Pete Namlook (12 CDs reviewed in one lot!) Psychonavigation 3 Psychonavigation 4 Polytime The Seasons The Dark Side of the Moog The Dark Side of the Moog II Air 3 Air 4 Syn Atom Namlook Music for Ballet Pete Namlook and Bill Laswell have collaborated on about a dozen CDs. Psychonavigation 3 is -- DUH! -- the third disc in that series. It is a set of deep hypnotic meditation music, ideally suited for -- well -- navigating the psyche. Bill's drones and atmospheres play with, to, off and around Pete's experimental ambience and subtle timbres. The combined effect is chilling and smooth. These guys are consummate professionals and virtuosos. This disc hits hard on both counts. ~ Jim Brenholts Psychonavigation 4 opens with some quirky experimental sounds that grab listeners with the intention of holding them for the duration of a hypnotic trance adventure. When Bill Laswell and Pete Namlook collaborate, there is always an adventure of some sort. While this set is more rhythmic than most of their others, it still works well and pleases on many levels. There are, of course, atmospheric passages and pieces to contrast and balance the rhythms. The balance is what makes the disc work so well. ~ Jim Brenholts Karl Berger is one of the leading vibraphonists in the new millennium. He has worked with many influential artists in many genres. His collaboration with Pete Namlook -- Polytime -- most likely stemmed from both artists' relationships with Bill Laswell. This is a set of delightful cross-hybrid compositions with multiple rhythms, diverse influences and deep tones. The vivid imagery comes from and covers many different spectra. Pete and Karl have contrasting styles that compliment each other. This is a great CD! ~ Jim Brenholts Pete Namlook condensed his four disc series -- Seasons Greetings -- into one CD. The Seasons reflects upon each disc and also pays homage to the many great classical symphonies and suites with the same theme. It also tips a hat to -- and gets input from -- Wendy Carlos' opus -- Sonic Seasonings. Pete uses combinations of effects, samples, processes, acoustics and electronics to capture the essences of the seasons. This is a nice set. ~ Jim Brenholts The Dark Side of the Moog started as a project for Klaus Schulze and Pete Namlook to collaborate on one CD. The either had great success or too much fun -- or both -- because it became an ambient benchmark series. The first disc is deep and laden with quirky experimental sounds, cool drones, deep atmospheres and heavy sequences. It is not the best disc of the series but it is pretty cool! ~ Jim Brenholts The Dark Side of the Moog II is another very cool and fairly deep set of ambient excursions from Pete Namlook and Klaus Schulze. It has 12 variations on A Saucerful of Ambience and it combines nature samples with acoustics and electronics. It is a fairly wild ride as Pete and Klaus take listeners through Laugh in the Dark soundscapes. The timbres are smooth and the textures are organic. The samples are processed for extra effects. This is a great CD! ~ Jim Brenholts Pete Namlook, born Peter Kuhlmann, might be the most prolific composer/creator/producer in the e-music community, certainly rivaling Robert Carty and Steve Roach. Pete has collaborated with dozens of artists -- some obscure, some highly recognizable. He has a penchant for extending disc themes into series. Air 3 is the third disc in one of those series and it is an ambient treasure. Pete looks at air from many angles and explores its properties deeply. This is a nice disc from an e-music icon. ~ Jim Brenholts Air 4 is a strange disc, full of strange samples and contrasting styles. Pete Namlook, however, has the talent and moxy to make it work. He is still exploring the properties of air and he does so with panache, grace and flair. The diversity of sounds and styles enhances the listening experience and embraces deep listeners. It keeps casual listeners interested. All in all, this is a delightfully quirky adventure. ~ Jim Brenholts Syn is a double CD of quirky experimental e-music from Pete Namlook, a leading progenitor of the style. His sound design incorporates deep sequences, electro-rhythms, weird samples and sci-fi sounds -- almost like sound effects. He puts everything in its proper place so that a meticulous -- almost pedantic -- sound design plays like an effortless concert. Pete is a virtuoso on the synth and keyboard, too, so the discs are flawless. There is nothing to dislike about this set. - Jim Brenholts Atom is a hypercharged, hyperactive and somewhat psychotic set of space music from Pete Namlook. The disc has plenty of strange sounds, experimental noises and hard sequences. Pete wraps metallic textures and harsh atmospheres around the whole package to create and craft a sci-fi mystery. The music seems to be asking the questions, however. The soundscapes are trying to solve the puzzle. ~ Jim Brenholts It is damn near impossible to find an accurate or comprehensive discography for Pete Namlook. He has collaborated with dozens of artists, recorded with Romantic Warrior and recorded as Peter Kuhlmann (his birth name). Namlook is second solo CD under that alias. It is also very rare and the original is long out of print. That's a shame because it is a great disc, much more ambient and minimalist than listeners would expect from that era in his career. The atmospheres sound natural -- like unintentional by- products of the processes. That quality gives the disc integrity and honesty. Fortunately, this CD is available as downloadable mp3 files at www.emusic.com. ~ Jim Brenholts Pete Namlook has flirted with the edges of classical music frequently during his career. His individual and collective tributes to the seasons were very reminiscent of Antonio Vivaldi and the Baroque era of classical music. Music for Ballet has strong references to the Romantic, Classical and Modern eras. (Klaus Schulze, a frequent collaborator with Pete, has released four discs of "ballet music.") This is a very nice CD! Pete uses samples and simple processes (delays and echoes) to compliment his atmospheric ambience. The sound is unexpected and quite appropriate. The ten movements of the ballet run the gamut of the experimental spectra. While it would be difficult to dance to this music, it would be a spectacular event. ~ Jim Brenholts
Pete Namlook: Silent Music Pete Namlook is the collaborator's collaborator. Silent Music is a set of - duh! - quiet ambience that he recorded with Dandy Jack. It is a limited edition (1000 copies) CD. This is some fairly dark minimalism, similar to (this will piss of some folks on the ambient hyperreal list) Hypnos style ambience. There are some wild experimental sounds surrounded by vast atmospheres. The darker elements are not overpowering. In that regard, this is closer to somber minimalism. there are no rays of hope, so it is dark, but an easy dark. Deep listeners will be sad but not scared. This is a good CD for contemplation and introspection. Listen closely - alone - in the dark! ~ Jim Brenholts, EER-MUSIC.com Pete Namlook: Planetarium Planetarium is a deep set of cosmic space music and experimental ambience from Pete Namlook, nee Peter Kuhlmann, and Lakoff/IgrVer, the collective new composers from St. Petersburg, Russia. This is some dark stuff. The experimental timbres give the disc a slight avant-garde feel. Pete does not shy away from challenges nor is he afraid to take risks. Some of the pieces have overt techno rhythms and others are overt minimalism. Pete and the collective are comfortable in both styles. And, wherever they go, there are plenty of large atmospheres to compliment the style. Pete is a master sound designer and a top-notch arranger. He prospers in collaborations - either with well known or lesser-known artists. ~ Jim Brenholts, EER-MUSIC.com
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