on July 22, 2003
Iï¿½ve got other recordings by both of these artists ï¿½ so far this is my favorite from each of them. The music on this disc is very, very dark ï¿½ donï¿½t expect anything else going into it. That statement is not meant in the least to imply, however that this work is one-dimensional ï¿½ nothing could be further from the truth. This is creativity of staggering proportions, black washes of keyboards and other instruments (and voices, I thinkï¿½) that combine into music that is simultaneously beautiful and frightening in its intensity. Itï¿½s not noise ï¿½ thereï¿½s a definite structure to the works included here ï¿½ the breadth of its conception and execution is such that it can be enjoyed ambiently as well as attentively. For those listeners already familiar with the works of these artists as individuals, its easy to hear the two different personalities present in this disc ï¿½ this is truly a case of the whole being greater than the sum of the parts (and thatï¿½s saying a lot, because their work as individuals is excellent).
The music was inspired ï¿½ at least in spirit ï¿½ by the Russian film of the same name, but itï¿½s certainly not necessary to view that film to appreciate this recording. From the back cover: ï¿½A guide to possible interpretations on an ambivalent reality; a non-Euclidian geometry as yet unmapped, inaccessible through linear perceptions; to illuminate, decode and decipher this landscape of fractured density, ultimately to reconstruct these unfolding dimensions, where dreams are only whispers.ï¿½ It does all that and more. As I stated above, it can be experienced in an ambient way ï¿½ but I recommend listening to it at fairly high volume on a nice system.
on October 6, 2002
Out on Fathom records this is a good slice of dark ambient music. Why only good, well even though the music is very stirring & haunting it doesn't build up to any grand finale (that may be considered a good thing by some but i found it frustrating). Secondly there are only a few very dark and deep sounding bass parts. I really felt they should have concentrated more on making more (& deeper/longer) bass lines to make it sound more intense. That brings me onto my third point, Intensity. Well it is ambient but i didn't find it dark enough (don't get me wrong its quite chilling, especially for the amateur) but not enough! Musically Rich and Lustmord have done a very impressive job with almost mathmatical precision and there other lp's need to be checked out.
To get the most out of this (and other dark ambient lps) means listening in the right conditions. This is usually in the dark while the listener is resting/ napping and being an completly captive entity. I can't stress how important a high spec hi-fi/ headphones is, the last reviewer also made this point because there is no way you could be satisfied with this disc after listening through in-ear headphones or through a high street midi system hi-fi with all the flashing lights. Also listening in a car or noisy environment is a no-no, but its pretty damn amazing if you're walking through the busy street with this disc on, it makes you feel like you're part of the movie.
In conclusion for dark-ambient followers this is a very important addition to your collection. For the uninitiated i dare you to listen and not dismiss it after one minute because there's no drum beat or vocals. For me on the other hand i would have preffered a extra dark semi-ambient remix version with immense bass lines, dark mechanical stirring and a build up to chaos (like 'The Berzerker's' lp, which is just 30mins of unrelenting chaos which ambient lovers will dismiss in less than a second. Both genres (dark ambient and death/chaos metal are very extreme but i need a cd with both mixed in with each other). But for the moment this will do just fine!
on September 19, 2002
First, this CD is in no way like the fruity-ambient music you hear in nail salons or clothing stores, this stuff is what I would call hardcore ambient.
If you are experienced (if you aren't, don't worry!) in listening to this type of music, you should know that the little sounds are what make a CD like this. This is the case with this disc.
The little sounds throughout this CD are haunting, but very nice to listen to, and, well, they make the CD. I can't keep away from this CD. It is just spectacular. Each time I listen, it gets more detailed and involved. Not many CD's can do this.
This is also GREAT music to think and relax to.
One word of warning: You MUST use good headphones or a VERY good system to play back this CD. This is NOT driving music at all. I say this because even the slightest background noise will absolutely ruin the detail that MAKES this CD what it is. This is at home doing work on the computer music. If you can do that, you will be rewarded with one of the finest CD's I (and hopefully you) have had the privilege of hearing.
