Cosmos Vol. I (with Jaja), by Bert Strolenberg at Sonic Immersion ( Jul, 2013)

"Cosmos Vol. 1" (the first album in a series of electronic space-ambient dedicated to the magnificence of the universe and one of its biggest explorers: Carl Sagan) marks the debut collaborative work by Spanish ambient composer Ran Kirlian and his German soul mate Jana Rockstroh (aka Jaja).

The album contains 80-minutes of profound atmospherics featuring four massive, deep and extensive soundscape textures, all curling smoothly through the wonders and splendor of magnificent galaxies toward infinite worlds beyond. If you’re a fan of emotive, harmonic and imaginary ambient-space music, the improvised sonic explorations featured here will be right up your alley.

The physical edition of the release is limited to just 50 copies.


Formations, by Bert Strolenberg at Sonic Immersion ( Jul, 2013)

"Formations" is an ambient album by Ran Kirlian that merges elements of the organic subgenre with more traditional free form styles. According the composer, the outcome defines a journey to the core of the tribal-ambient landscapes previously heard on the albums "Sleeper", "Melting Point" and "Limbo".

The 70 minutes of music, based on live performances, comes as one continuous, slow evolving track where vast textural landscapes morph on in a rather somber manner, revealing some tribal flavors (by means of the rhythms) along the way as well. A mesmerizing, hypnotizing sonic aura surfaces various times, most notably on the second half of the atmospheric recording. Both "Dark Territories" and "Forgotten Survivor" are strong takes, before the albums rounds out spherically with the two-part "Quh Ong".

All in all, these are gentle coiling and overtly floating spaces with occasional groovy patterns that received some fine mastering by Max Corbacho.


Waterfront, by Bert Strolenberg at Sonic Immersion ( Jun, 2013)

"Waterfront" is the debut collaborative work of Spanish ambient composers Ran Kirlian and Landru (aka Patxi Hernández), both co-owners of the online ambient label Altera Orbe.

About an hour of the 72-minute outcome was created live in the studio with no set plans or ideas. The additional music was added in a later stage to enhance the overall pulse and flow of the recording. Fans of dreamy, darker-shaded music roaming in the organic-ambient drift category should find quite some of their liking here.

Imagine background ambience landscapes provided by digital and analogue synthesizers with a slight doze of real ethnic instruments thrown in besides moody field recordings. The continuous flow of textures merges drone pads and ethereal ambiences created by Ran Kirlian and the hypnotic and melodic sonic riffs along some tribal percussion loops composed by Landru. On "Alluvium", the sonic drift is smoothly set in motion with assorted percussion, evoking a kind of Tibetan feel in the tradition of David Parsons without immersing that deep. A primordial atmosphere with beats sets off on the final track "Metamorphism", but after a couple of minutes things start drifting along once more.

Overall, "Waterfront" is an excursion through slow-paced sonic dimensions and atmospheric landscapes providing a calming, slightly spiritual, but above all a mysterious realm. Keep this one in mind if you like to add something to your list of deep-listening/late-night recordings.


The Physics of Heaven, by Bert Strolenberg at Sonic Immersion ( Apr, 2013)

As Oöphoi, aka Italian deep-ambient composer Gianluigi Gasparetti, flies with the angels since a couple of months, Spanish soul-spirit and musician Ran Kirlian decided to release his wonderful collaboration with him, based on unfinished recordings by Oöphoi between 2009-2011 and additional stuff created by Mr Kirlian between 2012-2013.

As the release was meant to materialize before Gianluigi’s passing, and the latter wasn’t able to make that happen anymore, Ran Kirlian started out a sonic quest wherein he tried to stay close to the initial goal of his music. During that process he remixed two large soundworlds in order to a create a solid flow that also worked as a kind of argument for both of them. After Mr Gasparetti’s approval, Ran then started adding his own layers of sounds and polish and sculpt the final result towards an album that merged and expressed both their ideas about life and death.

"The Physics of Heaven" ended up as a continuous space of unleashed serenity and gently flowing non-rhythmic tapestries lasting for over 70-minutes. It’s an overall soothing, peaceful and profoundly ethereal ambient landscape radiating many colours as it explores the transition between life and death through different spiritual traditions and mythologies as the contemplative washes break on an imaginary eternal shore.

