GrijsGebied (2001)

1. in het begin
2. schaduwrijk (theme with Gene Williams)
3. genezijde (with Gene Williams)
4. dageraad (with Stan Linders)
5. glaswind
6. maalstroom
7. nakalm
8. tussentijd
9. nun (with Stan Linders
and Erik T' Sas)
10. dwaallicht (with Tatiana Brainerd)

listen to album click here to purchase GrijsGebied

release info Sound is so ever present in our daily environments that it is often forgotten how wonderful it can be. Silence and the absence of sound are rare and I wonder if many have ever experienced total silence.

It seems strange that as a composer and sound designer I should be so fascinated with silence knowing that it is the only thing I will never be able to create.

genezijde with Gene Williams

dageraad recorded at a live performance with Stan Linders, bowed cymbal samples by Joris de Man and Roderick de Man

nun with Stan Linders and Erik T' Sas, voice 'nun' Stan Linders

dwaallicht creative assistance Gene Williams, voice 'het dwaallicht' Tatiana Brainerd

mixing and cd preparation Gene Williams

album photography by Ivo Selder, Matthew Florianz with thanks to Xander Storms

album produced by Darren Scott

special thanks:
stefan koopmanschap :: marjolein van elteren :: bauke van der wal :: amy hirschfeld :: patrick zuidhof :: brett carey :: joris de man :: roderick de man :: marc wielaerdt :: richard bergeman :: sara ayers :: byron paladin :: bill brissette :: jonas lindgren :: jane scott :: andrew cowen :: zack wright :: colin walker vladimir jovanovic :: scott mcgregor moore :: donald hugens :: maarten welzen and william moses

dreamstate :: jeff harrington :: thx1138 :: apollyon :: aois-dubh :: mainline crux :: encomiast :: sami takieddin :: 7 :: the whole gang at and :: torakka :: paralisys :: random elements :: 8thnote :: svartsinn :: (((stereofect))) :: ls-ttl :: dragon flight records :: wide area network records and the artists at the september 22 festival, you have been a great inspiration!

   " ... It's no exaggeration to say that this is a hugely important album in the annals of electronica and if you're at all interested in the genre, you simply must hear it ... "

max delissen
e-dition magazine

Except for a brief revival during the mid-nineties, real ambient has always been a rather marginal sub genre within EM. However, it has it’s own icons, like for instance Brian Eno, Steve Roach and John Serrie, to name but a few. Many EM aficionados tend to neglect ambient, because they think there is not much going on in this music. Besides the fact that this is just what ambient is all about, I think that they are wrong in most cases. Of course there is enough rubbish to be found, but true lovers can, from the top of their head, name a lot of artists that deserve to be rescued from relative obscurity. One of them is Dutchman Matthew Florianz. As far as I’ve been able to find out from his well designed website, he has been releasing his beautiful, panoramic and quiet ambient under different names (including Liquid Morphine) since 1995. Sometimes on cd-r, mostly in very limited editions, so his oldest fans are most likely the only people to have all his collected works in their possession. Fortunately there are plans for re-releases of older work, but so far no dates are known.

'GrijsGebied' [GreyArea] from 2001 is the musical prolongation of his most recent stunner 'The Tone T(h)ree' (released in 2004, but recorded in 2000). On 'GrijsGebied' Matthew Florianz introduces a world full of warm, dark colors, and vague images, in which you can get pleasantly lost. The tracks unwind slowly, and at first they may sound rather static. But a closer listen reveals a large number of layers that whirl around each other like moths in the evening shade. Here you get immensely beautiful soundscapes, which slowly pass before your inner eye. The colors are a bit paler, and the atmosphere is a bit thinner than on 'The Tone T(h)ree', but there is no sign of eeriness whatsoever. Despite the fact that this music sounds very spacey, it has a very down-to-earth character. Perhaps because there is no coquette with extraterrestrial themes whatsoever.

