I have to confess, that when I first listened to this, I thought it was ok, but it didn't really grab me, the way Across The Silver River (his excellent collaboration with Ron Boots) did. However repeated listening has revealed this to be a beautifully understated gem.
The title track gets us underway, and what a great start. Waves lapping on an empty beach, night sounds, and then layers of beautifully crafted synth work come together to make an extremely evocative piece that I could have listened to all night (if I didn't have 8 other tracks to review that is!).
Midnight Fantasy Angel Part 1 is next. A heavily processed piano leads the way, gentle synth sounds working around a main theme, with occasional deep bass drones, and this is just great. I thought it very reminiscent of Vangelis, and there can hardly be higher praise.
The extremely laid back and beautiful ambient sounds of Summer Fields are next and these could have been created by Steve Roach and it's all too easy to imagine fields of long grass being blown around by a hot summer breeze.
The next three tracks, starting off with Midnight Fantasy Angel Part 2, (which is the CD's longest track), are I suspect the same piece, divided into three, for they all sound startlingly similar. The processed piano makes an appearance on all of them, and once again I'm reminded of Vangelis. However if I am to be honest, I would say that at over 12 minutes it is perhaps a shade too long, with, unfortunately, little to distinguish it from Part 1. As I say the next two tracks, Ancestral Legacy and The Legend of Kristy Lynn flow down a very similar path.
Under Orion is the last track created specifically for this CD. This is another exceptionally beautiful track of first class ambient music. It is the one to listen to with the headphones on, as there is quite a lot going on in the background.
The last two tracks are two of three live pieces recorded back in 2003, with the Zen sounding title of Three Views of a Japanese Garden Parts 2 and 3. Initially, they sound like Midnight Fantasy Angel again, but the first has some occasional wordless vocals on it, that I strongly suspect are sound effects, and the effect is quite startling. They are beautiful ambient tracks to complete the CD and they compliment the studio material perfectly.
This is an excellent CD, and whilst it doesn't quite scale the heights of his collaboration with Ron Boots, it has much to recommend it. Those of you who like his more uptempo music, as Rudy himself puts it in the sleeve notes, might not enjoy this as much, but it is another interesting release from a musician who has quite a varied back catalogue, and if you are already a fan, you will undoubtedly like this.
- Synth Music Direct