Rudy Adrian



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FINALIST - "Best Ambient Album" - OWMR Music Awards

About Coastlines


1   Coastlines

2   Clouds Over The Horizon

3   Mists From The Sea

4   Pebbled Beaches

5   Tussen De Monsters

6   Theme From Subantarctica

7   Message Of Dolphins

8   Languid River

9   Thursday's Legacy

10   Evenings On Pohara Beach

On his fifteenth album, Coastlines, ambient music virtuoso Rudy Adrian presents ten tracks of slowly transforming melodies, warm lush synthscapes and dreamlike atmospheres, capturing the wonders of the coastal landscapes that echo through the memories of his youth.

As a New Zealand native, Adrian is deeply familiar with expansive scenery. He has spent a lifetime surrounded by pristine natural spaces and breathtaking vistas which act as a wellspring of inspiration for his music. Coastlines is a natural extension of 2014’s Atmospheres, and finds Adrian continuing his sonic exploration through the vast beauty of his homeland.

“This music has a coastal theme,” explains Adrian. “It reminds me of holidays in my youth that were spent exploring New Zealand’s coastlines, and it brings to mind the beauty and stillness that can still be found in those places.”

Coastlines falls naturally into place alongside Adrian’s earlier textural offerings, and like those favorites, it is reminiscent of ambient works by Brian Eno, Robert Rich, Jonn Serrie and Time Being.

Channeled from the depths of Adrian’s past, the album’s heartfelt expressions of serenity ebb and flow with tidal surges of sonic poetry, washing fluidly over the listener to invoke true vistas of awe and magnificence.


New Zealander Rudy Adrian, the master of panoptic sublimity, returns with his "Coastlines" album 2 and a half years after splendiferous reminiscences entitled "Atmospheres". Released at October 7th, 2016, on Spotted Peccary, the album is delivered in a catchy 4-panel eco wallet designed by the label's visual pro Daniel Pipitone. The mastering job is, as usual, handled by renowned Howard Givens. As mentioned by its creative force, the album follows the footsteps of "Atmospheres" and reveals recollection of tracks recorded during the last three decades, including two rare ones from "SubAntarctica" cassette release from 1990, when Rudy Adrian was being a part of the touring exhibition "Art in the Sub-Antarctic". However, most of the tracks from "Coastlines" album are previously unreleased, yet deeply connected by artist's memorable explorations of the coastal areas of his homeland when younger together with his father.

The opening title track, "Coastlines" is rather shorter, when clocking over three and a half minutes mark only, nevertheless it immediately embraces the listener with its breathtakingly panoramic and poetically enrapturing mood carefully counterpointed by pristine shoreline field recordings, unmistakably showcasing evocatively immersing aural insignias that are no one else but Rudy Adrian. "Clouds Over The Horizon", one of the two tracks from "SubAntarctica" is even shorter, but it really sounds like a continuation of the previous piece. Translucently contemplative tinkles permeate across, bridge with delicately shimmering retrospections, while guarded by serenely reverberating solitudes. Beauty!!! "Mists From The Sea", as displayed by its title, delves into more yearning, yet tranquilly engulfing terrains meticulously augmented by ethereally nuanced monochromatic meridians. Rather minimal, yet profoundly magnificent!!! The next composition, "Pebbled Beaches", moves towards more meditative path, when enriched by a myriad of softly tinkling bells, but soon the scenario shifts into expansively surrounding vistas pervaded by subtly dramatic glimpses. Intangibly sparkling traceries resurrect here and there, before quietly evanescing. "Tussen De Monsters", with 7:41 the first longer composition, unfolds with darker subterranean drone, but the spectacle is soon stolen by another trademarking earmark of Rudy Adrian, his wordless voice harmonisations, which brilliantly commingle with gliding, awe-inspiringly panoramic dreamscapes and rattling shakers. As always, I am absolutely fascinated by this mesmerizingly immersing equilibrium! An utterly balsamic sonic medicine is served here!!! "Theme From SubAntarctica", another piece taken from "SubAntarctica" cassette, floats calmly over the immense glacierized landscapes. Gracefully peaceful elixir! 9 and a half minutes long "Message Of Dolphins" rides safely on the waves of evocative grandness, when Rudy Adrian clandestinely brings back Nick Prosser, his frequent kindred soul, when hypogean subtleties graced by dolphin calls, nocturnal quietudes and diaphanous chimes are fastidiously magnified with his wistful baroque flute magic. A magnum opus!!! 6-minute "Languid River" is announced by a richly faunal symphony, which persistently coalesces with choir-like droning layers and elusive contemplative patterns. Subtly hissing blankets occasionally ascend along with pleasantly crescendoing glimmers. "Thursday's Legacy", with 10 minutes the longest track on "Coastlines", incorporates crepuscular organic serenities, cascading ambience with textural motifs and meditative curtains, all intriguingly reinforced by sneaking ear-piercing climaxes. Another pinnacle! "Evening On Pohara Beach" closes this beautiful collection with poetic piano notes guided by secluded scenic drifts, which are as much placid as amplified, while randomly pervaded by humming subaqueous-like calls and gossamer fragments. Sublime atmospheric beauty!

