[Reviewed by: Iaha Crax]
The gterma label is most regarded for the releases of drone sensualist Mathias Grassow. Apart from that other wonderful discs are to be found in its catalog, ranging from warm ambient to trip-hop electronics. Ornah-Mental has released “Excursions” through this label and some furtive web glimpse let us know about the two members active in the project: Dirk Schlömer and Carsten Agthe, an old excursionist in the electronic ambient sloping grounds. This very album, “Excursions”, follows several other releases that form a solid biography of the group.
We are invited, as the first track is entitled, to an “Excursion”: calm loops and fragile strings set up the moving reverb of a musical vehicle, meant to take us on a relaxing journey. Guitars easily complete the picture by evanescent pulses still managing to entertain a pleasant rhythm, helping the listener to “Slow Dive” in a reverie of his own creation. The tribal touch reminicent of Tzolk’in’s Mayan reinterpretations receives here a Hindu divagation by the use of a sitar on “Raga Offering”. Played with a European touch, the piece denotes a transcultural shallow transparency, both comforting and pleasing.
The German duet further explores ethnic sounds on “Never – Ever”, where African drums are accompanied by a sort of bass string instrument. “Tagore” praises the Bengali writer in an oriental-sounding piece.
Temporarily setting aside ethnic explorations, Ornah-Mental tries a different approach on “The Inner Flame”, using strange, still tribal tones for a chillout/ lounge musical trip. The disc finishes with “Ambient Land”, again an uncommon composition more alike to Tangerine Dream, proving the wide range of influences the projeck has.
Ornah-Mental and this “Excursions” album is the offering of a mature project, greatly skilled in collecting ethnic music sounds and transforming them for a leisurely occidental taste and comfort.