Music Reviews

Artist: Paul H. Muller (@)
Title: Dark Sunset
Format: CDS (CD Single)
Label: Ventura Contemporary Music (@)
Distributor: Ventura Contemporary Music
Rated: *****
No, this is not the same Paul H. Müller who synthesized dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT), although it would have been interesting if it was, since that Paul H. Müller as the first person to win a Nobel Prize for Medicine or Physiology who was not a medical doctor. This Paul H. Muller however writes contemporary music for church services and also instrumental and ambient electronic works. His main influences have been JS Bach, Steve Reich, Richard Lainhart and James Ross. There is nothing 'churchy' on 'Dark Sunset' though, unless you consider ambient drone good music for spiritual reflection, which I suppose it can be. This is what I would call 'Light Ambient' (as opposed to 'Dark Ambient') the kind of stuff pioneered by Brian Eno and Vidna Obmana.

The textures here are smooth in Muller's music; you won't find any sonic disruptions, just shifting minimalist soundscapes. It works wonderfully well as background music for contemplation and perhaps even concentration. I played it at my bookstore (and continue to do so) and get inquisitive compliments every time from customers. There is tone and timbral variety from track to track, as well as intensity, but the music tends to remain consistent during the course of each track. While some might consider Muller's uplifting ambient style New Agey, I would say that it transcends that in that it bows to no 'New Age' conventions. For some reason, my favorite track was 'Ambient Study #2,' perhaps because there was a touch of melancholy in it. All of the tracks however are texturally rich, and best played at a low volume. If you're looking for some meditative music without disparate elements that might also be inspiring, 'Dark Sunset is as good choice.

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