Terra Ambient ‎– Wanderlust

Lotuspike ‎– LSM 15
CD, Album

Tracklist Hide Credits

1 Myth 5:46
2 Mudfoot 7:23
3 Visionquest 8:57
4 Wanderlust 8:43
5 Mammoth 5:59
6 Epilogue 8:09
7 The Ghost In Me
Guitar [Additional Guitars By] – Jeff Pearce



Instrumentation: Electric, treated and lap steel guitars, bass, electronics, modular analog synthesis, digital and soft synths, congas, Taos drums and various hand percussion, hand made and electronic percussive samples, bansuri and PVC flutes, didjeridoo, voice and cat samples.

© 2009 Brain Laughter, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Lotuspike, P.O. Box 232029, Encinitas, CA 92023-2029


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July 16, 2011
edited over 5 years ago

Terra Ambient "Wanderlust" CD

Jeff Kowal aka Terra Ambient has released his 3rd album (2nd on Lotuspike) just before the summer of 2009, so quite a long time passed since 2004 when his previous applauded "The Gate" album was released. The album opens very quietly with "Myth", but this piece grows slowly into more dramatic and grandiose parts featuring harsh guitars. Quite a radical change when comparing to more peaceful soundscaping of "The Gate". But don't be scared, this fresh blend of deep atmospherics, tribal beats and expressive guitars is another step in Jeff's highly crafted and refined sound sculpting. His tribal ambience finely infused with right amount of roughness sounds absolutely exciting, a truly extraordinary listening experience from the very beginning of "Wanderlust"!!! "Mudfoot" is another standout piece carefully melting electronics with wide range of acoustics, highly turbulent composition, again enriched by treated guitars. What a beauty! Mysteriously deep atmospherics on "Visionquest" later transform into percussion-driven texture with crispy pulsing electronics, a really ear-catching cut! Organics open title track "Wanderlust", but soon this composition moves into absolutely exciting level where deeper washes and gentle tribal beats are spiced by expressive flutes, didgeridoos, bells and strange otherworldly sounds. Man, this must be one of the most sophisticated and distinct tracks Jeff ever made and also one of my personal faves in the genre!!! "Mammoth" attracts with its more minimal structure with slowly developing and more active rich desert soundscapes. Deeper drones on "Epilogue" are nicely colored with storm sounds and highly evocative flute work, primordial ambience at its best!!! Album closer, "The Ghost In Me", is another highly nature-influenced track, this time attractively colored with delicate piano tunes, but also by additional guitar ambience magics of Jeff Pearce. A track with truly tranquilizing effect! What to write at the end? "Wanderlust", with outstanding sound quality, is not only the most colorful work of Terra Ambient, but also the most refined and polished one showing skilled artistry of this Lotuspike co-owner. Great job, Jeff!!! You can be sure that "Wanderlust" takes me each time on my own journey.

Richard Gürtler (Jul 16, 2011, Bratislava, Slovakia)


February 9, 2010
I have to start by saying that I love Terra Ambient’s “The gate”, its desolated yet warm landscapes of sound. So, I started hearing “Wanderlust” expecting something in that vein but the first track, “Myth”, turned be a bit cold with its epic electronics and tone. But then “Mudhoof” and “Visionquest” gave me some hope – dynamic, motion-like tracks that build upon layers of percussive sounds a nice constellation of subtle electronic and guitar tones. It’s no longer the peaceful and contemplative travel of “The Gate”, very far from it, but these tracks have a really compelling nature, reminding me some of the best that has being made in this kind of “ambient yet dynamic music”. At some point I start “seeing” people dancing around fire, there’s something warm again in these tracks, like if the contemplation of “The Gate” has given place to more action-based images and pulses. “Wanderlust” makes the linkage between the two worlds masterfully – the more calm flow of sounds of “The Gate” comes in, giving slowly rise to a more strong section with percussion, guitar and a very beautiful pattern of flute and keyboards. This is a great moment of this record and, at least for me, hits easily the “top ambient songs”. So, the expectation to “Mammoth” is great; the track starts quietly yet with some tension – like a wind blowing in the desert. Then the percussion comes in with some electronic sequencing just after. The whole sounds a bit like a cross between Klaus Schulze and Michael Stearns (that contributes to the album), the kind of “progressive ambient” – interesting but not too thrilling. “Epilogue” starts on a typical ambient ground, with subtle flute and electronics mixed with the sounds of crickets. And it stays that way for 8 minutes, just adding enough without getting too dynamic. A great balm of mental wandering after the more epic (e)motions of “Mammoth”. Very sweet. “The ghost in me” brought me back from wandering with its piano line. It’s a nice track but nothing too… Impressive I’d say.
So, what do I get from this record in the end? Being totally honest this record gives me mixed emotions. I think that I managed to get into its pulse and get away from “The Gate” – the dynamic tracks work very nice (“Mudhoof and “Visionquest”) and “Wanderlust” and “Epilogue” are great exercises of ambient music. But the more epic tone of “Myth” and “Mammoth” are a bit too much to me and this last track although being nice, it’s not so wonderful… So I think this is a great record at some points yet fails to grab my attention at others.