Ombient: Sectio Aurea
The CD Sectio Aurea (78’01”) can hardly be contained by the room it is playing in. Mike Hunter (a.k.a. Ombient) finds inspiration in an almost mythical past of 1970s Berlin, while pursuing the present day’s desire for modernity. Sectio Aurea is in part Hunter’s own interpretation of the classic Departure From the Northern Wasteland – a further cultivation of Michael Hoenig’s imaginings by a musician who recognizes the value of this work. Working in a genre often thought of as too dependent on hardware, Hunter explores the ways this music may convey the truth of complex subject matter. With a whirlwind intelligence in its glowing prime, he connects to strategies central to Spacemusicians across the globe. We are swept away by an enveloping sense of magic, forgetting for an instant our critical spirit. Electricity is transformed into sound through an impressive collection of vintage and modern modular synthesizers and keyboards. Large sonic forms dominate the soundfield. The engaging locomotive power of Hunter’s sequencer manipulations and breakdowns bring a pumping pulse to Sectio Aurea. An ever-evolving rotating syncopation feels captivating to us – gained as the firing order of arpeggio notes spiral down into unpredictable slots. A highly specific set of possible chromatic symmetries support a range of confident synth lead lines. Declaring the musician’s narrative these full-bodied analog expressions sing in electric ribbons of sound. Echoing notes repeat and resound in synchronized layers of mechanized rhythms, until the concluding track resolves this journey, settling the listener into the drifting reverie of gently humming circuits and charged solid states. A blood member of the clan of electricity, Hunter makes a spark, in the night, in The Universe. Sectio Aurea is a work perfectly in tune with itself and its maker. This album is also about doing the work of music – as, when in pursuit with one’s heart and mind, all else fades away. It is a reflection, realized through action, intervened upon by spontaneity, which leads both listener and musician into contemplation – and that wonderful mental realm of unburdened temporal continuity.