Wednesday, 30 June 2021

Alto Stratus – The Ritual (1989)

Country: England

1. The Golden Dawn 08:34
2. Scrying 11:01
3. The Astral Dark 04:30
4. Bardo Thodol 06:46
5. Ceremony 18:14
6. Trancemission II 04:44
7. Mandrake (The Man Root) 05:07
8. The Captive 15:21

The duo of brothers Alan and Steve Freeman (owners of Ultima Thule label),
spent much of their spare time during the 1980's experimenting with electronics, synthesizers and sound collage,
recording more than thirty releases as Alto Stratus and other projects
like Vrije, Q.S.O., Electric Junk, The Newt Hounds, Biomechanoid etc.
Descriptive of man's rituals and ceremonies, the music on this album attempts sonically to reflect
the calm serenity of meditation, the tense air of the ritual dance and the weird realms of occultist magic 
with synthesizers and sound sampling, to create surreal sound paintings, taking the listener way beyond physical realms.
"The Ritual" was the culmination of ten years of sonic exploration and self-training,
developing their own language as non-musicians.
Recorded over a period of four days, it was one of the few recordings that they took advantage
of the multi-tracking possibilities of a 4 track Teac reel to reel,
so for the first time they could play back and dub live without loss of quality.
During recording the band members immersed their selves in the concept of magic and mysticism, 
engaging in hypnotic and entangled patterns of sound, using synthesizers,
keyboards and sequencers, plus loops and sampling.
Some well-known voices can be heard imparting their wisdom in a repeated looping fashion,
all adding to the ritualistic feel.
The bonus track "The Captive" was taken from the 1985 cassette compilation "A Cage Went In Search Of A Bird".

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