If you’re looking for something to caress the mind and soul smoothly, "The Physics of Heaven" will be most satisfying.


The Physics of Heaven, on Darkroom Rituals ( Apr, 2013)

Review in russian from Dark Room Rituals Online Magazine, google translated here.


Formations, by Richard Gürtler on Discogs ( Apr, 2013)

Spaniard Ran Kirlian, one of the driving forces behind Altera Orbe label, has released in October 2012 his third official solo CDr release "Formations", mostly based on live improvisations during 2009 and 2011. After dark ambient styled "Dissolution" and deep space-infused "Continuum" Ran Kirlian now delves into mysteriously fragranced and uniquely shaped sonic terrains, masterfully bridging deep organic mindscapes with delicate tribal groove escapades.The most challenging part of this blend is the use of overtone voices, which adds a quite distinctive dimension to already hauntingly immersing soundsculpting.

"First Hours" ignite this mystifying journey with stunningly expressive overtone magics intriguing with intensely primordial ambience. Top-notch intro!!! Cavernous rumbles enrich eerie voice drones on "Aerthanna", later smooth and slightly cyber-tech flavored tribals step in, superiorly blending primitive culture with modern sound wizardry. Another massively absorbing expedition, bravo, Ran!!! Ancient woods are calling, "Crimson Trees" keep the path, with 14 minutes the longest "Formation". Again strangely flavored and hauntingly tapestried with few elusive melodic passages for fully intense shaman's healing journey. This is Ran Kirlian at his most organic and magical!!! The next piece, "Formations I", shifts to more serene and aerial spheres, gently expanding and drifting into more massive panoramas, enriched on the back by few distant cybernetic fragments.

The gates of "Dark Territories" are unlocked and the listener is taken into fascinating nocturnal, deeply contemplative sceneries, which later percolate into lushly vibrant tribal canvas. "Forgotten Survivor" calms down at the beginning with darker drones, but later mild downtempos join the stage, expanding and relieving at the same time. "Quh Ong I" reveals with monstrous drone, that quickly steps down into quieter zone, but soon the ghostly overtone dissonances intertwine. Immense, rough, excessive, shrilling, but always deeply mesmerizing and transcendental, an "all-inclusive" bliss designed for your nightly musings!!! Once again, bravo!!! Expansive drone landscapes lead "Quh Ong II" until radiant shamanistic tribals invade, coalesce and encompass us with its hypnotic rite. Highly effective finale!!!

Ran Kirlian has ventured with "Formations" into incredibly spectacular spirited terrains, quite uncharted when comparing to his previous two albums. More spins are required, but as soon you reach your deep immersion, all the mysteries behind "Formations" are revealed. Max Corbacho gets credit for the final mastering job. A superb performance by Ran Kirlian!!!


Continuum, by Richard Gürtler on Discogs ( Nov, 2012)

Busy release schedule of Altera Orbe label has brought to us during June 2012 another thrilling release by Ran Kirlian, in Castellón, Spain based ambient sculptor, entitled "Continuum". As indicated by its title and really gorgeous cover images, Ran Kirlian this time, when comparing with his previous "Dissolution" album, ventures into profoundly celestial domains.

All tracks on "Continuum" were recorded during the period 2005-2010. Ultra deep drone wizardry is immediately unveiled on "Amos Neheran Arr", rather shorter invitation to take absolutely spectacular journey to leave the Earth's surface. "Apeiron" continues on enormously transporting continuous flow of stellar dronescapes precisely embellished by assorted industrial and organic rumbling sounds. Ran Kirlian offers here a truly mindscaping sonic odyssey, the gates to The Void are unlocked!!! The next composition, "Ikuinen Mitätön", slowly expands into more massive wall of drones, graciously drifting through spacial emptiness. English translation from Finnish is "Eternal Void", this is another precisely fitting track title. "Messier 83" enters into slightly more quiet spaces with conspicuously swirling washes with heavenly choirs.

