Jon Denzene/The Torrent
The Impossible Distance
Nimzhead Rush Audio CD
New Age, D-tuned acoustic guitar and synthesizer based music set against natural sounds of the outdoors with some unusual background instrumentation on didjeridoo (that instrument associated with Australia and used in the 60’s hit “Tie Me Kangaroo Down”) or the dumbek.
Cut two (“Laughing Sun”) sounds very much like a song written by a friend of mine a long, long, long ago.
Cut three (“Breakers Wash”) has a kind of a Stephen Stills Four and 20 sound to it.
Cut seven (“Through Meadows Flow”) has a classical feel to it played on a wind-organ instrument that sounds a lot like a low calliope or mellotron (he probably uses a synth).
Track eleven (“Desierto Espejismo el Girar”) starts of with a bird cry that sounds very much like that darn “Hollywood Edge” screaming eagle that got over used due to being a weekly part of television’s “Northern Exposure.” It comes from academy award sound designer Lon Bender and a friend of mine used to work at his distribution operation which sold those effects CDs. I’ve grown to hate hearing that same, exact, bird cry. Won’t someone please find another birdie scream to record and use?!
Track twelve (“Dilguin Glenn”) has some very nice piano playing with synthesizer background vocal chants.
Parts of the album remind me of “Tubular Bells” the classic Mike Oldfield instrumental effort of the 1970’s. Parts of it reminds me of “Los Incas” the South American flute band used by Simon and Garfunkel, long, long ago.
Assisting Denzene in this effort on some track are Tony Andrea and Adam Synder on various acoustic or electric guitars (they form the basis of the group “The Torrent”).
He does a lot of work with harmonics, what sounds like “d-tuning” (which can mean both literally turning the low E string down to D like Stephen Stills does or figuratively meaning he tunes it to whatever works, but not the typical E-A-D-G-B-E guitar pattern).
In his past efforts (this is fifth commercially released album) Denzene has won many awards and much recognition. He has appeared on television (including PBS and local shows in Minnesota, Oklahoma and New York). He has performed at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. His “Surface Tension” album was nominated for “Best New Age Recording” by the Minnesota Music Academy.
The package came to me in a thin envelope and the CD cover was cracked as a result. It is a full color CD package including the silk screened disk label. A commercially stamped not home burnt CD. They use the “circle P” for audio recordings that was missing on most other submissions. They have a bar code product number and a full color V-style front cover.
Denzene and his collaborators are first rate artists. If you like this kind of “movie background music” then this album is well worth your $20. They know what they are doing. Have a good feel for the concepts. Know the value of leaving open spaces and filling in where it works the best. It’s a mixture of light classical and 70’s folk-pop-rock acoustical work in the vein of Crosby, Stills and Nash or maybe a tad of John Denver, without the vocals of course as this is a totally instrumental mood music CD.
Overall quality of the package so-so (it came in cracked). Presentation is ok (very minimalist). Workmanship is top notch. Creativity is very good. Listenability is very good. Originality is very good.
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