Where 'The Tone T(h)ree' leaves every possible association up to the listener, with titles like ‘part 1’, ‘part 2’, etcetera, on 'Grijsgebied', Florianz takes you by the hand a bit more on your journey through his fairy-like universe. There is enough that you can still imagine by yourself, but titles like ‘schaduwrijk’, ‘glaswind’, ‘maalstroom’ and ‘nakalm’ (sorry, these are in Dutch, they roughly translate as ‘shadowrealm’, ‘glasswind’, ‘vortex’, and ‘aftercalm’) are at least alienating. In my opinion, individual reviews of the separate tracks are useless, because I think you should ‘read’ this ‘sound story’ from cover to cover in one go. The real fan gets comfortably submerged in a cool bath full of distant sounds and hidden depths for exactly 68 minutes. Very transporting and associative stuff. This is a masterpiece of contemporary ambient, and receives a full score of five stars. Well deserved!

On a final note (to convince even the last doubters) there’s this: One of the biggest mistakes an ambient artist can make is to not make his music develop. A ten-minute tone remains a ten-minute tone when there is no (minimal) shift in frequency or intermodulation-invoked rhythm. By that I mean that some frequencies can interfere in such a way that a rhythmic structure develops in over- and undertones. When that happens, the physical presence of percussion is not needed. Once again, this works out great on this album. While there is no information at all about what instruments were used, I suspect that Florianz has a relatively small hardware setup (I know about a Korg o5r/w), and that he has full control over it. And I think the studio was used as a huge supplementary instrument as well. On his beautiful website you can find lots of interesting information, and even some exclusive music for downloading.

Rating: 5 STARS | MY CHOICE) | Max Delissen
E-dition Magazine

andrew cowen
birmingham post and mail

Sometimes words are not enough to do justice to music. This astonishing CD is the fruit of an international partnership between Midlands label H/S Recordings and Dutch ambient artist Matthew Florianz. Ambient's had a bit of a rough ride since its heyday at the turn of the 1990s when it was seen as a panacea for clubbed to death space cadets. The days of marrying astronaut samples with dub beats are long gone, thank goodness.

Florianz makes truly immersive sound art which owes everything to the European tradition of early Tangerine Dream and the pure aesthetics of Brian Eno at his most abstract. GrijsGebied's icy soundscapes exist purely to transport you to another state of mind. The first time I heard this album, I fell asleep.

In a 68 minute narcotic flow, GrijsGebied avoids all the ambient clichés - there are no drums, no bleatings of sheep and not a note is wasted. Although divided into eight tracks, the album works as one piece, a journey through whatever landscape the music invokes.

The key to the consistency is the simple equipment Florianz uses - in his case a box of tones, manufactured by Korg. Deep editing and sound manipulation gives him access to timbres that are unique.

The second technique, and perhaps the most crucial, is Florianz's skill as an arranger and engineer. What initially sounds as quite an abstract drift reveals itself, on closer inspection, as a great skill in keeping all the elements in check. If one theme is in danger of becoming too prominent it is folded back into the mix to morph into new shapes and a new direction.

It's no exaggeration to say that this is a hugely important album in the annals of electronica and if you're at all interested in the genre, you simply must hear it. It's available directly from the label's website for a tenner ( Trust me, it's a classic.

