Released via InsideOutMusic, Riverside’s ‘Eye Of The Soundscape’ is described by the band as a complementary instrumental album including 13 experimental and highly atmospheric compositions, which showcase their ambient electronic side. Review and photos by Tim Darbyshire.
Warsaw based Riverside’s ‘Eye Of The Soundscape’ is a double cd consisting entirely of instrumental pieces recorded over the last few years. Although this release was already in the planning stages before the untimely death of Piotr Grudzinski in February 2016, it now represents a poignant send off to the band’s much missed guitarist.
‘Eye Of The Soundscape’ is the band’s seventh album and contains over 100 minutes of often ambient music spread over two discs. In truth, Riverside fans who already have the band’s cds are only getting four new tracks (around 35 minutes worth). The new tracks are ‘Where The River Flows’, ‘Shine’, ‘Sleepwalkers’ and ‘Eye Of The Soundscape’.
All the tracks from the limited edition bonus cds of ‘Love, Fear And The Time Machine’, and ‘Shrine Of New Generation Slaves’ are included here, and the collection is completed by two 2016 versions of songs from the ‘Rapid Eye Movement’ album. (‘Rapid Eye Movement’ and ‘Rainbow Trip’).
There’s plenty of variety contained in these instrumentals, ranging from the out and out ambient drift of ‘Eye Of The Soundscape’ to the upbeat ‘Machines’. ‘Night Session – Part Two’ has a lonesome sax accompanied by an offbeat drum pattern, and ‘Promise’ is a gentle acoustic guitar dominated piece. ‘Sleepwalkers’ is soft techno with an inquisitive synth melody and ‘Rainbow Trip’ is delightfully mellow – the track ‘Where The River Flows’ is included below and gives a fairly good indication of what this release is all about.
‘Eye Of The Soundscape’ should be seen as a bridge between the first six Riverside albums and the next studio release. Taken at face value, this is a smooth compilation of (mostly) relaxed instrumentals with unobtrusive drum beats pinning the music. If this is your introduction to Riverside, I’d recommend you check out the last two cds, 2015’s ‘Love, Fear And The Time Machine’ and 2013’s ‘Shrine Of New Generation Slaves’
The loss of guitarist Piotr Grudzinski might have reduced Riverside to three members, but the good news is they are committed to carrying on as a three-piece, with a live guitarist to be added for gigs. Two shows have already been announced in their native Poland for 25th and 26th February 2017 – marking the anniversary of Grudzinski’s death.
More details can be found at Riverside’s website.
1. Where The River Flows (10:53)
2. Shine (04:09)
3. Rapid Eye Movement (2016 Mix) (12:40)
4. Night Session – Part One (10:40)
5. Night Session – Part Two (11:35)
1. Sleepwalkers (07:19)
2. Rainbow Trip (2016 Mix) (06:19)
3. Heavenland (04:59)
4. Return (6:50)
5. Aether (08:43)
6. Machines (03:53)
7. Promise (02:44)
8. Eye Of The Soundscape (11:30)