Csillagköd: All the Time
Spotted Peccary Music

Being Hungarian for “Nebula,” Csillagköd is a fitting choice of moniker for the kind of interstellar soundscaping Olivér Dombi calls forth from his Transylvania home base. An ambient sound designer of the first order, Dombi brings a bent for cosmological contemplation to his music-making, which began in 2001 at the ripe old age of twenty-one. Consistent with the album title, his philosophical view is that when viewed from the vantage point of eternity, concepts such as space and time become meaningless and thus “everything is happening at the same time, all the time.”

On this second full-length effort for Spotted Peccary (Silent World the first), the Transylvanian cybernaut uses synthesizers and programming to fashion a sixty-five-minute exploration of the galaxial spheres that veritably oozes wonder and awe. In ten electronic music settings awash in epic expanses, All The Time ranges between serenading sequences of peaceful quietude and occasional moments of turbulence, and the listener is made to feel as if he/she is witnessing breathtaking vistas of immense magnitude as the voyage continues. In one sequence, rumblings emanate ominously and ethereal tones echo; during another, bright synthesizer melodies strike querulous poses alongside shimmering washes and rhythmic pulsations. The mystery and majesty of deep space are evoked by the haunting stillness of “Long Far Distant” and muted gleam of “Cosmic Ocean,” and as we go deeper into the recording, its material seems to grow quieter, more ethereal.

Still, as accomplished on compositional and production grounds as it clearly is, All The Time doesn't add anything radically new to the space ambient equation that hasn't been done or heard before. That being said, what it lacks in innovation, it makes up for in craft. For those with an insatiable lust for the genre, Dombi's outing is as solid a collection of deep space ambient as one might hope to find.

May 2016