Jim Cole and Mathias Grassow The Last Bright Light The Last Bright Light is the follow-up to The Hollow, an exceptional CD by Jim Cole and Mathias Grassow. That CD features Jim’s overtone vocals and Mathias’ electronics and processes. On one track, he joins Jim and performs on overtone vocals. This CD features overtone harmonic singing, reverberation and loops – with electronic support only on track seven! It is an amazing creation! Mere words do not do justice to these brilliant compositions and performances! The overtones are powerful and direct. Casual listening, while rewarding, is not an option. Simple tasks become burdensome as the music takes over and surrounds the synapses in the brain. Jim and Mathias are not trying to control the listener. They are providing a holistic healing vessel. At that, there are no mistakes and no missteps. This disc has been ready for release since some time in 2002. Mike Griffin had it on the Hypnos release list for over a year. Frustrated by the inactivity, Jim and Mathias reached an agreement with Atmo Works for a May, 2004 release. Mike’s loss is to the advantage of James Johnson and John Strate-Hootman (Vir Unis), the owners of AW. This outstanding CD is more than essential. It is a must-have! - Jim Brenholts
Jim Cole The Way Beyond Jim Cole is one of the most talented and divinely gifted individuals in this -- or any other -- world. It is still beyond belief that he is able to create deep ambient space music with simple vocal loops and natural reverberation. The Way Beyond is a set of pure bliss! Jim recorded these pieces while he was creating tracks for his upcoming collaboration with Mathias Grassow -- The Last Bright Light. This disc is pure magic and pure majesty. The overtone qualities of Jim's voice are natural and create warm meditative atmospheres. Jim's sound design gives the set outer space and sci-fi timbres. In fact, this might be his deepest space music yet! It is, succinctly, a great CD and Jim's ticket to the perpendicular universe! ~ -Jim Brenholts Mathias Grassow & Jim Cole, The Hollow Arya, Y14 www.amplexus.it www.mathias-grassow.de www.spectralvoices.com Mathias Grassow has been one of the world's leading minimalists for almost twenty years. Jim Cole, a relative newcomer, has already earned the status of the leading overtone singer. Both men are deeply spiritual and provide meditative backgrounds and contemplative vehicles with their music. They collaborated for The Hollow, a deep expansive atmosphere. It is easy to get lost in this set. In fact, getting is lost is a recommended listening technique. Subtle rhythms, ethnic instruments and low drones take listeners and pull them on a ride. The ride is smooth and delicate. But it is not a dark journey. And it is not bright or energetic either. It is somber and contemplative. Jim's style blends perfectly with Mathias' style. Mathias and Jim give deep listeners all that they need and all that they can handle. There are some interesting twists and highlights. Mathias performs the main vocal on track six, "Contemplation." Klaus Wiese (of Popol Vuh) contributes on singing bowls, glass-harp, bow-chime and up-right. Aman is the didgeridooist. This CD is a treasure and one of Mathias' most accessible albums. Jim just continues to amaze. Reviewed by Jim Brenholts
Mathias Grassow, Amir Baghiri, True North Arya, Y07, 1998 www.amirbaghiri.com email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org True North is a set of ominous tribal minimalism from Amir Baghiri and Mathias Grassow. This is truly an inspired project undertaken by two of Germany's top electronicians. Mathias has long been the undisputed leader of the minimalist drone. Amir is one of Europe's leading tribal minimalists. This dark and foggy set plays off their differences and to their similarities. The music relates to the challenge of overcoming the obstacles imposed by the foreboding desolation of northern landscapes and the accompanying mythology. By accepting the challenge, humanity gained strength and insight and a connection to forgotten roots. Overcoming the challenge gives man a sense of power and an inflated ego. So, the music, while triumphant at times, speaks more to the angst of isolation and the pain of neglect and abandonment. This is great dark ambience and an essential CD. Mathias is coming into his own and Amir into his. This will be a collector's item when they get there. - Jim Brenholts Mathias Grassow, Soil of Awareness Mathias Grassow Music, CDR, 2000 www.mathias-grassow.de Soil of Awareness is a double CD of deep dark droning minimalism from Mathias Grassow. This artistic genius has been overlooked and written off for too long. It is easy to write about his drones (I've done it.) and a cheap shot to complain about them. It is harder to give Mathias his due. He has been recording in diverse styles for close to 20 years. His perseverance alone is worthy of praise. But his creativity and originality are amazing! These are not drones just for the sake of drones. There are definite timbres and subtle nuances in this reflective soundscape. Listening to this is almost like a religious experience. The somber attitude and sober posture of the incessant drone and the stark atmospheres have absolute integrity and strong forces. This is ambience with an exclamation point! Mathias deserves many accolades and positive support. - Jim Brenholts
Mathias Grassow, Lifecycles AIM, 1994 www.mathias-grassow.de Mathias Grassow is definitely the king of ambient drones. He does that so well and with such musical integrity that it is surprising, pleasantly so, when he dresses them up. Lifecycles is one of those surprises. This rhythmic display of Mathias' ambient soundworlds grabs deep listeners with smoking rock and roll guitar riffs and a hot rock rhythm. The drone, subdued and in the background, carries the heavy sequences and the large-scale soundscapes. And this is not done superfluously. Mathias took a risk with his departure from his normal minimalist style. This is a biorhythmic extravaganza, complete with Middle Eastern influences. It is good to hear Mathias diversifying. It adds to his status in the e-music community. - Jim Brenholts
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