Raymond Scott Woolson - Atmospherium

ATMOSPHERIUM reviewed by Bryan Baker at Gajoob:

Raymond Scott Woolson has delivered a beautiful guitar-based CD. The music revolves around a central chord progression motif which Woolson develops employing a lush combination of delay and volume washes. It's a peaceful ambience that evolves and flows over the course of the CD and makes for wonderful, quiet mood music that, for me anyway, feels quite uplifting. Highly recommended.

ATMOSPHERIUM reviewed by Paul Lankamer at Suite101:

Raymond Scott Woolson's work is one-of-a-kind, at least in my collection. I've used this band in other comparisons, but I have to do it again. Oldies fans might be able to relate: Side two of Kraftwerk's Autobahn tried to generate pictures in the listener's mind without the use of vocals. It was neat stuff. Woolson's work also generates mind-pictures.

Mr. Woolson doesn't use synthesizers or even samplers, though those tools came to my mind while listening. His instrumental music is made by mixing and editing his own guitar, drum machine and “audio illusion” work. Raymond says he uses a drum machine only because he's rhythm-impaired. There's an honest confession for a musician!

‘Hey, you said “instrumental” --How can THAT be Christian music?’ OK, I've got to justify it, now that you've challenged me.

As you know, “Christian” music isn't really Christian at all. It can't profess faith. The reason I include instrumentals is for the images they create in your mind. If you weren't in a Christian mindset at all, you might not get Christian pictures from lots of this music.

Raymond Scott Woolson's Atmospherium CD is a most relaxing, without being boring, album. With a little background from his website, it's like you're an instant friend of Raymond's. He does his own instrumentals and mixing, all in his apartment. He even did the jacket photography featuring black and white photos of clouds, with a silhouette of a leaping child on the front. The late-afternoon feeling of the jacket art helps set the mood for the album.

Atmospherium's theme is "Dusk to Dawn" and all the songs are titled in other-than English (well, one is “old” English) representing various stages from dusk to dawn. Dusk to dawn might imply night music, but the mood is far from dark. The mood is a floating other-worldly feel. Maybe one has to be able to enjoy walks in the woods on bright moonlit still nights as I do. Everything looks just different enough for you to know it's not the world as you're used to seeing it. I see that sort of interesting beauty while listening to the CD. (Now I get off track a bit here: Night walks are a great opportunity to appreciate another side of God's creation.)

The musical style is very pleasantly relaxing. It's electronically-enhanced guitar work, but it doesn't come across as artificial music, as lots of the newer technology-based stuff. (I used to be among those who disliked “fake” music. I'm hearing music as sound-organization now, no matter where the individual sounds might come from.) I see Atmospherium as a CD I'd listen to in order to unwind after a fast day at work. It could also make excellent relaxing background music for business places.

The message is in how you perceive the music. I see a Christian as having made the music, and hearing it gives me peaceful sensations. I certainly hope this isn't his last project.

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