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Lunar Tide

Peter Challoner explains that Lunar Tide resulted from taking source material that in no way resembled ambient music; he radically altered it into its current soothing relaxing state. I would be very interested to hear the original recording, as he gives no other hint as to its origin. Was it loud rock-n-roll, a waterfall, his vacuum cleaner…who knows? Regardless of the method, I cannot argue with the thoroughly pleasant outcome. There is a bright, shimmering quality throughout, as it floats by like velvet. Though there are subtle shifts throughout, it is a minimal work without definite highs and lows. Listening to Lunar Tide while driving or operating heavy machinery would definitely be contraindicated. On the other hand, it is absolutely perfect for quiet reflection or meditation. Highly recommended. 
Phil Derby - Electro Ambient Space

As Peter tells on the cd-sleeve, the ambient long form piece "Lunar Tide" is the outcome of an experiment in applying extreme sound processing to a piece of music to produce sonic textures contrasting radically to the nature of the original source recording.

Well, the 60-minute meandering soundscape is a beautifully rendered, slowly shape shifting and curling sonic excursion, visualizing a desolate, barren environment.

In this far-off world, where time seems to have vanished, merciless desert winds sweep over empty ocean beds and rock formations. Around the 27-minute mark, the smooth flowing space sounds even start to built, increasing the hypnotizing effect even more.

These well rendered expansive textural plains indeed create an audible recreation of the sound of the "Lunar Tide", that especially will be liked by fans of Altus. Highly recommended, excellent produced otherworldly space music! 
Bert Strolenberg - Sonic Immersion

Beneath The Ice Flow
I received this ambient release together with his remix-album “Interpolation”, so I expected something in the same manner. “Beneath the Ice Flow” visualizes a sub aquatic journey in which one enters a world of darkening, mysterious lights and shadows. Altogether, there are three extended tracks on the album, nicely kicked-off by the slow morphing textures of the title track (21:46), taking us below the ice surface. There are no rhythms whatsoever, just soft freeform soundscapes swirling around the listener who’s interesting journey continues on “Drifting fixed point” (29:51) before all atmospheres gently settle down in the mesmerizing closing piece “Plus 4 degrees” (16:07). A great relaxing trip for the mind to make things slow down and vaporize. Although certainly featuring darker flavours compared to his former recordings, this is another must-have ambient release that shouldn’t be missed. Again, well done, Peter!
Bert Strolenberg
“Interpolation” is the fifth album by the skilled British ambient composer Peter Challoner, bearing the subtitle “Music in Ambient remix”. It contains six extended tracks all breathing a relaxed but this time a bit more active music (compared to his former albums), as the freeform soundscapes are accompanied by some holdback sequencing and rhythms. The title track features some heavenly sound textures and a bit Vangelis-like solo-voice carrying a nice flow. The next tracks continue in the same slow pace of refined and delicately sculptured uplifting sound design, background sequencing and rhythms. In all a very nice ambient backdrop to make the mind relax, wander and dream for over one hour. Recommended.
Bert Strolenberg
Abstract Ambient Form
Both the packaging and the music on this CD is simple yet elegant. Abstract red graphics in a bare white frame contain blissful ambient space music. “Formation One” would make great planetarium music, or you can just imagine your living room has turned into one. Soft, slow and delicate, it is first-rate floating. “Formation Two” is similarly structured, featuring bright shimmering pulses. Though very textural throughout, the music has some semblance of structure and melody, if only wisps of it. In other words, these aren’t cold drones; they are warm soothing sounds. “Formation Five” has just the barest touch of grit, not quite rising to the level of glitch or percussion, and certainly not what one would call actual rhythm. It adds depth and interest while keeping in tune with the rest of the disc. Challoner does a wonderful job keeping things in perfect balance, never too static but never going toward structured compositions either, striking the ambient bulls eye square in the middle. One of the very best ambient releases of 2005.
Phil Derby - Electro Ambient Space
Asymmetric - From Nowhere Came  

The sounds of a wind blown landscape and of things crashing against each other provide a desolate start to the opening title track. A sequence pulsates to the surface then almost disappears to silence sounding like a siren coming and going as the direction of the wind changes. We are then caught up in a rhythm which drives us forward and a beautiful melancholy lead line shows that Asymmetric are as good tunesmiths as they are at creating sequences.This is much more melodic than your typical retro album but should still be appreciated by people who are in to that style because of the skilful blending of atmospherics with lead lines all held together by a pulsating backbone. We gently float into ‘View From The Horizon’, another more urgent sequence takes over but the main feature of the track is a gorgeous piano melody.

‘The Harmony of the Spheres’ is not exactly a heavy metal blast but not as laid back at the title might make you believe either. Again more attention is paid to melody, both in the lead line and sequencer departments than is usual for an EM album. Very appealing it all is as well, catchy rather than sickly. ‘Overlander’ follows a very similar pattern but ‘Tri Lateral’ is more aggressive and rhythmic. Its good but I would have liked to see a little more variety in the sequence. ‘Race Against Time’ uses constant changes of pace to stop the attention wandering.

