Dan Pound - "Interlace"
(Pound Sounds 2010, PS08)
From Aural Innovations #41 (October 2010)
Though unfamiliar with any of Pound's previous work, it's clear after hearing Interlace why this California-based musician/producer fits into the post-new age coterie of West Coast soundscapers. Pound's lengthy compositions spiral out into the uncharted vistas beyond the galactic rim, drifting as they do on long washes of synthesizer and processed guitar, though he incorporates a variety of other sounds, including mutated multi-samples, flute, and sundry tribal percussion instruments. The effect is somewhere between Steve Roach, Carlos Nakai and the Orb. There is a darker edge, however, to Pound's new age aesthetic that is in many ways much closer to some of Robert Rich's more disturbing, apocalyptic work (A Troubled Resting Place comes to mind immediately as an analog to some of the tracks on Interlace), a direction which is fully explored on the 16-minute title track with its low-frequency modular drones, machine-like syncussion and majestically gloomy string pads. And like any self-respecting new age composer, Pound is capable of creating sonic atmospheres of pure stasis, while avoiding the obvious trap of rhythmic and harmonic monotony. The delicate transparent sheen of Rare Refraction hovering just above a rumbling undertow of modulated low-frequency oscillations is paradigmatic of Pound's approach to sound and structure: a conscious synchronization of the subliminal and the spiritual. Pound rarely departs from this well-defined palette of tonal colors but because of the seamless nature of the individual tracks on Interlace, the listener can simply merge into its steady state flow. Even "edgier" tracks like Point of the Laser and Inside the Crystal, both of which feature more rhythmic propulsion and sharper sonic angles, seem equally at home on what is otherwise a collection of electro-acoustic largos for night marooned somnambulists. For this reason, Interlace is every bit the equal of work by similar sound architects with a more prestigious pedigree (the aforementioned Rich and Roach, for example). Acolytes of ambient fusion will almost certainly want to give Interlace a fair hearing.
For more information visit the Dan Pound web site at: http://www.danpound.com
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Reviewed by Charles Van de Kree