Rating: (5 stars out of 5) | Andrew Cowe

gene williams
friend, collaborator, composer

Matthew Florianz’s latest CD, GrijsGebied (H/S Recordings), takes you on a journey of mind, body, and spirit into the sacred bosom of sound. Utterly dark and beautiful, there is no way to prepare for the subtlety evident in every nuance of GrijsGebied. Undulating drones, otherworldly tones, and a myriad of sonic sorcery are combined by Florianz to create a masterpiece of dark ambient artistry. Make no mistake, this is art, yet it is wholly accessible, laid bare in fact, ever inviting the listener to marvel at the majesty of the primal soul. GrijsGebied beckons you to journey beyond the abstract and experimental to recline at the seat of consciousness and allow yourself to flow within the living soundscapes created by Matthew Florianz and his collaborative allies and assistants: Tatiana Brainerd, Stan Linders, Erik T’Sas, and Gene Williams. There is an overtly dark element in GrijsGebied, but it doesn't drip of gloom and doom, either. The balance of darkness and light, not a struggle for supremacy but rather a peaceful and necessary coexistence, is masterfully portrayed by Florianz. It is similar contrasts that propel the tracks on this CD beyond the commonplace, yet the contrasts on GrijsGebied are complimentary and synergistic. Spacious washes of sound are accompanied by fleeting melodic elements and shimmering metallic tones, all beautiful individually, almost painfully so when in combination. This is a very emotional album, yet it impossible to say it evokes a particular emotion, it is simply moving. While certainly ambient music, this CD is far more than background sound or mood music. GrijsGebied is a soundtrack that needs no accompanying film.

Quite honestly I doubt any single visual work could possibly represent the sonic subtlety that is presented on this album. Yet, there are no demands placed on a listener, and for that very reason GrijsGebied is a timeless tribute to listening. Tracks flow smoothly throughout the CD, and Florianz creates a unique environment that grows more detailed and inviting with every listen. Each new immersion into the aural seas of GrijsGebied offers new ports of call and hints at those as yet un-imagined, looming through the distant swirling mists of the gray place.

bill binkelman
wind and wire

It's hard to believe that an ambient album as good as GrijsGebied from Matthew Florianz (Liquid Morphine) got so little buzz (or maybe I just didn't read it). The CD offers up ten tracks of imaginative, even surreal at times, floating and drone ambience. Since the music here can be darkly beautiful at times, a person can be excused if he/she just floats away into the netherzone and stops trying to analyse what one is hearing (can you tell where I am going with this?). Yes, GrijsGebied is one of "those" recordings, i.e. an album that is vexing to the reviewer who likes it. Just when I start to delve into the inner workings of the music on this CD, it casts its spell, weaves its web - in short, it mesmerizes me with the smoky drones, the swirling textures, and the church organ-like washes that all conspire to envelop my mind and make it difficult (if not impossible) to "concentrate" on the music.

Most of what is on this CD is dark to semi-dark music. It's not Stalker-like, though, probably owing to the warmth of those organ-like textures and the relative lack of what I would label either noise or dissonance. Besides being mysterious (or dark if you prefer), the music also has a sad or even funereal feel to it at times. The end of the track "schaduwrijk" would be perfect background music for the scene in The Two Towers where the elves are departing Rivendell (how's that for free-associating to a set image?). Florianz is assisted on various pieces by an assortment of other people on voice, samples, and perhaps more as well. There is no instrumentation listed, so I can't tell you specifically how Florianz created the drones, bell-like tones, rumblings, and those wonderful organ chords. Many of the tracks here are on the quiet side - headphones are recommended unless you listen to this in a very still environment with no outside noises.

"dageraad" builds at a glacier pace, beginning with a cold sparsity and gradually folding in more musical elements that colour the song in icy cool blues. "glasswind" has a touch of experimentalism to it, with its eerie glistening noise distortions that come and go, amid a background of sumbling drones. You'll be tempted to think that the darkness of the cut is erased by the next one, "maalstroom", with its minimal yet warm drones that begin the song, but soon afterwards the whirlpool of tones and synth effects begins to build and eerieness overtakes you. Thankfully, things calm down on the Tim Story-like "nakalm", a track that has a strong sense of melancholy to it, with minimal echoed piano and guitar. The Tim Story comparison soon falls away as the cut becomes more of a drone piece, but the same pervasive sadness remains.