‘Equilibrium’ continues the melodic sequencer style developed over the previous tracks and we finish with ‘Beyond Now’, a rhythmic chugger. ‘From Nowhere Came’ should have very wide appeal because it somehow manages to keep its feet in two contrasting camps. For those people who for instance would be in to the melodic sensibilities of, say, the AD label and who wouldn’t usually touch sequencer based albums there are tunes aplenty and for those people who must have a good pulsating base to a track the album certainly provides that as well. Sure the melodies are catchy but by no means twee.
Dave Law - Synth Music Direct (UK)

Dieter Ettlinger - A.I. Ambient Intelligence  

Sighing pads form a comforting background then a slow rhythmic loop starts up. It's a lovely gently pulsating collection of sounds. The rhythm gradually mutates becoming more interesting all the time. In the fourth minute another sequence is added imparting a really nice melodic quality.

Three minutes later another beat, somewhat heavier than before, is introduced which got my hands tapping out the rhythm on the table. Some exquisitely placed slow pads then provide more melodic content. The evolution of this track has been handled perfectly. A third of the way in the rhythm is stripped away just leaving the initial sequence and recently deployed pads. After a short period of chill another sequence can be heard though the pace is still slow even when some rhythmic content is brought back. In the seventeenth minute the foot is put back on the gas a little as we return to a similar feel to the first section, very pleasant it is too. There then begins a very slow period of wind down / deconstruction. My mind had started to drift a little by the twenty-fifth minute but this was probably intentional as we are lead to a relaxed state of relative drift to finish.

There is quite an uplifting, almost jaunty start to 'A.I.:Two'. A couple of sequences combine nicely, one providing pace and the other offering a hint of melody. As with the previous number things build slowly, the next layer being a rhythm which slowly increases in speed then some lovely soft synth colouring is added to the intricately pulsating backing. There is a slowing down in the middle section before inevitably we fall back into a similar pattern as before. We now move on to 'A.I.: Three' and yet another sequence. A similar pattern is followed to the two previous parts in that the next stage is the introduction of a slow rhythm. The build up here is somewhat slower than before however, probably too much so. There is some nice piano near the end though. Quite frankly I would say that this CD is just too rhythmic and sequencer driven to really be thought of as ambient music but under whatever label it is an enjoyable listen. Initially I thought the tracks did go on a little but their staying power does seem to improve with repeated listening, especially the first two anyway. Dave Law - Synth Music Direct (UK)

Dieter Ettlinger is an electronic musician exploring the deep space of the synthesizer. His fresh insight into the ubiquitous and transparent nature of digital sonic environments elevates his output above cliche, building on the work it is emulating rather than mimicking it. Ambient Intelligence (63'28") is an album of music with many strands; each part needing to be heard individually in the context of the greater composition to be fully comprehended. The album's three lengthy realizations are ruled by a compositional logic of layer upon layer of arppegiated diatonic triads and tetrads and seemingly neverending entrances and introductions of subdivided rhythms - each part with little identity outside the multitude of interconnected embedded pulsations. Ettlinger paces his work well. The pieces seem in constant transition. The simplistic rhythmic initiation of each track climbs with deliberation into the rigorous pace of a free-wheeling structure - the heated underpinnings of an anchoring bass and muscular pulse cooled by choirs of ethereal synth voices. With increasing levels of intricacy, building in volume and density, Ettlinger draws the listener into his world completely; held in a true "electronic moment" and experiencing his invisible realm of complex ideas. Ettlinger's trip to deep space is symbolic of the psychic journey inward and Ambient Intelligence is successful in its ability to transport. Yet so often do we humans look to music and art for that which we can not find within ourselves.
 Chuck van Zyl STAR'S END (USA)  

Music For Cloud Watching  

"...we find a perfect musical companion while gazing at cloud masses passing by. The freeform soundscapes remind of the airy compositions of David Parsons (Himalaya), the sophisticated textural ambiences of Thom Brennan, but also the first track on Eno’s Ambient I comes to mind. Great meditative & introspective music to feel at ease with!"
Bert Strolenberg - Edition (Netherlands)

Music for Cloud Watching is a set of delightful ambience from Peter Challoner. It is comprised of two long-form (over 30 minutes) compositions with ambivalent atmospheres. They are gray -- neither light nor dark. They just float around and in and out of the soundscapes, taking listeners on gentle rides to anywhere, everywhere and nowhere. There are no harsh edges and no corners. This is "round" ambience a fairly cool concept. 
Jim Brenholts

Music In Ambient Motion  

"...two longform soundscapes with a very relaxed content and some soft piano-keys à la Eno. Things meander on and on through heavenly sounding textures. Perfect & welcome music to bring your busy mind at ease in nowadays hectic world." 
Bert Strolenberg - Edition (Netherlands)

Music in Ambient Motion is a set of somewhat diverse atmospheric tones and overtones from Peter Challoner. The disc has two long-form (over 29!) compositions. Each piece delivers smooth atmospheres with contrasting dark and light timbres. Peter does not commit to either side so he is able to excel at both. This is another great CD from Council of Nine.
Jim Brenholts - all content copyright 2006 Peter Challoner
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