Ambient music comes in many forms, and several of them are not suitable for the faint of heart. The major of the works by German composer Frank Makowski (former member of [‘ramp], the musician behind Speed of the Dark, Tranquility and various collaborations in his 30-year musical career-) belong to the latter, whose output here fits in the league of gothic ambient dressed with sinister currents and mysticism. His 72-minute “Canon der Finsternisse” (Catalogue of Eclipses) is inspired by the 19th century Austrian mathematician and astronomer Theodor Ritter von Oppolzer and this major work on the determination of orbits of comets and asteroids, one of the greatest computational feats of its time.
In seven deep listening, electro-acoustic tracks we are taken on a minimalist journey through endless space and the complex interplay of celestial mechanics in this hostile environment. To my taste the choral sections, spaciousness aural realm and sensitive piano playing stand out best on this haunting, foreboding work where neo-classical elements melt with experimental/abstract electronics and sound effects. Moreover, one can almost touch infinity on the final two, extended tracks with things dissolving in the distance beautifully on “Sunnenvinster”. I feel these two takes are the real treat here together with the opening piece.
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