At this point there is still thirty minutes left on the album (three more cuts), but I want to leave something for you to discover on your own. The rest of the pieces fluctuate from whispy shadowy ambience wafting in the air to more substantial slices of electronic-laced soundscapes, featuring multiple layers of music and effects. Fans of dark (but not too dark) ambient music and possibly spacemusic fans (who don't need Jonn Serrie-ish synths leading the way) would, I expect, enjoy the territory that Florianz explores throughout the sixty-eight minutes of GrijsGebied. As drone ambient music goes, this is one of the better efforts I've heard, owing to its mixture of textures and tones, as well as the flashes of overt musicality (I love those organ sounds). As background listening, (and this is a failing of many drone-style recordings) the nuance and subtleties will be lost, but as sonic wallpaper, you could do much worse, too. I'd still opt for the headphones on this one, though.

recycle your ears

Matthew Florianz is a quite productive (dutch?) dark ambient artist, also known as Liquid Morphine and, even though this first release ever on H/S Recordings is his first CD, it is already the 8th album he releases. Coming with a nice bleak black and white sleeve, "GrijsGebied" is a very deep album of calm and soft dark ambient.

For the recording of this album Matthew Florianz has collaborated with several artists on some tracks, but the whole album sounds pretty cohesive to me. Generally speaking, these tracks are long revolving sounds capes, made of distant tones and frequencies. The whole thing is very melodic, and, even though it is "cold", its sound is what I would qualify of "human", as opposed to more atonal, dronesque ambient.

Sometimes quite menacing and tense ("Maalstroom") but often just deep and very, very atmospheric, "GrijsGebied" is an album full of shades. It reminds me in a way of "Incarnation" from The [Law-Rah] Collective, for this is also full of experimentations with original sounds and a well thought, carefully crafter album. But it sounds less "electric" and more "spacial" than "Incarnation", with also the appearance of acoustic sounds on "Nakalm", and a more relaxing, lighter sounds. But don't be mistaken, "GrijsGebied" is not a CD full of silence, this is ambient that really goes directly to your ears and your mind, and keep you listening.

I am not familiar with Liquid Morphine's other works, but I have been well surprised by this "GrijsGebied". This is for sure an album that stands for itself, presenting solid ambient tracks, and not just a collection of super calm tracks. Definitely a strong release for both the label and the artist.

will selig
future music magazine

Coinciding with our chillout special this album deals with the deep side of chill. The album drifts in and out, and just as you think it's gone it rears its head with textures. First track in het begin conjures up images of the opening sequence of a dark thriller.

Each track is epic with huge sonic spaces and the pace is slow and developing: dageraad isn't audible until about 26 seconds in, although you feel its presence before. There's a danger it could be dismissed as soundtrack music but it's nice to see someone flying the true ambient flag in this commercialised world of so-called chillout.

7/10 | Will Seelig

roy nash

You know one of them feelings when you get the butterflies in your stomach and you go a little light headed??....well that's the feeling I had upon putting this CD into my player and pressing play, it just simply blew me away.

The opening track is a very relaxing track, with long string chords and light drones that eases you into the album making you feel at home and getting you comfortable for the journey...I suppose its like somebody giving you a key to some beautiful hidden land, and you open the door and just stare at the horizon in amazement, that is what this track is, its the horizon you are looking at through the door giving you a taster of what to expect in the land below.

"Schaduwrijk" opens with slightly sinister sounding strings that gave me the impression of some netherworld orchestra warming up before a big performance. By halfway the track takes a slightly quieter direction and becomes very subtle, forcing the listener to actually listen, this is one of the things I like about Matthews music is that it makes you, the listener, pay attention to the music because if you don't you'll be denied the very discrete sounds bubbling below the surface. At the five minute mark the track decides to let its beauty bloom, and you are hit with a very moving string chord progression which pulls you deeper into the magical world of GrijsGebied and by this time your totally enchanted.

