REVIEWS

22 APR 2018

E-Tripper

Ambient sound-designer, Dave Luxton has a new-offering for 2018, called "Explorations in Infinity". A quest of this magnitude, would definitely require a score up to the task; and one also, delivering an immense sonic-scope. But Luxton is no-stranger to the hinterlands of profound, universal-thought. He's quite at home traversing deep-space odysseys, and being tasked by the rigors of open space. As usual, all Luxton's CD's, sport beautiful conceptual cover art. My first impression is there's a tonality here, that's very deep, sweeping, and grandiose. Somewhat like listening to a star-spanning Telomere CD. The artist approaches this work from a symphonic reference point, like a contemporary Mozart unconstrained by the limits of analog instrumentation. This is one of Dave's best in my opinion, and a very thought-provoking piece, as most of his albums are. Where a mere corporeal being, can partake in the majesty, that abounds in endless tracts of eternity. All the tracks compliment each-other, and hold-together thematically. Luxton is an ambient heavyweight in my book, and he richly deserves, to be included in the echelon of top-notch stars like: Chronotope Project, Simon Wilkinson, Hollan Holmes, Rudy Adrian, Csillagkod, Jon Jenkins, Meg Bowles, Thom Brennan, and Jonn Serrie to name-drop, but a few. Check-out Dave's back-catalog, if you've never experienced his music before, you might just find some fascinating new material for your ambient playlists. Highly Recommended.

Music from the Firmament is my first exposure to Dave Luxton’s work, but this disc lets me play a bit of catch-up. Pieced together from works previously released between 2008 and 2011, this hour-long journey is crafted in neatly executed spacemusic memes with a flowing, and at times symphonic, New Age timbre. Choral pads sing high, soft notes in a suitably ne0-angelic way, electronic spacewinds swirl and the stars glitter and blur as the listener glides through Luxton’s interstellar constructs. It’s a comfortably familiar journey; Luxton isn’t reinventing the sonic starship here, he’s just painting a good, vivid image of the ride. From the light liftoff of the opener, “Worlds Unknown,” to the thematically dense and appropriately worrisome dronework of “If the Sun Fades Away,” Luxton does a great job of modulating the flow to create moments when your awareness rises back up out of the comfortable lull. The requisite radio voices in “Return to a Distant Star,” filtered through the wash of waking-dream pads, anchor the listener to the real world. There’s a definite hold-your-breath beauty to the easy drift of “Shadow Clouds”; again, it’s not a groundbreaking piece–you’ve heard its like many times before if you’re a spacemusic listener. It just happens to be very well done, Luxton’s minute pauses between pads timed just right to amplify the feel of the next one. Here, those minor shifts carry enough impact to make you come around to take notice. I have gladly taken the round trip on this disc several times over; the uninterrupted, consistently smooth flow loops without you even noticing. I suggest having a seat and taking Music from the Firmament‘s first-class ride.

21 January 2012

Bert Strolenberg

In the last couple of years, I’ve reviewed quite a few cosmic albums by US-ambient composer Dave Luxton, who’s also the owner of the Wayfarer Records label. Those who are still not familiar with his music hereby get an excellent opportunity to do so after all. 
"Music From The Firmament" is a 56-minute collection of smooth drifting and warm ambient space music that exemplifies his exploration into that genre of music. "Music From The Firmament" contains 11 remastered space tracks, ranging between three and six minutes, that all were previously released with the exception of one composition.  "One Way Voyage""Long Delay Echo", and"Worlds Unknown" have appeared on the 2010-album "Darkmoon". From the same year we find "If the Sun Fades Away" (taken from"When The World Was Young") besides the tranquil/ethereal pieces "Nebula""Return to a Distant Star" and "Coriolis" that all were part of the full-length "Portal".  Dave’s older music is represented by "The Moon and The Sea" from 2008's "Hidden Music"along the track "Remote Transmissions" that appeared on 2008's "Futurus". The most recent contribution comes from 2011's"Dreams Ghosts and Parallel Universes" by means of the take Reverse Orbit".  As said earlier, the album also incorporates one previous unreleased track, "Shadow Clouds", that nicely showcasts Mr Luxton’s soothing atmospheric textural work.  All in all, the outcome make a very nice introduction to all who love cosmic soundscape music.

