As Loneward, Canadian synthesist Mike Carss started a new sonic journey in 2018 into what he referred to as purer ambient. “Moongate”, where processed guitar (both electric and acoustic) and soft synths taking centre stage, is a drifting, slightly pastoral-oriented affair of slow moving textures that come and go. It’s a soft breeze of pastel-coloured melodic soundscapes transforming gently and in an overall minimal fashion.
Despite the music’s dreamy, introspective nature it quite soon occurred to me the processed guitar soundings aren’t adding much and are even rather distracting next to the spacious breathing pads I know from Loneward’s and Altus’ previous recordings. Fortunately, both elements merge far better on the 6-minute “Ethereal Glow” while the 26-minute epic finale “Nightsong” (a 4-star track) sees a grand return to expansive, tranquil textural landscapes of electronic origin. On the things come and go in waves, shapeshifting gently –also in intensity- as the captivating track unfolds while morphing effortlessly toward infinite horizons beyond.
All in all, “Moongate” is not a bad release although I had wished it was in similar vein as the last two songs.
You can see what reviews I have done of this artist on the Loneward artist page
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