Flowing nicely into the third track which is titled "Genezijde" you are again greeted by a lovely opening synth which very much reminds me so of a Mindspawn track "Sepulcher Of The Witch" which is fitting really as Gene Williams (Mindspawn) is the collaborator with Matthew on this track and his presence is instantly heard as this is by far the more dark ambient of all the tracks. In typical Mindspawn fashion, gorgeous textures overlap each other creating some pretty jaw dropping soundscapes in which to totally immerse yourself into, and listening as each sound fades out so smoothly you don't even notice it vanish. Matthew and Gene compliment each other extremely well.

"Dageraad" gave me the feeling of wandering around a very large spacious area with no worries or pressures, it seemed to enhance my relaxed feeling. The track is built around a faultless low droner that seriously enhances your calm. Accompanying the coma causing droner are some beautiful little touches which brings the track to life, like the extremely subtle wind sound that travels round the sound field which, like I said earlier, gives the track a spacious feeling. Matthew uses his trademark strings to drive this track on and ends it with some quite lovely piano keys. This is most certainly my choice of track to listen to before bed, it will most certainly cure your insomnia.

Now halfway through the album, and we are joined by some slightly more higher frequency synth fx. slightly harsher than the rest of the CD and again quite sinister too. Just the fx alone wouldn't be out of place in a score for a chiller film, which is then made more chilling when the drone comes in and reverberates around the place. As "Glaswind" nears its conclusion it takes a total metamorphosis and you hear the luscious pads moving in over the drone of before and the chord progression gave me a real sense of reminiscence.

"Maalstroom" opens again with that faultless droner that is so relaxing...I mean its truly testament to his ability as each droner never sounds the same. This is the more dramatic of the tracks on the album and is guided by a beautiful synth pad, not unlike choir ahhhs but filtered far more and it moved me quite deeply, I still get goosebumps when this later part of the track comes in. The feeling coming from the track gave me a real sense of warmth and love and I swear during this track id fall in love with any girl that crossed my path, that is how powerful a feeling this track spreads.

In my opinion, this is the crowning glory of the album. "Nakalm" opens with such a beautifully reverberated guitar sequence that every time I hear it I feel like crying, its an opening to make love too, the awesome ghost like vocal that shimmers over is very overwhelming and if you didn't fill up at the start you will now. The whole feeling I get from the track is one of sadness....its like on your amazing journey of GrijsGebied you've come across the most beautiful monument you've ever set eyes on, yet you wallow in sadness as you see that it has been defaced by long ago residents and you just cant seem to contemplate why people would do such a thing to something so beautiful. Its in this second half of the track that the feeling of sadness starts to be overshadowed by a feeling of contempt, contempt for the people that harmed the wonderful thing that is standing before you and then on to pity, as you pity them for feeling the need to vent their insecurities on something that somebody has spent many years mastering. Now I know you read that and have thought "where the hell did that come from" but that's the chord this track strikes in my head, and for it to give me such a vivid feeling/image it sits proud as best track on the CD.

"Tussentijd" fades straight in from the last track and opens with a low dark sound that sounds like some subterranean beast breathing just below. Again Matthew uses those strings so wonderfully to totally change the mood of the track, a mood which has changed from the feeling of sadness of the last one to the feeling of like hope for this one, like I have regained some new found urgency in my journey and I am looking forward to what lies ahead. Also in true Matthew style the track concludes with a short, heartfelt string piece that is over as quickly as it started making you think "did I really hear that?"

