Following his widely acclaimed 2004 Lotuspike release, The Gate, Jeff Kowal’s (aka Terra Ambient) Wanderlust dove deeply into his most personal space, sculpting a sonic cathartic experience for all to hear.
Kowal viewed Wanderlust as a journal. What started out as an expected sequel to his previous release turned into an emotional sketchbook of some major changes in his life, including a move to the American Southwest.
Previously on The Gate, Kowal used strictly acoustic and live recordings to express himself, but this time he turned to the use of electronics and synthesizers to find a deeper voice. He re-integrated digital and electronic sound sources to capture some of the gritty, subtle and grandiose sounds that he felt the music needed.
Wanderlust does in fact range from the subtle to the grandiose: epic, sweeping and luscious, Wanderlust plays more like a movie soundtrack than an ambient CD. Delicately balanced between tribal, ethno-acoustic earthiness and searing electronic pads and leads, Wanderlust takes the listener on a journey.
Kowal felt the music of this album was at times expansive, and other times it’s quiet and myopic. Once the project started to gel, he said it really became something to dive into and get lost with.
Aside from synthesizers, Kowal brought many other acoustic and electric instruments into the mix, including frame drums and percussion, didgeridoo, electric guitars, bass, bansuri and PVC flutes, and a modular analog system.