Steve Brand – The Path of the HeartrM_0057
Steve Brand – The Path of the Heart
May 2016

"This music reflects my realization that I often feel that my entire life has been a journey to and of the heart, my heart, my core..."

Kloob – Solid FoundationsrM_0056
Kloob – Solid Foundations
February 2016

A sonic journey featuring metaphysics, attraction, emotions management, extraterrestrial life, astral projection and personal development.

Anguaji Music – Trigger, HappyrM_0055
Anguaji Music – Trigger, Happy
October 2015

A joyful jumble of up-and-down musical sketches to stir your imagination.

Massergy – A Novel Sense of CalmrM_0054
Massergy – A Novel Sense of Calm
September 2015

Beautiful ambient music to help on the greatest journey of all.

Markus Reuter & Zero Ohms  From Worlds Unseen A Light Yet Streams A Sound RepleterM_0053
Markus Reuter & Zero Ohms – From Worlds Unseen...
August 2015

Sparse melodic drone-based soundscapes and warm, ethereal spacemusic

Chris Russell - BlurrM_0052
Chris Russell - Blur
July 2015

Blur, an album created slightly out of focus.

Roy Mattson – MesmerrM_0051
Roy Mattson – Mesmer
May 2015

Hints of tribal and ethno-ambient music mixed with a strong dose of psychedelia.

SiJ – PlaentagoserM_0050
SiJ – Plaentagose
April 2015

A suite of sparsely decorated vignettes / postcards of moments on a long stretch of highway.

Numina – Through the Gate to NowhererM_0049
Numina – Through the Gate to Nowhere
March 2015

A sonic journey influenced by many events and emotion.

Steve Brand and Ran Kirlian – The Uncarved BlockrMEp_0002
Steve Brand and Ran Kirlian – The Uncarved Block
March 2015

Journey back to our natural state of being before cultural conditioning takes place.

Kloob – Deep Emotional PhasesrM_0048
Kloob – Deep Emotional Phases
February 2015

Elegance and darkness are successfully combined to create tracks that evoke subtlety and strong feelings at the same time.

Steve Brand – Into The Currentpl0020
Steve Brand – Into The Current
February 2015

Steve Brand's document of, and tribute to, his experience at Steve Roach's "SoundCurrent Master's Class"

åpne sinn – Worlds ApartrMEp_0001
åpne sinn – Worlds Apart
January 2015

"between two worlds life hovers like a star, twixt night and morn, upon the horizon’s edge." – byron

Frore - Cyclic MovementrM_0047
Frore - Cyclic Movement
January 2015

Ambient journeys synced to the cycles and rhythms of the universe.

Andrew Lahiff - Slow Paths BeyondrM_0044
Andrew Lahiff - Slow Paths Beyond
November 2014

A story that began evolving in January 2013.

Steve Brand – The Space BetweenrM_0046
Steve Brand – The Space Between
October 2014

Past events, loved ones, even the resources we need from all our pasts and futures are there waiting for us…in still, quiet moments.

Seren Ffordd – Fractured III – ShardsrM_0045
Seren Ffordd – Fractured III – Shards
August 2014

Shards is the third album in a trilogy titled Fractured.

Chris Russell – IlluminoidrM_0043
Chris Russell – Illuminoid
July 2014

Illuminoid is a journey into the realm of the spirit.

Steve Brand and Roy Mattson - MeltstreamrM_0042
Steve Brand, Roy Mattson - Meltstream
May 2014

Amazing beatless ambient. Roy and Steve both have a strong affinity with nature, especially the mountains, and this music grew out of those moments, immersed in nature…and sound.

Robert  Scott Thompson - ArcanarM_0039
Robert Scott Thompson - Arcana
April 2014

A carefully crafted, subtly nuanced ambient album. Languidly drifting textures, prepared piano, and an array of synthesized and acoustic sounds make this a rewarding listen.

Arbee & Specta Ciera – Elemental GatheringrM_0041
Arbee & Specta Ciera – Elemental Gathering
March 2014

Delving into techno, drone, experimental, dub and more - Arbee & Specta Ciere's debut on rM will move you.

