Mike VanPortfleet - "Beyond The Horizon Line"
(Silber Records 2004, silber034)
From Aural Innovations #29 (October 2004)
My introduction to the long running Arizona band Lycia was their final album, Empty Space (see AI #26). Beyond The Horizon Line is Mike VanPortfleet's first post-Lycia album (Lycia began as a VanPortfleet solo project) and is a very different animal from Empty Space. Whereas Empty Space was based in song, Beyond The Horizon Line is about atmosphere, mood and sound construction (though the former certainly had its share of cosmic ambience). Rumbling, floating and steadily evolving spacious waves of sound is what this is about. The music is dark and intense, but at the same time seductive and meditative. It's minimal... yet far more reflective and colorful than minimalism's coldness typically communicates. Deep ghostly pulsations, space waves, howls and drones blanket your senses like ocean waves washing upon the shore. Tangerine Dream for the drone set. The music is highly image inducing and is tailor made for a soundtrack depicting a barren, wind swept alien world. But there are some genuinely uplifting moments too, "Stellar Buckshot Awaits" being one of my favorite tracks. It has a drifting spacey symphonic quality and includes vocals, the result being a luscious slab of cosmic enlightenment. Overall an enjoyable hour of mind expansion under the headphones.
For more information you can visit the Lycium web site at: http://www.lyciummusic.com.
Visit the Silber Records web site at: http://www.silbermedia.com.
Contact via snail mail c/o Silber Records; PO Box 18062; Raleigh, NC 27619.
Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz