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Numina "Sanctuary of Dreams"
another masterpiece of the ambient genre from Jesse Sola.

listen to
Awaken Within a Deeper Realm
Dream Recognition (Silhouette of the Past)

Jesse Sola, who performs under the name Numina has long been one of my favorite ambient artists. I first heard his music back in the glory days of mp3.com, back when they were paying us money instead of the other way around. At the time I very much admired his vision, his sense of environment, his mastery of the ambient genre. Over the years through the releases that he's had I've grown to appreciate his work in even more subtle ways, on a cerebral level as well as an emotional level. And now as I hold a copy of his debut on Hypnos Recordings, I believe that my appreciation for Jesse's music has grown further still. Put quite simply, "Sanctuary of Dreams" is a masterpiece. This is one of the most beautiful pieces of music I've ever heard.

Opening track "Awaken Within a Deeper Realm" slowly builds and grows with pads drifting around you, caressing you, flowing around you in a liquid manner. It's a sensual feeling, a feeling of intimacy as if you're sharing secrets late at night with your loved ones. It's a very powerful opener, and it sets the tone for the rest of the disc.

"Lost on Silica Ridge" adds irregularly spaced percussion echoes to the drift, creating a sense of movement in the track. Tones stretch and bend around you, drawing you deeper into their grasp.

Skip ahead to track four "In Loneliness, the landscape Fades" where oblique motion plays underneath a slow melody of gently rising and falling tones. A heartfelt lament that touches me on a very primal level, something very basic and pure. Simply stunning.

"Thrown into Oblivion" features vocal-styled tones sweetening the mix over a steady drone playing low in the background. Processed and reverbed to perfection, one can't help but imagine being transported to deep caverns far away in time and space to witness an otherworldly chorus. Marvelous.

Track eight, "Dream Recognition (Silhouette of the Past)" begins from nothing, a slow tone fading in, floating across the soundscape just on the periphery of your senses. Sublime.

"Lucid Ascension" features some lovely work by the very talented Tara Vanflower, vocalist for darkwave favorites Lycia. Very subtly mixed in with the track, her voice blends in with the tones used to create an even more magical, more charming sound. What an inspired collaboration!

Over the years, Numina has honed and perfected his craft and this disc is a culmination of that perfection, setting an even higher standard for his work to follow. "Sanctuary of Dreams" connects with me on a variety of levels and reaffirms my belief that Jesse's work is a treasure, something to be cherished and held close to your heart. Surely this disc stands as one of my favorite releases so far this year.

rik - ping things

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last updated 01/20/08