58-minute "Coastlines" is another very strong sonic installment by Rudy Adrian, who masterfully keeps on exploring beautiful and wild grace of New Zealand's natural heritage, when retrieving warm memories of his youth. "Coastlines" album, which is Rudy Adrian's 15th, included are two collaborative releases with already mentioned Nick Prosser as well as one with Groove Unlimited's Ron Boots, is without doubt a highly recommended and fully rewarding listening experience wrapped in audiophile sound quality, offering marvelously tranquil, indigenously flavored and grippingly engrossing soundscaping with all his significant signatures delightfully unveiled.

- Richard Gurtler, Ello

Hard to believe that Coastlines marks album #15 for New Zealand composer and synthesist Rudy Adrian, but it is in fact so, going back to his Sequencer Sketches and Atmospheric Works series, and other great albums from the early 00s. Of late he’s slowed down a bit on the pace of his releases but certainly not on their quality, and Coastlines fits in well with his previous Spotted Peccary 2014 release Atmospheres. With track titles like “Evenings on Pohara Beach,” “Message of Dolphins,” “Mists from the Sea,” and “Languid River,” the themes on the ten pieces herein seem to be channeled from his memories of beautiful coastal scenery experienced in his youth with his father. Each piece is a beautiful floating ambient vignette that sparkles with crystalline brilliance and never overstays its welcome, fading to black and making way for the next one, which generally moves in a different direction evoking a regular changing of moods. A couple pieces here, “Clouds over the Horizon” and “Theme from Subantarctica” were brought forward from his 1999 limited availability cassette release Subantarctica, which few have heard before anyway, although everything on this release is meticulously mastered by Howard Givens. Adrian plays all the synths using vintage equipment (1988 Apple Macintosh, with Mark of the Unicorn Performer, Yamaha SY77, and Kurzweil K2000 sampler) and while there are some haunting wordless vocals present on a track or two, this is by and large a purely instrumental outing, with regular guest Nick Prosser adding flute to one cut. This is a captivating set that one will want to play over and over for the peaceful and tranquil feelings it exudes.

- Peter Thelen, Exposé

'Coastlines' is New Zealander Rudy Adrian's 15th album release and 5th for the Spotted Peccary label. This is my first experience with either, and although I've been reviewing here at Chain D.L.K. for quite some time, it seems as though there is always something new to discover, even if the project has been around for awhile previously unknown to me. As you might surmise, Adrian is an electronic ambient artist, and the title 'Coastlines' is self-evident of the music. Well, sort of but not exactly. This is not 50 minutes of water lapping against the shore or the ocean crashing on the beach. There is a little of that to set the mood, but nothing so prosaic or boring; you could get that on some 'Environments' album.

Being a native new Zealander Rudy has access to all of its unspoiled spaces and breathtaking vistas, so it must be a Godsend for creating ambient music, and perhaps that's the reason why he's so prolific. Over ten tracks on this album, Adrian explores various aspects of where the sea meets the land, and within the confines of the concept, he presents a variety of aural moods that are mostly placid, sometimes mysterious, often meditative and always expansive. Natural sounds are occasionally employed to enhance the ambiance, but not overused. The melodic content is somewhat subliminal and elongated (not quite "melambient"), perhaps not as amorphous as Eno's ambient melodies, but subdued all the same. I suppose there are parts that could be construed as "new agey" (the chirping birdies come to mind) but these are transient motifs in a much greater whole. 'Coastlines' is slow and sedate, but rich with textures and atmosphere. At low volume it would be great for mediation, and even promoting sleep with its luxuriant tranquility. Imaginative and and engaging, 'Coastlines' has a wonderful flow to it that will make repeated listening a pleasure.

- Steve Mecca, Chain D.L.K.