More collaborative goings on in this track as Erik T' Sas and Stan Linders join sides with Matthew Florianz to create a track of epic proportions. The curtain rises to what sounds like a tribal horn going off in the distance, which gets closer, as if I'm travelling towards it, until it engulfs me, taking me by the hand and drowning me in this sea of sound. The track progresses beautifully, using delightful pad swells and long ethereal string chords which again all rides on the crest of a droning wave, until the last remaining minute where the drone fades out and leaves just the remaining chord progressions again creating a feeling of awe. Which now brings me too the second best track on the CD. "Dwaallicht" is an example of beauty in simplicity. You wont find dramatic string chords or layers of orchestral textures, what you get is a trademark Matthew Florianz drone, pulsing and swelling along which is complimented by the fantastic shimmering synth that just stays in earshot and pans ever so slightly across the stereo-field. But the highlight of the track, is the angelic voice of Tatiana Brainerd that produces such a sense of floating I had to look down to make sure I wasn't actually coming off the ground. Her voice conjures up images of the beautiful site of the sun setting in the distance while the darkness shrouds the land in which I'm traversing in. A true light in the darkness, and I hope she becomes part of many more of Matthew projects.

As you can see I tried to summarise each track on the album to how I perceive them, and I understand that it wont be the same for everyone, but this is in my opinion the benchmark ambient album out now. GrijsGebied blows everything else out of the water and at the moment I think nothing will touch it for quite a while yet. I don't think I have ever heard an album with so much feeling in before and can produce so many vivid images into this listeners head, its the only album I currently own that brings goosebumps with every track and an album I can never see me getting bored of listening too as it caters for every mood. I can't stress enough how much you must buy this album, and at the time of writing this review there are a few Boxsets available to purchase which you must buy as you receive 2 extra CDs, one with all the tracks they couldn't fit onto the final cut of GrijsGebied and a data CD-ROM that gives you information of every person involved in this awesome project and also another huge selection of back catalogue tracks and unreleased tracks giving you a total of 3 hours of music, so if possible try to get hold of a boxset..but if not the "GrijsGebied" CD on its own is a most amazing purchase which any lover of ambient will lap up and in my opinion the album of the year, hey maybe even decade, so far.

stefan koopmanschap

This is the first official release by dutch ambient artist Matthew Florianz, and the first release by this new UK label, and it is simple amazing!

The best way probably to describe this cd, is as one big daydreamscape. While listening to the CD, you step out of the current world and step into a dreamworld created by the artist, but this dreamworld fills itself with images you yourself create.

I won't even try to describe the images I got. Mainly because I don't want to ruin the work of the artist and because I don't want to push my images into the mind of someone else. What I do want to say to people who like ambient in eno-esque forms, combined with dark ambient and new age, is: get this album.

john sherwood

The packaging for this box set is just astounding. I'm not going to spoil the surprise for anyone, but suffice to say it's made out of natural materials, and is entirely appropriate to the music, and the whole 'GrijsGebied' feeling. After 2 days of hesitation I opened it. I took so long because I didn't want to spoil this work of art. But I had to listen to the CD's so in the end I opened it up. And guess what? The inner packaging just left me speechless. Again entirely appropriate and very well done. Elegant in its simplicity, like all good art is.

So what about the music? Well, I haven't got as far as the second music CD and the data CD, so this review covers the actual 'GrijsGebied' music CD, which is the one that is available separately.

Now, after the previous 'Sprook EP' from Matthew, which is absolutely excellent, I was hoping for something special. The build-up and anticipation for GrijsGebied was like nothing I had experienced personally for a long time. I was not disappointed. Not in any way.

Again, though the CD consists of ten tracks, for me they are different views of a similar theme. In other word, they fit together very well, almost a 'concept' album, but in actual fact are more of a 'suite' to use an old musical term. I only know what a couple of the titles mean, so here's where I go into abstract descriptive mode.