The title composition, "Continuum" is the longest piece on this journey, getting over a 15-minute mark. It glides colossally through smoothly expanding subtlety and stillness and captures immensely beautiful dimensions. "Stella Ignea" clocks over 10 minutes and dives promptly into more monumental soundworlds, flavored with various high-tech fragments and metallic rumbles. Another hugely visualizing and immersing listening experience!!! "Órbita" returns to rather tranquil and organic soundscaping, quite cinematic, although the end of the track progresses into more massive and intense passages. "Momentum" closes this voyage with another batch of monstrously invasive and evolving, nearly otherworldly dronescapes, lasting 13 minutes.

If you prefer your intergalactic voyage darker than the darkest and deeper than the deepest, then "Continuum" is made just for you!!! And by the time I am posting this review, a new album by Ran Kirlian "Formations" is available via Altera Orbe, so stay tuned...


Waterfront, by Richard Gürtler on Discogs ( Jul, 2012)

"Waterfront" is the first collaboration between two Altera Orbe creators, Ran Kirlian and Landru, both emerging talents and kindred spirits from respected Spanish ambient scene.

Released during the May 2012 through their Altera Orbe label. "Alkali" opens the journey and dives quickly into shadowy cavern with gentle primordial tribals, various tinkling bells, gongs and rumblings, all surrounded by mysteriously majestic drifts and spiced by rattlesnake-like sounds. A deeply magical prologue!!!

Continuous cavernous feel invades also the next, 15-minute long piece, "Diffraction". Nearly free-floating atmospherics are joined by assorted high-tech fragments. Some repeating mechanical noise, evoking vaguely tribal-infused claps can be detected as well, but to me, this sound, even if quite hypnotic, is a bit dissonant to the overall mood of graciously soaring ambiences. But otherwise this soundscape is soothingly absorbing. These profound soundscapes are explored also through "Interdimensional", which paints again a hauntingly sculpted synergy between darker drones and cyber-shamanistic collages. "Pulsating Core" gets more massive with gently swirling gurgles, soon floating through celestial realms and tranquilly expanding towards the end into more mechanical escapade with more dominating, sharper sonic outbursts.

A pure sonic bliss precisely merging the talents of both protagonists, the drifting wizardry of Ran Kirlian and cyber-futuristic adventures of Landru!!! Magnífico!!! "Alluvium" unveils quietly, but soon it reaches the most active, tribal-driven terrains highlighted by gently tinkling percussive elements, but always covered in sublimity and mystery. Explosively thrilling!!! Deeply organic intro of "Waterfront" exactly portrays the title and slowly transforms into slightly more intense, but peacefully flowing seascapes. The closing "Metamorphism", second longest piece getting close to 15-minute mark, opens with strangely odd buzzes and squeaks, but it soon slips into tribal paths leaded by slowed down, heavier beats, primordial ingredients, and circling, nearly hallucinogenic effects, discovered already on "Diffraction" and again injected with some disquieting feel, all blended with spectacularly intense and panoramic soundscapes.

"Waterfront" is deeply expansive and mysteriously enchating journey!!! I am awarding extra points also for the elegant design of the digipak packaging. This collaborative work deserves your support, go for it!!!


Dissolution, by Richard Gürtler on Discogs & Relaxed Machinery Community (2012)

First time I noticed this Spanish ambient sculptor few years ago through ad21music links, at that time several download only albums were available via Ran Kirlian's website. Since I was always a big collector of plastic objects only, the time was slowly passing until the March of 2012, which marked the birth of Altera Orbe label and website, run by Ran Kirlian with other Spanish electronic artist, Landru. So I was back again to start focus on Ran Kirlian's music, more especially when one of his albums, "Dissolution", was available on CDr format. Originally, the album was released back in 2009 and it features 11 tracks recorded during the period between 2005 and 2009.