Steve Brand – Because We Were Once Covered in Goldpl0011
Steve Brand – Because We Were Once Covered in Gold
February 2014

Re-working of 2009 release, fascinating and exceptionally detailed, full of subtlety and delicious sonic twists and turns.

Relaxed Machinery Artists - reBOOTrM_0040
Relaxed Machinery Artists - reBOOT
January 2014

17 tracks, 2.25 hours of new music from some of the best names in the industry.

Steve Brand - Over-soulpl0015
Steve Brand - Over-soul
November 2013

61 minute long form piece, divided into three seamless expanses of driftscape, created entirely with keyboards and medicine drum.

Chronotope Project - Event HorizonrM_0033
Chronotope Project - Event Horizon
October 2013

An earthy foundation of sustained drones and rich chordal soundbeds, flowing watery melodies, the scintillating sparkle of fiery sequences.

Steve Brand  - She Covers The Skypl0014
Steve Brand - She Covers The Sky
September 2013

Re-imagining, re-working, re-mastering of the 2009 release, now with two new tracks.

Zero Ohms - 369rM_0036
Zero Ohms - 369
July 2013

A journey of what seems to be an unending ascension of shifting drones and wind-synth chords which take you to the very edge of space and beyond.

Steve Brand – The Great HooprM_0038
Steve Brand – The Great Hoop
June 2013

Music inspired by Native American cultures, their history and pre-history, the spaces, colors, flora and fauna, and wide variety of landscapes of the American Plains.

Relaxed Machinery Artists – Butterfly EffectsrM_0034
Relaxed Machinery Artists – Butterfly Effects
May 2013

An album comprising remixes of material from several James Johnson albums.

Frore - ShadowlandsrM_0035
Frore - Shadowlands
March 2013

Frore's first album on Relaxed Machinery. Hints of tribal and modern ambient take you on a thought provoking journey.

Steve Brand – Bridge to Nowherepl0010
Steve Brand – Bridge to Nowhere
February 2013

Bridge to Nowhere is a spacious, slow-breathing exploration of a meditative state, and nowhere in Brand’s work is the ritualistic element more present than in this case

Chris Russell - PortalrM_0037
Chris Russell - Portal
February 2013

Other worlds, other dimensions and glimpses behind the veil.

Steve Brand - Our True NaturerM_0029
Steve Brand - Our True Nature
December 2012

A soundtrack for hope, growth and expanded ways of being.

Chronotope Project – ChrysalisrM_0032
Chronotope Project – Chrysalis
November 2012

Deep ambient textures infused with gentle rhythm and soulful melody -- introspective soundscapes to relax the mind and gladden the spirit.

Broken Harbour – The Geometry Of ShadowsrM_0031
Broken Harbour – The Geometry Of Shadows
October 2012

Light and shadow, past and future, distance and time, informed the creative process and inspiration of this album.

Steve Brand – Sunprintspl0007
Steve Brand – Sunprints
September 2012

Five quiet and sometimes intimate atmospheres focused around nature.

Andrew Lahiff – Inner Worlds ReturningrM_0030
Andrew Lahiff – Inner Worlds Returning
August 2012

Synthetic and mechanical notions overlaid on an organic yet detailed landscape.

Shane Morris / Disturbed Earth – Suburban CatacombsrM_0028
Shane Morris / Disturbed Earth – Suburban Catacombs
July 2012

What goes on under suburbia, the day to day, literally, the pipes, storm water drainage, electric cable, communication, internet.

Steve Brand – CatalystrM_0026
Steve Brand – Catalyst
June 2012

Four cavernous, ethereal, sentimental and lilting inscapes timing in at just over an hour.

Chris Russell - BloomrM_0027
Chris Russell - Bloom
May 2012

Warm and peaceful zones inspired by nature. All carefully sculptured using a combination of field recordings and electronic atmospheres.

åpne sinn – en seierrM_0025
Peter James – Landfall
April 2012

Part of a journey. Not the final part or the start. Just a part of it. A mixture of long and short form ambient.