And despite the continuous feeling of the whole album, here is a track-by-track review :

in het begin - this is the short opening track, and it perfectly sets the feeling for the rest of the album. Like in some huge ice church in the sky, celestial chords play in the clouds, preparing you for the journey ........

schaduwrijk - as the title might suggest, we now go straight into a light darkambient theme, if that makes any sense. Long measured chords, distant chimes, related frequencies that don't drone, they morph from one 'scene' to another, the overall effect being of moving in and out of shadows and lights.

genezijde - again as the title suggests, this is a collaboration with Gene Williams (Mindspawn) and this track is a subtle essay in variant sounds and restrained sequences. After a brief pads introduction, the distant drones and long cymbals typical of Mindspawn begin to take over. This merges in perfectly with the track, which combines the best elements of both artists, in a quiet and restrained way.

dageraad - starting in a similar way to the way the last track ended (joining them would be good) but this time it's Matthew and Stan Linders. Slowly and quietly evolving, carefully placed harmonic sounds, long notes rather than drones, weave a subtle pattern. Almost getting rhythmic towards the end, but it's done with delay times, not with a sequence, and fits perfectly. If anything I would have liked the last section to have continued and developed, but just that's me, and Matthew is a lot more careful .....

glaswind - very very ambient, lots of resonant glass-tones and faintly detuned discordances, a tone-poem bringing up images of caves of ice, cold winds cutting through the ice-pinnacles, dangling glassy ice-needles glinting in the arctic sun. Very abstract, and very beautiful. Mysterious chords fade into the background, like the sun rising, or setting, over the snowscape.

maalstroom - and a storm is exactly what it is. But this is no wild and crazy noise-fest, it is the most considered and gradual build-up, like a slowly approaching snow-storm, getting closer and louder and more active. Again this could easily have been joined onto the previous track. This is the most carefully built maelstrom ever, so interesting, so musical. The snowstorm blows in across our arctic landscape, covering over everything with its whiteness, then all is calm.

nakalm - of all the tracks on this CD, this one reminds me most of the Matthew/Gene set at Ekko. I can almost see the visuals again. Whether this was played there or not, that's what I get. To me this seems to be the start of the final phase of the album. Quite a long track, starting off with a haunting and slowly played note sequence, then gradually morphing into a tone-sequence of breathtaking ambience. And just when you think it is fading away, it comes back with a quiet crescendo, gradually dissolving as the original note sequence plays quietly in the background. Astonishingly constructed and absolutely jaw-dropping beautiful.

tussentijd - another gently changing soundscape, with a slightly warmer feeling this time. Continues the feeling set up in the previous track, and basically creates an ambient pool of subtle sounds that take you into an introspective pause.

nun - this seems again to be able to continue the last track, but developing the feeling created there. More sounds and long notes come into the foreground, slowly changing and very evocative. Rising and falling, moving and drifting, resonant and forward, echoey and distant, it's all in here. But you move so gradually as it swells and recedes, like the wind blowing gently in the upper reaches of a tall tree, gradually moving the branches back and forth.

dwaallicht - well, he really saved the best until last. Just when you thought that it couldn't get any better, here comes the piece de resistance. Featuring the haunting wordless vocals of Tatiana Brainerd. I had the pleasure of meeting Tatiana at Ekko, and this final track is actually a sort of musical portrait of her. Continuing from the previous track, it gradually builds from a wispy ambient drifting windscape, as layers of long note chords fade in slowly. And then the vocals come in, very very gently, almost without being noticed. Matching the slowly changing backdrop of ethereal sounds, this is truly heavenly. The longest track on the album, and you just want it to go on forever. Words can not really express enough. Suffice to say that this is quite easily the best track I have ever heard in my life. That's all.

Nice to see lots of pictures on the jewel insert, including some shots from the legendary September 22 festival. I had the priviledge of appearing at that event, in fact I was sandwiched on stage in between Matthew and Gene (you can just see my laptop almost obscuring Matthew in one of the photos). This was both Matthew's and my first live appearance, and Gene gave us both valuable encouragement which enabled us to play. I am sure that it was from that event that Matthew gained such a lot of confidence in his own ability, that enabled him to complete GrijsGebied.

This CD and the box set is released by H/S Recordings and this being an example of their work, they are surely destined for major success. The care and attention put into this product puts the major labels to shame. How they are going to follow this I just don't know.

Congrats to Matthew, Darren, and everybody else involved in this project.

A pinnacle has been reached.