REVIEWS

 

Chuck van Zyl/STAR'S END   20 September 2015 From the grain of dust lying in Earth's orbital plane, to interstellar clouds and vast plumes of vaporized debris, the music of Dave Luxton portrays the magnificence of the cosmos - and attempts to connect us to our own inner universe. Strange Environs (51'43") contains nine tracks, each a unique spell cast by Luxton's slow motion synthesized fields of harmony and grandeur. His music is serene and calm, and meant to liberate these states which already exist within each listener. Atmosphere, texture and mood all unite in gentle converging psychological currents. Ethereal melodies play out across a building electronic choir, until darker notes remind each of a coming wrath. Secret tones emit warm glows amid rushing forms, as abandoned solo lines echo and hover above undulating sonic designs. Strange Environs bestows upon us a feeling somewhere between the dreamy realms of ritualistic portent and galactic comfort. This work is in no particular hurry to get to its destination - we shall arrive whenever we get there. Luxton knows he cannot provide us with meaning, but does offer a path towards it - striking deep chords that words cannot approach.

 

 

Chuck van Zyl/STAR'S END   5 September 2013 - Dave Luxton provides great music for mind travelers. Fuzzy Music (50'34") contains 12 small tracks about one big subject - The Cosmos. Often thought of as a vast unfeeling infinity The Universe as portrayed by Luxton becomes a salvational force. Fuzzy Music offers fresh testament in a genre continually thought to be ten years ahead of its time. Exploring the strange magic at the heart of the listening experience Luxton crafts subtle nuance then summons stratospheric power. Choosing dark soundscapes loaded with intriguing textures he moves the mood to a purer plane - with passages so soft so as not to ruffle the vulnerable listener. Overtly electronic Fuzzy Music's synthesized chords move wondrously outward. We hear its foundational drones supporting twinkling effects and vaporous melodies. Along with pushing the keyboard based sounds through space Luxton also plays electric guitar - his fluid leads ringing through the backbone of night. The atmosphere lightens and darkens as the listening experience extends into dramatic sonic imagery and tender elegiac laments. A moving tribute to those of us in tune with forces bigger than ourselves, Luxton's music is a celebration of the wonder of existence.

 

 

Hypnagogue -  26 March 2012 - 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.

 

 

Bert Strolenberg/ Sonic Immersion - 21 January 2012 -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.

 

 

Chuck van Zyl/STAR'S END -  26 October 2011 - Dreams Ghosts and Parallel Universes (58'57") is an album on which every piece sounds as inspired as the next. These 12 ruminations by Dave Luxton lighten and darken according to the dramatic force guiding each. The use of simplified forms imbues his work with dramatic monumentality. With his phase shifter prominently displayed Luxton creates vintage sweeping effects intermingled with digital ringing tones and hollow crystalline accents. Overall the sound is quite warm, with fluctuating open spaces countering those more tempestuous and densely detailed. In a few places we hear the energy of arpeggiated rows of notes, or the pulsing of a modulated drone. But other than these few instances this CD is quite smooth, with its contour built on layers of harmony and slowly played melodies. Made using machines, this music can make us feel more human. From songs that crackle with energy to regions of atmospheric grit the tracks on Dreams Ghosts and Parallel Universes alternately explore musical material dark as night and themes clear as day. Luxton's confidently crafted realizations have serious pull and lasting reverberations - leaving the listener enchanted.

 

 

 

Bert Strolenberg/ Sonic Immersion - 21 August 2011 - With "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.

 

 

 

 

Chuck van Zyl/STAR'S END Update - 20 February 2011 - 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.

 

 

 


 

Chuck van Zyl/STAR'S END  - 12 August 2010 - 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.

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bert Strolenberg/ Sonic Immersion - 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.