Paul Riedl : Ocean of Peace

Paul Riedl has proven to be one of the preeminent sonic purveyors of New Age bliss and cosmic ambient vibes. His late night zone out recordings are in stark contrast to his work as frontman for the cosmic death metal band Blood Incantation. Though the band’s last release, 2022s Timewave Zero, was all brooding analog synths and black hole symphonies, its DNA based in Riedl’s already solo endeavors in the heavy synth world. But when Paul Riedl settles in late at night for these solo excursions into the circuital void there’s a more peaceful vibe. These long form electronic improvisations feel connected to something deeper and personal. The buzzing tomes come from a place of wonder and openness. Open to what the universe has to offer.

Paul Riedl has released a series of stunning, etheral albums with SFI Recording, starting with Ambient Mixtape Vol. 3. Vol. 4 and 5 followed suit and saw Riedl’s late night improvisations put to tape and released to the world for serious drone therapy. Paul Riedl’s analog sounds touch on everything from Tangerine Dream to Klaus Schulze to Private Press releases of the late 70s and early 80s.

Paul Riedl returns to SFI Recording for his latest solo endeavor, the transcendent Ocean of Peace. His first vinyl release for SFI, Ocean of Peace is three long-form tracks that paint the cosmos in your mind. It’s mind-expanding, thought-provoking, and opens doors to thoughtful meditation and looking beyond one’s own space to something far more expansive. And therapeutic.

I listen to Paul Riedl’s ambient explorations for a couple reasons. One, I just dig ambient and new age music. It’s relaxing and takes me out of the stressful whirlwind of that thing called reality. And two, Riedl seems connected to nature and the cosmos in a real way. He seems committed to finding some kind of nature/nurture connectivity when turning knobs and plugging in patch cords. There’s a thoughtfulness to his work that feels genuine and authentic, and I feel that when dropping into one of his electronic excursions.

I’ve come to appreciate and rely on ambient/new age music over the last three years to help ease my buzzing mind. Artists like Jonas Munk, zakè, Omni Gardens, Marine Eyes, From Overseas, City Of Dawn, New Frontiers, and Billow Observatory have put a new light onto the world of new age and ambient music. Paul Riedl is just as vital an artist in that realm.

Ocean of Peace is three long form tracks for the mental and spiritual deep dive. I’m reminded of Klaus Schulze’s more esoteric synth excursions, and even Steve Moore’s more modular-minded works like Positronic Neural Pathways. Three songs that cover nearly 30 minutes of time, you can easily hit the repeat button and make it a more expansive affair. These songs waver quietly, like thoughts in the ether. Nearly dreams just under the surface of wakefulness, waiting to be remembered but more than likely forgotten to time and daylight.

Opener “Two Oceans” is the sound of being surrounded by light in an endless wave of awareness. Lucid dreams that carry you into some unknown space of time and space. This is subtle work for the busy mind, and it feels like sensory calm.

“Searching For Light” has the feeling of being under miles of water, exploring the ocean floor that’s as alien as the surface of the moon. Strange creatures just out of reach in the shadowy depths. Riedl’s sonic touches sound as if something big lurks ahead, echoing distant melody that’s layered in sublime hesitation.

The final track is the nearly 15-minute “Saudade(Journey to Peace)”, a meditation on longing and melancholy through buzzing lights and circuital discovery. Drones and distant melodies make their way through the haze of electronics, building to a subtle, wavering end.

Once again Paul Riedl has gifted us with an album of ambient beauty and new age thoughtfulness, Ocean of Peace is for the inquisitive minds and hungry ears that yearn for something deeper in their meditative tomes.

What do you think? Let me know

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.