Highly acclaimed Spotted Peccary producer, composer and mastering maestro Howard Givens, who was also a member of the collaborative project/ensemble Brain Laughter (active during the 80's and 90's), joins his creative experiences with harpist and meditative soundscaper Madhavi Devi aka Cheryl Gallagher, who is mostly known for her fruitful contribution on "Tibet", a joint effort with kindred soul Deborah Martin, released on Spotted Peccary back in 2004, but also for her other albums "Pregnant Pause", "Kinetic" and "Harp Dreams", which I believe were self-released during the second half of the 90's. As customary for Spotted Peccary's visual realizations, "Source Of Compassion", which is out since the beginning of September 2016, comes in a really elegant 4-panel eco wallet featuring original art by Madhavi Devi with additional design skills provided by Daniel Pipitone. And it's quite obvious the mixing and mastering duties are handled by Howard Givens.
The album begins with 11-plus minutes long "Intention", which serenely glides into stunningly spacious zones highlighted by transcendentally buzzing expansive meridians, gracefully sinuous, and precisely backed by intangibly permeating sequences. Although melodious vintage patterns radiate more and more, the center stage is always guarded by murmuring undulations and mindscaping helixes. A strongly immersing journey is in full quintessential bloom!!! "Emergence" remains focused and safely drifts through magnificently voluminous realms. Subtly nuanced monochromatic, yet intriguingly multi-dimensional layers are clandestinely illuminated by yearning panoptic vistas. A soothingly sweeping beauty, bravo, Howard & Madhavi! "Omkara", with nearly 17 minutes the longest piece on album, merges again flatlined contemplative stratum, at time slightly reminiscent of droning didge-like solitudes, with balmily serpentine textural curtains, while flickering sequencer traceries inconspicuously arise and pervade across. Along the way additional opiate synthetic pulses join the spectacle as well. Artificial percussive passage calmly transmutes into vividly-driven tapestry of abundantly fragranced brilliancy delightfully amalgamating mesmerically elusive meditative trimmings with spellbindingly galvanizing authentic high-tech arrangements. A tour de force exhibition celebrating the ingenious artistry of both cognate spirits, certainly a magnum opus!!! No wonder, the words are pouring themselves when my listening room is invaded by such masterpiece!!! "Source Of Compassion", a 10 and a half minutes long title piece is announced by seashore field recordings, which soon commingle with mildly gossamer tribal beats and balsamic shakers, while enfolding reflections continuously ride atop, persistently percolate through and conquer the forefront with its emotive urgency. Another ultimately triumphant composition! "Pathless Passage" emerges from unfathomable depths carried towards immense spacefields, colored with soaring blankets and translucent cyber-tech rumbles. Ethereal choir-like drones are helixing above, but the odyssey is quickly stolen by vaguely magnetic, yet aeonian laid-back pulses. Expansive dissonant glimpses pop up occasionally and cascading washes relentlessly commingle with emitting signals and euphoric shimmers. A truly genuine sonic healing! Closing "Connected Space" shifts into tranquilly engrossing domains propelled by profoundly pensive meanders. These utterly poignant quietudes are gorgeously lulling and navigate the listener into the sacred garden of contemplation.
Maybe I can't find the correct words to explain it, but "Source Of Compassion" has hidden inside something very special, which is displayed throughout its entire length. The artistic languages of both protagonists are bridged flawlessly. A sonic equilibrium at its most exquisite! Yeah, I have no idea what exactly each member has brought to the table, but I don't care, because it's the final result that counts and 67-minute "Source Of Compassion" album is an absolutely sophisticated piece of art!!! Hats off to Howard Givens & Madhavi Devi!!! Previous release by Howard Givens "Life Flows Water", on which he was accompanied by Craig Padilla still deeply resonates and now we have on Spotted Peccary gang another top-notch collaborative project, this time resurrecting artistic expressions by Madhavi Devi. And by the way, via Spotted Peccary shop are available also very nice "Source Of Compassion" t-shirts (including women's scoop neck style) graced on the front with Chenrezig, the Buddhist image. Both, CD & t-shirt are highly recommended!!! And last but not least, stay tuned for more from the Spotted Peccary headquarters, the year 2017 will be again exciting thanks to this dedicated crew!!! - Richard Gurtler, Ello