Search - Robert Rich :: Numena / Geometry

Numena / Geometry
Robert Rich
Numena / Geometry
Genres: Dance & Electronic, New Age, Pop, Rock
  •  Track Listings (4) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (8) - Disc #2

This double-CD reissue of two early Rich albums make good companion pieces. One can hear the seeds being lain for the organic Rainforest two earlier in 1987's Numena. It was also the first album in which he explored the tu...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Robert Rich
Title: Numena / Geometry
Members Wishing: 5
Total Copies: 0
Label: Hearts of Space
Original Release Date: 5/20/1997
Release Date: 5/20/1997
Genres: Dance & Electronic, New Age, Pop, Rock
Styles: Ambient, Electronica, World Dance, Meditation, Progressive, Electronic
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaCD Credits: 2
UPC: 025041107723

Synopsis essential recording
This double-CD reissue of two early Rich albums make good companion pieces. One can hear the seeds being lain for the organic Rainforest two earlier in 1987's Numena. It was also the first album in which he explored the tuning system of just intonation, which is based upon whole numbered ratios between frequencies. The album opens with "The Other Side of Twilight," a beautiful epic track balancing animated sequencer lines and sustained, slow motion keyboards in an aural ballet where each takes turns dominating the mix. Meanwhile "Moss Dance" takes an earthier approach with its intense interplay of mallet kalimba, flute, and synth washes. This four-song album shows that even in his early days, Rich had already begun solidifying his personal sound and style. Recorded over one year later, Geometry was inspired by the mathematical relationships between the notes in just intonation. There are three main types of compositions here--droning atmospheres, percolating ethnoambient works, and electronic pieces intertwining layers of sequenced melodies and rhythms in mind-boggling ways. Rather than set his sequencers on stun with rigid rhythms on these latter cuts, he mixes ever-changing programmed polyrhythms with live keyboard playing in beguiling ways, steadfastly proving that electronic musicians can be far more than pedestrian knob-twiddlers. As a twosome, Numena and Geometry represent a sort of yin and yang amongst the Rich oeuvre, and paired together they are truly revelatory. --Bryan Reesman

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CD Reviews

Simply in awe
George a Pletz | Central PA, USA | 11/03/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I hesitated to buy this for a long time. I was exposed to Rich's heady brew of ambient by work such as Seven Veils and, his collaboration with Steve Roach, Soma. I was concerned that the early material would sound too dated in comparison. But after tracking through awesome works like Troubled Resting Place and Propogation, I figured why not. And I am so thankful I did.And yes it does sound slightly dated sonicly speaking. But all that becomes meaningless when confronted with the sheer scope and creativity embedded in these tracks. As someone has said already, Numena is the warmer on the two with Geometry specializing in the classically beautiful symmetry that its name intimates. This said both albums mix organic instrumentation like occarinas and flutes into a concoction that is far than go nowhere new age - there is dramatic tension here, there is enigmatic texture here,there is cathartic resolution here.The two discs are bound splendidly. As perfect compliments to one another, this set will be in heavy rotation. Especially when I need to work at the computer or simply trance out in the dark before falling sleep. I can't think of a better place to enter into Robert Rich's soundworlds. I could live in this music. And I plan to."
Brilliant and sublime
Michael Paulsen | Rancho Santa Margarita, CA USA | 04/23/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"These two albums together comprise of some of Robert Rich's very best work. "Numena" is perhaps my all-time favorite of his, and "Geometry" lives up to its name in musical form. Both albums utilize a technique called "just intonation", which involves tone intervals with whole-numbered ratios ... very pleasing to the ears.I practically wore out my original copy of "Numena" playing "The Other Side of Twilight" -- a beautiful, evolving dreamlike piece which opens with gong-like tones in jungle ambience and swells to Tangerine-Dream-like appeggiated fireworks and then settles back into tranquility. The remaining 3 tracks from "Numena" are dark and haunting yet strangely alluring. "Geometry" is more "spirited" with intriguing arpeggiated pieces that flitter like the Penrose tiles, Muslim designs or Fibonacci sequences that they conjure up. Other tracks are gentle and mesmerising, suggesting the long arcs of circles or the organics of water.This is some of the most profound and intelligent electronic-instrumental music you'll ever hear."
What's 'glurp'?
E. Roberts | Canton, MI United States | 09/25/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"i'm new to this type of music. the closest thing i have that compares to Robert Rich is 'lift yr. skinny fists like antennas to heaven' by Godspeed You Black Emperor!!. that album is pretty cool, but Robert Rich is in a league of his own compared to them. These two cds complement each other extremely well. in Numena, the music flows like water. it's beautiful ambiance, gentle sounds of nature mixed with soft tribal instruments and bamboo flutes to create a serene atmostphere that sets you at ease. the music slowly builds(and i do mean slowly) and never really gets moving, but it's not supposed to because it's all ambiance.On Geometry, the music uses more instruments than sounds of running water, birds and other types of ambiance, it's a lot more mathematical in structure too, like Rich describes in the liner notes. On the whole though, this album accomplishes much the same thing as Numena in putting you into a relaxed state of mind. Listening to these albums creates the great feeling you get when you're in a deep sleep, that feeling of goodness you get when you're well rested. This is the that feeling turned into a sonic experience. The music builds up and grows on you, and can require patience in listening but I guess that if you're reading this, you already knew that. It's too bad I can't think of more adjectives to describe 50/70 minutes of pure peace of mind.. great stuff. I believe I've found a new level of intelligence in music."