"Dreams Ghosts and Parallel Universes", US synthesist Dave Luxton brings us an album offering twelve atmospheric space music tracks, making up almost an hour of listening pleasure. 

During the spacious ride with minimal use of rhythm or sequences, Dave keeps things drifting in a pleasant and accessible comfort zone, using smooth evolving and ethereal textures and light dronescapes that have both a meditative as soothing impact. I can only second that Mr Luxton has succeeded in creating some naturally flowing three dimensional musical spheres, warm, lush and imaginary. 

I think "Dreams Ghosts and Parallel Universes"is his best effort so far. I’m sure fans of freeform cosmic music will love this release.

With the release of Dark Moon (48'09") synthesist Dave Luxton has really hit his stride. This vivid Spacemusic study creates a fascinating sonic realm suspended between the Earth, her moon and the cosmos. Each of the subtly brilliant, spacey to the core tracks touch the listener in a heartfelt way. An electronic slow dance of whooshing synthesizers and ethereal choirs, Luxton's sonic collage of nine pieces finds continuity in its lunar theme. Most often we find the music advancing outward in cascading chords and rumbling drones - with Luxton's talent for pacing and sound design on full display. Yet Dark Moon can also morph suddenly into moments of emotional power. As mysterious voices are mixed amidst churning soundscapes, tones collide like charged particles in a slow reveal of this artist's reverence of all things celestial. In the same league as albums by Spacemusic legends Michael Stearns and Jonn Serrie, Dark Moon is bound to feel familiar - which will allow us to savor its individual details all the more.

12 August 2010

Chuck van Zyl/STAR'S END

Dave Luxton shows great promise on Portal (49'16"). This release features eight studies in tone production. Instantly accessible, the music seems familiar yet cannot be traced back to any one source. While it does align with the Spacemusic of Jonn Serrie, Palancar and other Contemporary Instrumental artists, this album follows its own interesting path. Perhaps it is the upward direction of each piece, or its connection with the ambiguous idea of interstellar longing, or the sense of summation these works bring that so engages the listener. As each composition unfolds a distinctive mood arises amidst the sculpted sonic textures and warm ambiance. But for one track, Portal proceeds without rhythm, relying on synth string chord progressions, slow ethereal melodies, swelling drones and sparkling spacey modulations to create a wondrous cosmic atmosphere. But Luxton knows that wonder has a short half-life and so does not allow his compositions to linger for too long. It is amazing where he can take the listener in just a few moments. From digital elysium to a somber sense of the elegiac, Portal is an encounter with secrets from the treasurehouse of stars.

12 August 2010

Stillstream.com

Featured Release September 2010 - We had no idea what to expect the first time we heard this luscious new album by Dave Luxton, but we were blown away. A collection of beautiful ambient space music, this is an album that we think is a must-have for anyone who is a fan of the lighter forms of ambience. His other music is well worth your attention as well. We encourage all our listeners to check out this release and the work of Dave Luxton in general. Highly recommended.

The concept-album "Hidden Music" -intended to facilitate a meditative process- is centred around the idea that natural places and phenomenon withhold an underlying energy, order and beauty that can be perceived and experienced emotionally by the human observer when he has an open attitude to them.

Recorded during the second half of 2007, the twelve free form textural compositions (all ranging between 3-5 minutes) on the album have a minimal, harmonic approach, put together of flowing ambient drones with a melodic twist.
"Reflecting Pool" and "A Cirrus Sunset" echo "Ambient #2" by Brian Eno and Harold Budd, while tracks like "An Empty Space" or "Snakes in the Grass" open the door to a grander, symphonic atmosphere.

It's the relaxing, meandering mood which makes this music an enjoyable listen. "Hidden Music" is primarily be available for download, but a limited run of cds is available from CDBaby.com.