Musician Paul Riedl has made a name for himself in the death metal scene with his bands Blood Incantation and Spectral Voice. Riding a wave of sonic doom and cosmic psychededlia, Riedl has put his stamp on extreme metal. But when he’s not writing pummeling riffs Riedl is making a different kind of cosmic psychedelia. The kind created with analog synths and more in tune with 70s electronic ambient and private press than with Metal Blade Records and murder in the front row.
Riedl has been making contemplative heavy synth music for a few years now, and his latest called Ambient Mixtape Vol. 3 is part of a series he’s been releasing. This is his first release with SFI Recordings and it’s a deep dive into meditative bliss and 70s zone out new age psych.
I have not heard Riedl’s work in Blood Incantation or Spectral Voice. Not that I’m not interested, but that I’m invested in his synth work at the moment. Riedl takes the electronic work pretty seriously, and Ambient Mixtape Vol. 3 shows that. I’m finding a nice warm pocket of contemplation with this album. It’s the kind of music that wraps itself around you and keeps you calm, opening a kind of mental portal to another dimension(if you’re into that sort of thing.)
Album opener “Big Dream” conjures images of space, time, and the Big Bang itself with its slow motion sonic manipulation. Riedl shows great care in his work here, painting vast landscapes with a host of analog tools such as the MOOG Prodigy & MG-1, CRUMAR Orchestrator and BEHRINGER Poly D. Something like “Dissolving Sequence” sounds like an almost deconstruction of sound. Electronic composition in reverse. There’s something kind of joyous about the track “Cloud”. There’s a feeling of ascension in the bubbling sonics and uplifting in the ease to which this track elevates the mind.
Paul Riedl has captured a sound here that is familiar yet alien at the same time. It brings to mind the work of greats like Steve Roach, Rudiger Lorenz, Suzanne Ciani; as well as more contemporaries like New Frontiers, Lisa Bella Donna, and Night Flights.
As the world becomes more contentious and divided I’m finding new age and ambient works to be more and more required listening. It’s a sound world that comforts the mind and soul. A sonic time out when things get too heavy. Paul Riedl’s Ambient Mixtape Vol. 3 is music rehab for the weary mind.
8.2 out of 10
‘Ambient Mixtape Vol. 3′ is out now via SFI Recordings. Buy it here.