Outside of the cosmic metal of Blood Incantation, lead singer/guitarist Paul Riedl conjures deeply meditative, thoughtful, and transcendent electronic music. A man alone with analog sounds and a need to connect to the universe in both an intellectual and spiritual way. Even behind the death metal swells, tempo changes on a dime, and the jagged guitar riffs of his other gig there’s always been a sense of journey and need to connect beyond the physical. When Riedl retires to the quiet of his home recording room with stacks of analog machines, he truly takes flight to another plane.
Over the last year Paul Riedl has released two amazing ambient/new age albums with the impeccable SFI Recordings, Ambient Mixtape Vol. 3 and Ambient Mixtape Vol. 4. These two stellar synth drift explorations have given me the musical equivalent of microdosing. The boot of anxiety has been a steady push down on my shoulders for the last few years, with the last two kicking it into overdrive. I’ve found great solace in ambient music, and the meditative balm it has provided for my head and heart. Paul Riedl’s albums, in-particular, have been a sonic world of headiness and healing. These truly are deep space drifts, exploring space and time and leaving the chaos of the outside world for an album’s runtime.
With Paul’s newest volume, Ambient Mixtape Vol. 5 [The Water Tape], Riedl has made a long and totally immersive album that locks into both earthbound exploration and interstellar stargazing. An album to accompany you on your journey, regardless of where the journey leads.
Paul Riedl explains that AMV5 is simply “80 minutes of calming Environmental Music, meditative New Age, generative Ambient and stargazing Kosmische drone.” The bases are covered here, and once you hit play the journey begins. I was lucky enough to hear an early version of this album a few months back in one long “mondo mix”. A single 80 minute trek with no stops, headphones secured, and mind cleared of clutter and clatter. It was an awe-inspiring journey. This is the kind of listening experience I feel everyone should partake in; loosen the tie, unplug the phone, and get lost in a cosmic swirl of sound and peace.
Songs like “Water Drone”, “Zen Garden”, and “November Water” are long form pieces. Gentle sonic journeys that flow like the current in a wooded stream. You’ve heard the phrase get back to nature, right? Well, I’m not much of an outdoors-y kind of guy but I’m a sucker for a long walk. These songs are the perfect soundtrack for a nature hike, and with the changing of the leaves just around the corner Paul Riedl has made the perfect mixtape to accompany me on these autumnal walkabouts.
Even the shorter pieces here like “Spore Loop”, “Underwater Sequence”, and “Reverse Movie” offer epic and grand sound experiences. Touches of mystery, melancholy, and moving overtures come thru here. “Reverse Movie” and album closer “Reverse Water” could even fall into minimalist classical, touching on Steve Reich and Philip Glass to a degree.
Ambient Mixtape Vol. 5 [The Water Tape] is another revelatory album from Paul Riedl. It’s a heady sound world for the troubled mind. Or merely for the mind that wants to zone out for an 80-minute runtime. I look forward to those shaded trails and the falling leaves with this excellent album echoing in my mind.
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