The album unveils its secrets with "Amalgama", a dark ambient soundscape enhanced by larger dose of assorted spooky sounds on the background that irregularly step in and fade away. Drones of much heavier caliber invade "Dark Matter", no wonder, a piece with this name is ready to drift the listener far away from reality. The soundwall is quite massively constructed, but on the back few deep heartbeats, tribal ingredients, noisier eruptions or celestial voices emerge from time to time. Nicely unsettling piece!!! Abyssal drones occupy the next piece "W-M31", and even if I have no idea what means this title, I keep on drifting away. The piece is in its last third more elevated, again with all kinds of otherworldly effects and disruptions. The name of the next piece, "Atmosfear", easily suggests what is to come. Soaring drones, mysterious voices, on-site recordings of thunderstorm, various cavernous or industrial rumblings, an all-inclusive journey into your most obscure imaginations!!! Exploration of unfathomable spaces continue on "Syrtis Major", freezing, heavy drones are fuelling your spacecraft on this breathtaking odyssey, amazing!!! You are passing "Dissolution", the title track, emphasized by cave water falling drops. A truly exciting exploration of the damp, shadowy world of underwater caves. A real stunner!!! Now comes "Deflection", the heavy drone is still there, but this time some fine flute work joins this deeply immersing journey to explore the mysteries of prehistoric cave art. Another fascinatingly beautiful excursion!!! "Labyrinth" is quite unsettling with its freaky effects, but the hazardous search for majestic and ornate cave decorations and structures continues. "Selenium", the longest piece on "Dissolution" clocking just over 12 minutes, returns to more solaced, slightly less monstrous state with tranquilly floating, but still monumental ambience. "Inconnu" marks the return to rather abyssal, colder waters, blending mammoth drone wizardry and organic ingredients with industrialized breathings and frightening rumblings. Another big one, and spooky one!!! Scary drone painting of closing "Ágora" dives even deeper with mysterious whisperings and ocassional metallic creakings and eruptions.

"Dissolution" is sculpted with finest essences of dark ambient genre, but don't be scared of it, it surely requires more listening sessions, but then it reveals all the ghosts of subterranean and primordial worlds. Mágico & delicioso!!! I hope Ran Kirlian will release in the near future more of his downloads on physical formats. In any case, I will keep an ear to the ground...

Richard Gürtler (Apr 08, 2012, Bratislava, Slovakia)


Elements in Motion by Bert Strolenberg, Sonic Immersion (2005)

This release from Spanish ambient composer Ran Kirlian is another long form journey encompassing dark landscapes and ideas, taking the listener on an extended trip of 78 minutes. As Kirlian explained to me, synthesizers aren’t that prominent compared to his other recordings, they act more as support for the major layers of organic and industrial environments.

The music itself is a bit drone-like at times, but also moving to more floating nature at times. Rather minimal shaped, it’s accompanied by treated voices, some organic sounds of metals, stones and field recordings. It is no easy music to listen to, but it is still worthwhile and rather hypnotic when listening through headphones.


Sleeper by Bert Strolenberg, E-dition Magazine (2005)

The album “Sleeper” was born from two large floating sessions the Spanish ambient musician Ran Kirlian recorded in the summer of 2003. Both are based on pure improvisation, with some treated field recordings played randomly. Later on, as Kirlian ran over the recordings, he added voice, some additional sounds and grooves to make the music fit in the concept of an evolutionary process on dreams and sleeping. The outcome is an album that is highly atmospheric, but which also features several tribal elements like the claypots which show up in “Other Place” next to his voice. “Sleeper” is a continuous vast textural landscape floating by, able to transport the listener’s mind to a remote places and dense atmospheres. I’m sure fans of Roach and freeform tribal ambient will love this sonic scenery for the mind . Well done.

Bert Strolenberg, now driving Sonic Inmersion


Melting Point review by Bert Strolenberg, E-dition Magazine (2004)

Ran Kirlian is a Spanish ambientmusician who I came across surfing the site of Max Corbacho. Kirlian’s started loving ambient in the begin of the ’90 after he heard Steve Roach’s concept-albums “Western Spaces” and “Desert Solitaire”. In 2000 he started to explore his own musical pathways, and after he discovered Napster he decided to share his music with the outside world. Melting Point (remastered in 2003) offers a 11 tracks of vast ambient atmospheric music, a tasty melting pot of tribal electronics, some dark ambient and a good portion of spacemusic. On the beautiful track “Cave of Forgotten Fires” the Dutch musician Patrick van de Ven plays groove percussion, rainstick and ethnic flutes. Especially the assorted tribal percussion and textural landscaping interact very well on this CD. Its a continuing atmosphere with some sparse minimal elements, heading towards new horizons in time and space. They come close to what Kirlian is trying to establish: creating dense atmospheres which inspire ritualistic environments, cold and desolate spaces and landscapes. Yes, this CD is well done.

Bert Strolenberg,
Main Editor & Journalist E-dition Magazine



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