Effortlessly traversing the Ambient/Chill border with grace,
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This review is from: Places In Arizona (Audio CD)
I first heard a track from this CD on Stephen Hill's Hearts of Space and found it quickly on Amazon's used marketplace for pennies. I've seldom gotten more for my money, and I own about 200 Ambient CDs.
What keeps me coming back is the fact that Mr. Soon's "Places in Arizona" does what many Ambient releases cannot do successfully: it keeps you actively engaged for repeat listenings.
Most Ambient releases are very specific. They fall into categories that, while satisfying in what they deliver, can be a bit narrow in scope. You only listen to them when you're in a certain mood --- you want to relax, you want to meditate, etc.
"Places in Arizona," though, cheerfully and successfully violates that premise by presenting tracks in a multitude of styles and themes --- though they all are captivating in their own way.
On one hand, you have cooled-out electro on tracks like "Acrosanti" and "Ventana"; then you get cuts with lovely, pulsating keyboard riffs like "Quartzite" and "Nazlini," before gradually easing into journeys featuring gorgeous washes of traditional Ambient drone. An example of the latter --- the virtual symphony "Echo Canyon" --- combines Peyote healing chants and synth figures --- is nothing short of mesmerizing.
And yes, the CD is flawlessly sequenced as well, and that also makes it very easy to listen to repeatedly. Mr. Soon's release does EXACTLY what you want ANY CD to do --- no matter what the genre --- it takes you on a captivating journey to a very specific, wonderful place, time and again. It makes you hungry to seek out the actual "places" these tracks were inspired by.
This release is, quite simply, one of the best Ambient works ever created, up there with anything from Eno, Budd, Produce, Garcia, or Rich. It's really that good.