without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
Yes, Senmuth got an acoustic guitar and a dutar and he just wanted to test his two new instruments on this calm, meditative and insightful record for us. In fact, he plays both instruments quite well and his skills remind me a little bit of Cat Stevens, Carlos Santana and even Shawn Phillips. This is the perfect record to get in touch with a Mexican beauty during a relaxed barbecue supper next to a campfire. Yes, I know, I have an overwhelming creativity again, just like Senmuth has.
Honestly said, the album really has a slightly Hispanic folk feeling and makes me think of beautiful vacations somewhere in the south. The album title may sound complex, intellectual and ambitious but the music is amongst the most simplistic stuff Senmuth has ever done in his huge discography so don’t get fooled here. It's though good to take a break and feel a human touch in his music after many ambitious and detailed projects. If you are looking for a progressive, doom or metal record, you’re definitely not at the right address here.
Of course, we have heard music like this before but Senmuth's joy and passion during the soft jams is well transferred here. The album has a great flow, sounds coherent and very atmospheric. The only outstanding track from this concept is the album closer "Morning Swallow" that is a little bit quicker and more rhythm orientated to awake us after almost thirty minutes of hypnotizing tranquility.
In the end, this album is a great choice if you feel to take a break and think about vacations and exotic beauties to escape from reality. This can also easily be considered as great and inoffensive background music for calm barbecue suppers or campfires with your friends. We should simply take this album as it is and don't expect anything mindblowing in here. On the other side, Senmuth has done much more innovating stuff and this soft acoustic instrumental record can't be classed among his highlights.
In a discography of so many albums, any deviation from the norm or standard style almost guarantees an added degree of praise. When it comes to Senmuth, it is very clear that the man behind this one person project is incredibly talented and dedicated to his work, but his music often falls into ruts, and feels a bit too 'recycled' after a while. After having experienced a ton of Senmuth's work in the form of either metal or 'ethnic ambient,' it comes as a very pleasant surprise when the man decides to do something that's a bit out of his regular zone. With the verbosely titled 'Morning Depth Of The Sunlight & Emptiness,' Senmuth tries his hand at acoustic instrumental music. There is a simplified, warm sound here, but an improvement on the generally loose songwriting could have made this a really great album, instead of merely a 'decent' one.
A unique work for Senmuth, a very noticable difference here is the lack of production and density here that defined many of his other works. While the use of the studio itself as an instrument can often be a beautiful thing, it did seem at times in his career that Senmuth would try too hard to make a very chaotic sound, and the songwriting would often get lost in the sound. In 'Morning Depth,' there are still effects being used, but they are generally kept to a minimum, and only used when appropriate. Often, the only sound the listener will hear will be of the instruments themselves; typically a warm toned acoustic guitar, skillfully performed by the man himself. Towards the latter part of the album, effects are used to a somewhat psychedelic pallour, which at times can give the album the feeling of instrumental 1960's pop.
While this new direction from Senmuth is certainly welcome, the larger problem that still remains with the music is the manner of the compositions themselves. With the clear exception of the title closing track (which excels in every respect), much of the music here sounds very loose, and almost as if Senmuth wrote the pieces on the spot rather than take the time to carefully arrange some truly thoughtful compositions.
Parts of the album have a tendency to take a page from the Spanish flamenco school of thought, which adds a new realm to Senmuth's music and is much appreciated. While the album certainly feels a bit half-baked in terms of the writing of the material, the execution is here, and the last track hints at the potential for something potentially masterful, should Senmuth devote himself to one project in the style long enough to let it grow.
Senmuth. The name of a apparently self-taught musician hailing from the vast Russia. The immense potential that this person emits is only surpassed by the gigantic outlet of musical ideas he's put out since 2004 with his debut "Cognitive Discord". This man has put up over fifty releases in five years and the strange part is that he's not even done. Many could argue that while having no teachers, no manuals and no musical education whatsoever, one could impossibly produce such great numbers of ideas after ideas and also incorporate a concept into each and every one. He takes no charge for listening to his music, but will when asked for a hard copy (which is understandable). Here we have one of those artists that creates music for the sake of it being music and not for any kind of commercial success. A rare breed of modern times.
After digging through his discography and investing endless hours into listening to his outlets thoroughly, there still are a lot to go, the target for today being the rather strange and different "Morning Depth of the Sunlight and the Emptiness Inside Reason", which has a nice tone to it, and as described by the musician, should be an experiment and at the same time approach to another genre or style of music, namely acoustic atmospheric music, which he manages quite well, while at the same time, treading a very bumpy road. The start of experimentation always brings a certain risk with it, mostly because change in sound also means change in habit and an increase in the energy you have to invest in order to create something that lives up to the same name and glory as past achievements. Senmuth captures the emotional moments in his life quite reasonably, stating that he can not spend too much time on one project or idea or he loses his interest. Well, while that certainly does not appeal to many musicians, I can fully understand and respect that, yet sometimes it can be quite effective to invest a little more effort into polishing something rather than massively overflowing the scene with album after album, especially today, where you have an incredible amount of shite flooding almost every corner in each and every artistic development.
After a smooth start on "Eclipse of the Black Sun" that features tribal percussion sounds and a swinging acoustic guitar, the album presents itself as the gentle 33 minutes that it will be. One could draw parallels to various acoustic works, since this album is by no means anything revolutionary in any way imaginable, revolutionary in global terms, but quite new for the artist himself. The value of this album can be viewed upon as a variable that alters from each viewpoint, its zenith however being in the eyes of the creator. After three spins in a row, this album gets better and better, but only on a basis of relaxation and semi-devotion to the music. The song compositions are rather generic and follow a basic formula of building up the atmosphere by constant progression of the music. An idea is picked out then developed into various shapes of the original, again nothing too experimental or new here (apart from the dutar, which is rarely heard in this niche), only from the artists' point of view. The nice blend of acoustic and distorted guitars with a little electronic rendering here and there creates a friendly atmosphere which is too inoffensive. There is something happening here, something that floats about, but is not really ascertainable. That is also the problem with this album, it has no direction, but tries to spread nonetheless. Some parts are also too mild and gentle, making it very difficult to correspond to any sort of (majestic) superiority that makes it worthwhile. Nevertheless "Morning Depth of the Sunlight and the Emptiness Inside Reason" is one of those dust particles inside a gas of everspreading matter that can be observed in sallow sunlight, dancing its way into the bleak nothingness. The fader "Morning Swallow" is at the same time the peak of the LP, concluding the album beautifully and was the reason I gave it another chance after it bored me to death the first time. After another two spins its unique atmosphere caught me. You have been warned. In conclusion: an unoffensive relaxing album that creates nothing new, yet manages itself well as a decent work of art.
(wrote for TMO and MA on 2.02.2010)