Rudy Adrian makes Spacemusic for The Earth. With Coastlines he evokes the heart-felt and gentle atmosphere of terrestrial textural fantasy. This album means to move the listener out of everyday life, with all of its dissonance and discord, and into a bewitching thought zone of telluric beauty. The ten silvery tracks on Coastlines are quieting to the mind - each an electronic expression of our beloved blue planet, and the connection we as humans feel toward the natural world. Envisioning a consonant and inviting nature, Rudy Adrian employs a number of musical methods in depicting and conveying his convictions; including breathy native flute, oceanic field recordings, ringing keyboard melodies, rounded synthesizer tones, and his own vocals, all proceeding slowly through cavernous reverberation. The grandeur of Coastlines' sonorous harmonies is earthened by imaginative electronic modulations - just beneath a misty aura which surrounds the sounds. Each work, a singular flowing thought, asks us to tune into the quieter frequencies. But being meditative does not mean Coastlines has to be vague. The peculiar pull of its hidden depths seems to draw equally on a current of thunder underground - while twilight swaths of color hover above, blending to mask the armed sparks of the air. With its easy cosmic intimations, Coastlines guides your psyche to stillness through the reveries of stasis. The result is beautifully drifting and transporting music, restful to the intellect and comforting to the spirit. Rudy Adrian has been at this for a long time. He continues sharing his music because it soothes him, and he hopes to bring people along with him to this special space.

- Chuck van Zyl, Stars End

Coastlines" can be regarded as sister album to Rudy’s previous album "Atmospheres". The range of reflective ambient soundscape music making it up are mainly works composed between 2000 and 2010 along with a few dating back to the 1990/"SubAntarctica"-period ("Clouds Over The Horizon", "Theme From SubAntarctica").

In there are nine gentle textural offerings inspired by the composers holidays in his youth spent exploring New Zealand's coastlines, bringing to mind the imminent beauty and stillness that can still be found in those places. For example, the 10-minute "Thursday's Legacy" found near the end of the album is from the late 1990's and clearly takes its inspiration of Eno’s "Thursday Afternoon", while the sounddesign of "Silver River" and "Desert Realm" shines through clearly on other tracks. A tranquil-ethereal realm is all over the place on this recording, which I find especially impressive on "Tussen de Monsters" and "Languid River" as these carry the listener away most evocatively. Even Rudy’s trusted collaborator Nick Prosser shows up on baroque flute in the short middle of the mesmerizing "Message of Dolphins".

Simply imagine "Coastlines" sonic poetry as the sound of a muffled piano, a slow Eno-like synth melody along a soft murky noise dwelling in the distance. Pure melancholy surfaces on the final track "Evenings on Pohara Beach", following in the aural footsteps of the previous piece. It sketches out a sunset beautifully where an initial red glow shifts gradually to another glow on different clouds before a third orange glow appears, all fading away into final twilight eventually.

In all, "Coastlines" is another fine exercise in emotive mood music giving a voice to splendor found in undisturbed natural spaces and breathtaking vistas of New Zealand.

- Bert Strolenberg,

Some ambient artists craft their material in such a way that any connections to the physical world are downplayed, the idea being that by severing the tie the music has a greater chance of achieving an abstract, timeless universality. Other ambient producers do the complete opposite in attempting to create as strong a relationship between their music and the physical realm as possible. As Coastlines, his fifteenth album and fifth for Spotted Peccary, shows, New Zealand native Rudy Adrian inarguably falls into the latter category. It's not the first time he's done so either, as revealed by the titles of earlier releases such as MoonWater and Desert Realms.

The natural world has figured into his electronic music production activities since the days when he studied Forestry Science and Botany at the universities of Canterbury and Otago. Coastlines is, by the composer's own admission, a deliberate attempt to translate the beauty and stillness of the coastal areas of New Zealand into musical form; look no further than titles such as “Pebbled Beaches” and “Evenings on Pohara Beach” for direct references to the natural world. There's a nostalgic dimension in play, too, given that the album's main theme has to do with recollections of the geographic locales that he explored with his father when he was young. Certainly the generally serene tone of the material, “Theme From Subantarctica” a representative example, intimates that Adrian is remembering the past with affection rather than as a time of tumult.

Field recording details of water gently crashing ashore and birds faintly calling intermingle with synthetic washes and atmospheres during the dreamlike title track, a strongly evocative scene-setter for the hour-long set. Much of the album roots itself squarely within the ambient genre by prioritizing texture over melody and rhythm, and moods of varying kinds are explored: shaker percussion and moaning vocalizations imbue “Tussen de Monsters” with a powerful sense of dark mystery, whereas bright tinkles, meandering keyboard patterns, and Nick Prosser's baroque flute lend “Message of Dolphins” a mystical quality that bolsters its enchanting effect.

The closing pieces hint at the possible influence of Brian Eno and Harold Budd on Adrian: a rising, three-note bass figure surfaces in “Thursday's Legacy” that sounds like it could have migrated directly from 1978's Music for Films onto Adrian's release; and when delicate piano emerges draped in synthesizer washes during the soothing “Evenings on Pohara Beach,” it's hard not to think of something like 1980's Ambient 2 (The Plateaux of Mirror). But though such moves might or might not be subtle homages, they're of incidental importance when Coastlines registers as a highly personalized portrait of Adrian above all else.

- Ron Schepper,

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