Time Travel







- A Review by Phil Derby

Richard Bone

     Richard Bone is a musical enigma. One minute he is doing bossa nova music, the next minute he is doing dark ambient music like his prior Hypnos release, The Spectral Ships. This time around, he finds himself again exploring ambient terrain, but the mood on Etherdome is more reflective and surprisingly beautiful. I wouldn't normally expect to use the word restraint in describing the majority of Bone's work, but fans of Harold Budd and early Eno should find this a welcome addition to their collection. On "Calenture," soft piano and plucked bass are laid delicately on a bed of swirling sound pools. The atmosphere is cool and calm. Softer still is "The Letheon Men," which borders precariously close to new age without quite stepping over the edge, thanks to a healthy dose of ambience washing over the pretty lead lines. A little more abstract, but still quite peaceful, is "Peripheral Nerve."

     Bone's influences from other musical arenas creep in, but only occasionally. "The Incubus Wave" includes some slightly jazzy electric piano chords, but throughout Etherdome the music is firmly rooted in the ambient territory that Hypnos is known for. In fact, the music here may result in the coining a new term, "light ambient," to add to the burgeoning flood of subgenres in contemporary instrumental music. This is a perfect album for late night listening, right before bed. The CD becomes progressively quieter and more soothing with each subsequent piece, though the energy does pick up slightly on "The Shadowing Wall," which has a delicate pulsing beat set against some nice solo piano. Sit back, relax, and enjoy.