åpne sinn – en seierpl0004
Steve Brand / Ishq – Spiritual Science
March 2012

Easy and organic multiple disc release of several long form ambient pieces. Re-mastered during 2011-2012 for this special re-release.

åpne sinn – en seierrM_0024
åpne sinn – en seier
February 2012

"en seier" from the Norwegian meaning “one victory”. Rhythms, ambient soundscapes, and multiple collaborations. All straight from the heart.

Austere – EuterperM_0021
Austere – Euterpe
January 2012

Honed sonic goodness that covers every style or genre Austere is known for (which is many) but mostly brand-new ground broken, no paths retraced.

Peter James – MementorM_0022
Peter James – Memento
December 2011

Musical pieces kept as simple as the moments they depict so as not to blur the memories they evoke.

Steve Brand - Subtle Movements InsiderM_0011
Steve Brand - Subtle Movements Inside
November 2011

“Subtle Movements Inside,” was inspired after re-visiting a group of old poems and by recent events in my life.

Steve Brand - SoulSpiralpl0003
Steve Brand - Cahokia
October 2011

A three-song journey into one of the deeply mystical places of America’s heartland.

Bob Ohrum - All Around MerM_0020
Bob Ohrum - All Around Me
October 2011

In the sky and the trees,the sunlight and the breeze, in the buildings and the windows that surround me... they are all around me.

Zero Ohms - Worlds, AfterworldsrM_0019
Zero Ohms - Worlds, Afterworlds
October 2011

We constantly stand on a precipice of the unknown without the possibility of reversing. This seemingly unknowable void looms, beckoning. And flight is the only, albeit inadequate, response.

Steve Brand - SoulSpiralpl0002
Steve Brand - Upwelling
September 2011

Upwelling is collection of epiphanies, experiments, singular moments, remixes and re-discoveries.

Lowell Levene-Sims - <br>A Thing of Beauty to an Object of RegretrM_0017
Lowell Levene-Sims - A Thing of Beauty to An Object of Regret
August 2011

Cover Painting: There are No Wrong Notes by LLS, 2010.

Chris Russell - HomerM_0013
Chris Russell - Home (double album)
August 2011

recorded june 2010 to march 2011.

John Koch-Northrup - Temporal ArcrM_0002
John Koch-Northrup - Temporal Arc
(reissue w/ bonus track)
July 2011

Originally released on Red Antenna on 2001. Re-released July 2011, with one additional track.

Disturbed Earth & Steve Brand – What is Memory?rM_0016
Disturbed Earth & Steve Brand – What is Memory?
July 2011

This release is a 69-minute aural exploration of the nature of memory and time, utilizing keyboard atmospheres, flutes and voice.

Max Corbacho – Lost LinksrM_0018
Max Corbacho – Lost Links
June 2011

Deleted, unreleased and forgotten tracks.

Steve Brand - SoulSpiralpl0001
Steve Brand - SoulSpiral
May 2011

First in a series of re-mastered, re-worked, re-releases and special releases to come on Steve's own label, Pioneer Light.

Bob Ohrum – Subliminal ListeningrM_0014
Bob Ohrum – Subliminal Listening
March 2011

A collection of organic soundscapes created by capturing various field recordings, and then creating music to accompany them.

I’ve Lost – Scáth M’anamrM_0010
I’ve Lost – Scáth M’anam
March 2011

Scáth M’anam is a Gaelic phrase, which can be translated as “Shadow of My Soul”. The artist, aka Bobby Jones, chose this title by looking to his Irish roots.

Relaxed Machinery Artists – sleepMODErM_0009
Relaxed Machinery Artists – sleepMODE
March 2011

Relaxed Machinery presents sleepMODE, a snapshot of the rapidly-growing label celebrating its first anniversary.

åpne sinn – espiritistarM_0015
åpne sinn – espiritista
January 2011

By turns drifting and ethereal then beat driven, this debut recording spans many musical types and genres.

Leonardo Rosado – for rrM_0012
Leonardo Rosado – for r
November 2010


Chris Russell and Disturbed Earth – The Approaching ArmadarM_0008
Chris Russell and Disturbed Earth – The Approaching Armada
October 2010

The Approaching Armada is all about Chris’ electronics that have been soft soaked, the brittle remaining dark and edgy and Disturbed Earth’s presence in the sound.

