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