Keith Richie is an ambient, electronic, and soundtrack composer hailing from Mesquite, Texas. Keith has been releasing soundtrack-ish stuff since 2006 after he became obsessed of electronic music in the early ‘80’s when he ran into the music of John Carpenter and Tangerine Dream. Mr Richie perceives music as a living, breathing entity, inspiring and motivating us every day; it’s the orchestral voice from within that allows us to interact with the world around us.
The music of “Ambient Highways” was conceived originally in 2015 with the intent to release it on vinyl. Lack of resources, proper gear as well as musical inspiration at an all-time low with the composer struggling to find a sound that was uniquely his made the music being shelved for another five years.In 2020 Keith started work on it again merging older and new music. The definite tone was set eventually and visual impact was tied together by cover images by Mr Ritchie’s wife illustrating “Ambient Highways”.
Well, the audio landscape on the 75-minute album is gentle, refreshing, laid-back, emotive as well as distinct cinematic. It also connects quite profoundly to New Age music on “Weeping Angels”, “Faith’s Song” or the melancholic “Arctic Shores” found in the middle of the recording. Colorful, uplifting melodic lines hoover smoothly over lushly-paced sequencer patterns, releasing soft glimmering sparkles along the way. I’m sure the listener will be grabbed by the highly evocative “V Feeling” (indeed with a lovely nod toward the big V and his CS-80 sound), tasty opener “Neutrino” (featuring lush particle-like sequences), and the more symphonic-hinted title track of warm synth washes dressed with new-age flavors. The latter also grace the fare more electronic sounding “Neptune’s Awakening” , “Distant Visions” and “Ultimae Thule” with their thunder drums, deep bass, and elevating synth strings while optimism shines all over the place on “Keeping the Dream Alive”.
The gentle glistening, at times almost “female” electronic-sounding “Ambient Highways” offers the opportunity to detach from worldly affairs and enter an alternate reality of sustained splendor, an enchanting place full of colors where things are at ease. Next to the download and cd, the album is also available as a beautiful multi-color double vinyl.
Overall rating: between 3.5 and 4 stars.
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