Beta Cloud – The Book of Five RingsrM_0007
Beta Cloud – The Book of Five Rings
October 2010

All tracks recorded reflect “aural essays” of the concepts Musashi defined in his text of Go Rin No Sho.

Steve Brand - ConiunctiorM_0006
Steve Brand - Coniunctio
August 2010

Coniunctio is the joining of two longform ambient works. Pale Blue Orb is very celestial, spacious, glowing in the warmth of enveloping light and consciousness while The Beginning of Days is more terrestrial, Earthy.

Bob Ohrum - ElevatedrM_0004
Bob Ohrum - Elevated
June 2010

Elevated is a journey through heartbreaking loss and the celebration of a spirit set free from a broken body.

Chris Russell - FrozenrM_0003
Chris Russell - Frozen
July 2010

Frozen recalls the stillness and silence of a winter snowfall transitioning into spring, celebrating the rebirth and renewal of life.

Steve Brand - Circular ScripturesrM_0001
Steve Brand - Circular Scriptures
June 2010

Circular Scriptures is charactarized by beatless, diaphanous, semi-transparent layers of sound that flow and overlap, layered with deep earth-shaking timbres and near orchestral and choral allusions.

Ambient Exotica Review – Landfall by Peter James

8 May 2013

Landfall is a synth-driven Ambient album by the Cumbria-based artist Peter James, released in April 2012 on Steve Brand’s and John Koch-Northrup’s Relaxed Machinery label, the latter of which provided me with a digital copy of this three-track journey for review purposes. Landfall is prototypical Peter James material, but unlike his warm organic 2011 release Memento, this album does not feature any field recording, nor is it loaded with ornaments. James concentrates on the purest Ambient aesthetics, slowly wandering synth layers and slow sequences of monotony with admixed half-tone jumps. The title track was actually self-released in 2009 already, but is now accompanied by two companion pieces, each of them having their own distinct flavor and mood while being based on the same formula. The term formula oftentimes leaves a stale aftertaste, but I use it to stress the conceptual arc, the cohesion which traverses through Landfall as the golden thread. While there are few changes and coalescing layers in each track, the album as a whole features enough variety to not make the presentation feel tiresome or all too focused. The concept of Landfall is, according to Peter James, a journey. As noble this concept seems, it is, I have to admit, tremendously banal and commonplace. It might be filled with memories and heartfelt emotions, but they remain opaque to the listener, a problem I encounter time and again in synth-fueled Ambient pieces. The quality of the music, the surfaces and layers is thus all the more important. These luminescent markers have to glow from within their nuclei, especially so if the listener does not know the true origin of the concept, either because it is all too vague or highly personal to the artist. Luckily, Landfall is a particularly deep and intense album even if you strip off the opaque context in which it is embedded.

Relocation is the entry point of Landfall and proves to be a more easily digestible piece, but not because it is shallow or streamlined, but due to its duration of over seven minutes. It is a pastel-colored piece with a lesser focus on ethereality in favor of a blurrier haze. Peter James first introduces a softly oscillating drone stream full of warmth and a certain dryness which is accompanied by a cavalcade of blissful clouds; their echo fades in and out and gyrates around the semi-clear moiré of monotony. The atmosphere is becalming and soothing, but is intensified in the latter half when the misty clouds whirr in higher tone regions, introducing a lofty scent of iciness that was formerly camouflaged by the fuzziness of these celestial entities. Relocation is deliberately laid-back and surprisingly loop-based. Peter James maintains the state of affairs throughout the runtime, with the blueprint comprising of the monotonous dry stream and the reoccurring appearance of the cloud-shaped synth washes. No further particles or glistening entities are interwoven, making Relocation a track that focuses more on the surfaces, innermost textures and positively stolid fluxion rather than effect-laden distractions which may admittedly augment the wideness, but eventually deflect from the purposefully repetitive setup. Although James cites Relocation as “part of that same journey [as Landfall],” I cannot sense a progression, let alone a forward movement. The opposite is the case: Relocation feels like a tranquilizing stay in an ever-repeated shelter-giving place.

