Esoterica by Dan Pound

Dan Pound


8 tracks

Running time: 1:11:54
Released: 06/2009

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  01   Esoterica Part One - 11:31
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  02   Esoterica Part Two - 10:17
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  03   Esoterica Part Three - 11:49
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  04   Esoterica Part Four - 11:46
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  05   Esoterica Part Five - 7:17
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  06   Esoterica Part Six - 5:10
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  07   Esoterica Part Seven - 3:44
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  08   Esoterica Part Eight - 10:20
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More Info

Esoterica is another set of first-rate serene shifting soundscapes from Dan Pound. As on prior albums, Pound uses analog and digital synths and samplers, voice, flute, and didgeridoo. He melds them into a thoroughly pleasant array of moods and sounds. Divided into eight parts, each one floats calmly by with influences ranging from Tangerine Dream to Brian Eno, often all within the same track. For example, "Esoterica Part One" starts with smooth floating music for a few minutes, but segues into a bright sequencer-based passage for the remainder. I particularly like part two, with a fascinating echoing bass line with quirky percussion running parallel to it. It defies easy categorization or description, but suffice to say it is a refreshingly unique take on electronic ambient music. The beat gets heavier and more tribal, ably aided by Pound's Lakota flute playing. By now over 20 minutes of excellent ambience has passed, with still more to come. Part three has a brisk, bright sequence and a sweeping synth that rises and falls. Then this fantastic chugging bass line takes over, although the energy remains restrained just so. Instead of continuing to build on this, Pound teases and then brings it back down, creating this wonderful dynamic. Part four has a stuttering little rhythmic bit, a hint of glitchy electronica but smoother than that. We're now well over 40 minutes in and it just keeps getting better. The energy goes up a notch on parts five and six, the latter featuring this cool clipped processed didgeridoo sound. The latter sections of the album with their clean, crisp, computerized percussion remind me of Vir Unis and James Johnson on their excellent Perimeter series, or Vir's solo album Mercury and Plastic. After all this fun with rhythm, the floating tones of part eight bring the disc to a relaxed finish. Esoterica is easily one of the best ambient releases of 2009 so far. (Phil Derby / Electroambient space)