Reviewed by Julian Wilson

Mario Konrad/Spirit Cave

The ambient landscapes of Mario Konrad is music that is actually better experienced than heard. In other words, this is a record that you should take on a journey, especially one in isolation. Playing this album in the woods, it became the soundtrack of my adventure; it made me feel one with nature and the stripped-down world around me. It’s ironic how sounds that are the product of high technology can bring us closer to the primitive environment around us. The 13:52 long “Some Distant Shadows” will always remind me of the rain falling on the rooftops of my cabin; alone there in the evening, you can sense the slightly ominous synth tones that Konrad is aiming for on this track. As it progresses, when the tribal rhythms kick in, it gives off a very intense, cinematic sensation that stays with you.

The spacey “The Spirits Dance” continues Konrad’s taste for film-score drama; it has a thumping, urgent beat that could be used for a Ridley Scott picture. Konrad utilizes phantom voices on “A Ritual Ceremony” to creepy effect. However, what probably stands out on Spirit Cave the most for me is the percussion, especially on “Deep Cave Dreaming,” wherein the drums have a 3-D effect that almost gives you the feeling that percussionists have invaded your private space.