on August 12, 2001
This is a beautiful, dark album. The meeting of Robert Rich and Lustmord has produced some stunning material. Many of the characteristic sounds of these artists shine through, from Rich's smooth flowing drones and melodies using Just Intonation, to the deep, subterranean tones and noise washes of Lustmord; They work together brilliantly. The production on this CD is superb also. "Hidden Refuge" has a lot of depth - on a good set of headphones, turned up loud, it's not unlike being in a large, dark forest, miles away from civilization. One can hear rain gradually moving through the forest, soft winds surrounding the trees and some kind of distant panting, like that of a lost person or someone in distress. Well! I wouldn't know if that is what Rich and Lustmord intended, but that is the imagery that comes to my mind when listening. To me it is great music, because the imagery is so vivid. Toward the end of the album, the music becomes softer, until a gradual buildup of noise in the second-to-last track results in a thunderous bass finale...leaving the listener with a simple repeated percussive sound, but as if recorded in an enormous cave somewhere. I love the whole space this album provides....it creates a perfect mood of darkness and as if telling a story, it moves slowly with a continual sense of unease. The last track continues the overall mood of the album some more, before a gradual fade-out. Some people would say this is a spooky album, and there certainly are elements of fear (like the dark monk-like chants) but it is generally just a really interesting exercise in sound design. Spookiness in music is really up to one's imagination, because in the end, it's all just sound waves. All in all, an excellent album, if you are into long, dark music with superb production.
on August 8, 2001
I don't think that Stalker is especially scary.
The music itself (and it is music) is very typical of Rich and Lustmord's ability to illustrate time and setting accurately and beautifully. Like the film (and I link this work inextricably to the film as a necessary companion piece), Stalker creates a dense atmosphere of knowing and unknowing, the mysterious and the obvious - both works lend themselves to many interpretations.
The dialog of the film makes one point fairly obvious. This work, face value alone, may be considered dark ambient mood music. But like the visuals of the film (especially wind and water) there is much more to be experienced by looking deeply into the art. Those who look to the surface only will see something dark and scary (and hopefully well crafted). Those who stay with it and really listen will hear a distinct time, place, etc..
The fact that I find it hard not to write about this work (and all of both Lustmord and Rich's other works) without confusing the visual with the auditory, speaks to its real impact.
Like the best ambient (Eno, especially), the music here lends itself to many different interpretations and emotions. Unlike most ambient, the music here is frightenly visual, dense, and not to be ignored (I do not recommend that anyone listen to this while doing the dishes and it is woefully inappropriate for airports).
Beautiful in execution. Frightening in impact. (Like the film).
on January 15, 2002
Regardless of the names above the title, the scary, omniscient tones and heart-stopping atmospheres of STALKER appear indelibly stamped with Lustmord's characteristic signature. Rich's geometric percussive networks are scarcely evident, and even his trademark chords and quagmires of "glurp" are in absence. Nevertheless, the aesthetics behind this recording, and the challenges each musician apparently inspired in the other, pay off brilliantly. This could be rightly labelled as "dark ambient", but the appellation is a vast understatement. A track such as "Hidden Refuge," alight with drone-like hesitancies and shifting winds blowing over barren, purgatorial dunes, is far too ambulatory to simply blend in to the surrounding environment. STALKER encourages you to actively explore its regions while simultaneously teasing you to passively resist.
on April 13, 2004
I'm really impressed by this album -- it's "dark ambient" (not that you need to get piercings or wear eyeshadow to enjoy it), which I suppose just means that there are dripping noises and odd little nightime crawly touches throughout, rather than happy birds and streams.
Stalker isn't the stuff of nightmares, though--it's like a soundtrack to an alien world, much like Eno's brilliant "On Land". This is an album that works phenomenally well in a dark room over a multichannel stereo, and also works very well close up over headphones--there are lots of details in the music.
For what it's worth, I'll definitely be buying more Lustmord on the strength of this one. I'd bought Steve Roach "The Magnificent Void" at the same time, and much prefer Stalker.
on July 17, 2000
I am a huge fan of the movie Stalker and i was enthused to hear that two artists have collaborated to create a cd inspired by the movie. I did not know of what genre the two artists would be, but upon further investigation i found them both to be the dark ambient classification. That said, i bought this cd, and was blown away by how acuratelt they captured the movies atmosphere of desolation, instilled apathy, and "greyness". You do not have to be a fan of the movie to enjoy this cd, it stands on it's own as a classic in the Ambient genre, and it's a great cd to space out to, or take a nap to..i highly recomend this cd to people who appriciate wonderfully crafted ambient and darkwave.
on December 22, 1999
if you dont know of robert rich or lustmords (alio die) music, heres a great way to find out. GET THE ALBUM! definitely very listenable, and spooky, i reccomend you play it very loud for effect. i have had it playing when some friends came over, and after the album was over, the comments came pouring in, not one bad, they dont care for this "type" of music, but i suppose they changed their mind after a good listen. im no critic, i just know i enjoyed it, as have many people that ive played it for.
on January 1, 2003
If you like Dark Ambient music, words can not begin to describe the intriguing inner landscapes you'll explore while listening to Stalker. Vast expanses swirl into your auditory vision, sometimes punctuated by strangely disturbing animal sounds or beautified by ethereal singing/cries. Track 6 has a haunting deep-toned flute that is very soothing. A mind-expanding album by all accounts. A word to neophytes: don't expect much melody or "music" here.