The second track is of course the main attraction, the “real deal,” the 35+ minutes long apex of this album. The titular Landfall turns out to be the referential journey which is the essential nullspace and connecting piece. The point of departure is covered in blackness. Dark matter drones float pompously through the cavernous location but are soon enough illuminated by the crystalline lucency of sparkling synth pads which fade in and out time and again. When they are mute, the cold darkness returns and makes the atmosphere feel acroamatic, abyssal and inapproachable. By no means is this a Dark Ambient piece, though! The grey-tinged shadiness, as monotonous it may seem, is the actual aorta or floating river which allows the other sounds to (re-)enter and permeate through the foggy structure. The accompanying synth strings are whitewashed and somewhat erudite if such an adjective is deemed suitable for synthetic structures. After approximately ten minutes, brazen but silkened clangs whirl in the distance, the angelic synth streams glow brighter while still retaining their sublime solemnity. There is no perceptible euphoria, only a state of transcendental grandeur is fueled and nurtured. And so the tune floats along; added bass drones form the occasional counterpart to the brighter inclusions, but not much changes over the course of the composition. Landfall is another track where Peter James concentrates on the subsistence, innermost nexus or thereness of a particular state. No curlicues or ornaments such as wind chimes, plinking slivers or galactic spirals are ever advected. Only the short appearance of the softened clangs adds pinches of metallic molecules to the soundscape. The listener is encapsulated, swallowed and allowed to submerge. The depth of field is remarkable. Landfall (the track) offers a total stasis, a state of contemplation and tranquility which the opener could not build due to its dualistic nature.

The final piece is called Separation and drones for over 17 minutes. Its selling points are the incredibly bolstered and densely layered masses of fog. While there were traces of melodies and serpentine tone sequences in the preceding compositions, Separation is a proper Drone track, and a dark one it is, too. The wideness of the perceived area is even larger, there are first and foremost only wind gusts, gales, blizzards, you name it, with faint flares of temple bells and softly screeching train-like brakes in the far distance. There may be no distinct melodies, but there are phases which are less layered, resulting in the impression of this track as an organic, breathing brute. The atmosphere is crestfallen and filled with gloom. However, its earthen physiognomy does not lead to austere presentiments or portentous shivers. Depending on the personal background or current mood of the listener, the incessant washes of fog are either purified waves stripped off any emotion, or cryptic harbingers of a forthcoming incident. This might furthermore be the ultimate zone-out track to get lost in, as there is really anything music-related in it but fizzling airflows. Separation remains a curious final point in that it is both the most reduced track with the most glaring wideness and impetus.

No field recordings, glitzy particles or euphonious surprises: Peter James’ Landfall is accessible due to its decisive omissions and reduced ingredients, and equally daunting because of its strong depth. It seems to be independent of any prerogative of interpretation. This is another catch-22, for how difficult can it be to describe an Ambient album that is so purposefully attenuated and composed of about nine or ten different textures? I would not, to answer the question, call it difficult per se, but neither can I pinpoint certain shifts or progressions. Two elements cause this impression: the density and exuberant proportion of the layers on the one hand, and the long durations of the compositions on the other. The arrangements float along on their own, not depending on any particular wizardry or sudden shifts. This is Ambient at its best, beatless and pure, tremendously abated but cleverly camouflaged. To maintain a certain mood for over half an hour as in the eponymous centerpiece without succumbing to the millions of possibilities a hardware synthesizer or software-based solution can provide, takes a strong will and knowledge. But even though the attention span of today’s Ambient listener decreases and shrinks, Peter James has a solution: a variety’s variety. All of the three tracks are built in the same way, but present different patterns and sound palettes, one of the boons that make it easier for the listener to adjust to them. As nice as the even stricter synth-driven Ambient albums such as the works of Thom Brennan are, it is the alternation of Peter James’ tracks which allow a glimpse of pastime to enter. Landfall is such an album. It is recommended to every listener of synth-heavy Ambient music, with the final track being particularly suitable for Dark Ambient or Drone lovers as well.

Source –