Sigma is the Finnish duo Mauno Tuominen and Petri Frestadius, who founded the band in 1997. “Sleep of the Shadow”, their fifth release by now, reveals a strong ambient current with an edge of experimental electronic music, of which the seed came from an Electronic Music Box (EMB) project that was a do-it-yourself-project for compact modular synthesizers.
The outcome is a mix of improvisational and composed parts, revealing a glowing mix of both vintage as contemporary sounds. Don’t be fooled by the introspective mood evoked by the fine opener “Electric Druid”, as the music ventures onto a deeper, immersive level on the atmospheric, slightly groovy “Sonic Lifeforms”.
This mesmerizing inner-space music gets strong following on the moody, soft-swaying ambient soundscapes of “Orbital Maneuvers” and the lyrical string-arrangement “Strange Attractor”. Darker, abstract and experimental movements show up on the short “Deep in the Forest”, before moving into the enigmatic/hypnotizing realms of the 10-minute title track. The latter makes a peculiar but also fascinating reverie demanding attentive listening.
A sense of melancholy and timelessness shines through on “Touch of Uncertainty” and (again lyrical, symphonic sounding) “Decomposition”. The grand “Greener Grass”, the longest composition on the release, sonically lines up to the title track, as they were both made for an art documentary project by one Mari Keski-Korsu. It’s a slow morphing, deep-drone meditation that really leaves its mark when experienced with headphones, leaving a spiritual, enlightening feel.
Overall, “Sleep of the Shadow” is special and something quite out of the ordinary. It absolutely deserves to be put out as a factory-pressed release. A special compliment goes out to its stunning mastering and spacious sound design.
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