Kwali Kumara/Pete Ardron: Elemental Temple Part 1
Released: 21 January 2022
Elemental Temple Part 1 (125:46) possesses a rare and cherished quality. The four lengthy tracks realized by Kwali Kumara & Pete Ardron open up and out into a blissful realm of gentle melodies, drifting ambience and reassuring consonance. An enigmatic, deep release of methodical pacing and ceremonial intensity Elemental Temple Part 1 does not lead the listener, but stays right with us well into its deeper dream. Electronic textures grow, thicken and gently shift, as harmonics become dense, then fall away into a smooth surface of sound. Expanding drones slow the plane of daily existence – their outward-reaching arc adrift on the stillness of thought. Taken together these elements convey the enigmatic yet simple essence of a world apart, and may even evoke the meditative vistas at the center of each player. Entering their weightless domain we feel received, accepted. Each composition has its own unique sense of weightlessness – as within these vivid soundfields every listener feels at the center of their own eternal circle. In a near constant state of gradual expansion, contrasting ambient landscapes blend and morph beautifully across a subtle cosmic backdrop. Utilizing a diverse electronic palette unique timbres arise, hang in space, brighten, then darken, then morph into something new. This atmosphere of flourishing synthesizers notably includes playful, graceful wordless singing. Intriguing treatments transform lilting vocalizations, slightly – into an even more ethereal encounter with the infinite. Late in this long-player the listener is summoned into focus with intuitive beats and rhythmic flow. As viridescent hums and buzzes give way to riffs, grooves and celebratory chanting, these heated moments seem taken from life itself – passing pleasingly at a human degree. Whether the mood is slow-burning bright and hot, or more of a nocturnal still chill zone, this duo’s sonic sense is beguiling – taking its lines from life itself. A mesmerizing combination of technology and tradition, aether and earth, sensuality and reason, this music, with its incense like dynamics, lingers on well after the ember’s glow has cooled. The mind, the soul, the heart… this work touches all three. Kwali Kumara and Pete Ardron have provided us with an aural expression intent on restoring contemplation over mere mainstream diversion. Their Elemental Temple Part 1 ennobles us with the resolve to carry out whatever realizations this journey has fostered – leaving we listeners hoping that we will always be as open and as honest as this album has asked us to be.
Chuck van Zyl/STAR’S END – 11 August 2022