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Dave Luxton, Music from the Firmament

March 26, 2012

Music from the Firmament is my first exposure to Dave Luxton’s work, but this disc lets me play a bit of catch-up. Pieced together from works previously released between 2008 and 2011, this hour-long journey is crafted in neatly executed spacemusic memes with a flowing, and at times symphonic, New Age timbre. Choral pads sing high, soft notes in a suitably ne0-angelic way, electronic spacewinds swirl and the stars glitter and blur as the listener glides through Luxton’s interstellar constructs. It’s a comfortably familiar journey; Luxton isn’t reinventing the sonic starship here, he’s just painting a good, vivid image of the ride. From the light liftoff of the opener, “Worlds Unknown,” to the thematically dense and appropriately worrisome dronework of “If the Sun Fades Away,” Luxton does a great job of modulating the flow to create moments when your awareness rises back up out of the comfortable lull. The requisite radio voices in “Return to a Distant Star,” filtered through the wash of waking-dream pads, anchor the listener to the real world. There’s a definite hold-your-breath beauty to the easy drift of “Shadow Clouds”; again, it’s not a groundbreaking piece–you’ve heard its like many times before if you’re a spacemusic listener. It just happens to be very well done, Luxton’s minute pauses between pads timed just right to amplify the feel of the next one. Here, those minor shifts carry enough impact to make you come around to take notice. I have gladly taken the round trip on this disc several times over; the uninterrupted, consistently smooth flow loops without you even noticing. I suggest having a seat and taking Music from the Firmament‘s first-class ride.

Available from CD Baby.

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