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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

CRAIG PADILLA & ZERO OHMS: Path of Least Resistance (2005)

Updated: Jan 26, 2021

This is a solid album which sails between the meanders of a cosmic ambient music and smooth rhythms of a rather enigmatic Berlin School

1 Leaving this Shadow of Heaven 12:17

2 The Everything that is no Thing 8:42

3 Hollow Dreams of Worlds Passed 8:11

4 Realizing the Infinite 4:42

5 Frequencies (of Life) 10:55

6 The One 8:40

7 Path of Least Resistance 8:19

(CD 61:51) (V.F.)

(Dark ambient music with a zest of Berlin School)

Craig Padillaand Zero Ohms is sum of the artistic meeting between a synthesist who can play as much as finesse than of power and a flutist of national fame who unite their visions for the pleasure of the sounds, the senses and of our ears. And that begins with a fine and somber humming which opens Leaving this Shadow of Heaven, a little like a forsaken cello which caresses the strings of its solitude. Tears, crystalline cries spring out of this enigmatic union while the delicate and very dreamlike synth of Craig Padilla follows this astral procession built on those continuous hummings. Seraphic choirs try to pierce this opaque fog, bringing a more ethereal sound vision to this long track which will bring us to the borders of the very dark and the very atmospherical universe of PATH OF LEAST RESISTANCE. The magic, the very delicate dexterity of Padilla spreads its charms with solos which contort and sing such as violins without souls, counterbalancing the enormous weight of solitude, of abyssal vastness which is the finale of Leaving this Shadow of Heaven. Its ashes extend on the borders of The Everything that is no Thing, where, of this silence with a spatial coolness, escape the first sequenced pulsations of Craig Padilla. They resound and shape a heavy pulsatory rhythm. An ambient rhythm however, so much the atmospheres and the blackness are dense, which goes up and comes down in a motionless movement decorated with undulatory strata, with cosmic sound effects and with beautiful twisted solos. Fluty solos which become soft evanescent harmonies while the sequences click like clogs on an astral pavement, so drawing a kind of staircase which leads us towards the nothingness of Hollow Dreams of Worlds Passed. The breaths, I would say even the mooings, of the cosmos are intimidating. Heavy, hollow and somber, they channel a negative energy that even the galactic choir of sirens, as so soft and dreamlike it is, does not succeed to calm. But there are fine strands, breezes of the synth which nuance the influence of the darkness which increases all the same with continual hummings. Hummings which move into crystalline waves on Realizing tea infinity, an intense and ambient title where the lines of synth take forms of spectral songs.

Frequencies (of Life) bears proudly its ambiospherical moments with interstellar chirping which shine in a fusion of dark waves and synth lines of a little more translucent. Lines which throw rays of light in a very dark universe. It's even very cosmic, a little bit without life, with heavy hummings which push knock down the chirpings of the synth and the metallic wings which spin and forge an incomplete rhythm. A little as scatterbrained fires in captivity. A structure of rhythm, interspersed by heavy ambiences, which goes and comes in the black passivity of these cosmic vibrations which loops its arhyrmic odyssey in the charms of its intro. On a movement of a sequencer with keys jumping of energy, The One pounds on the undulatory curves of the cosmic spirals. It's a good Berlin School, a big cosmic rock tinted with a very sibylline approach which goes on a heavy and resonant rhythm and which makes sputter its keys in a mesmerizing cosmic pattern. The title-track is as much mesmerizing as improbable. To say the least, when we look from whom it comes. It's a superb ambient ballad with a very melodious approach tied to a kind of Tablas percussions which drum a delicate ambient rhythm decorated with a charming flute. It's beautiful, soft and rather moving. It's between the New Age, Berlin School and a very meditative music.

Heavy with threatening drones but strangely beautiful, slow and rhythmical, mysterious and harmonious; PATH OF LEAST RESISTANCE is a strong album which navigates between the meanders of an ambient music, fed by the mysteries of the cosmos, and the ambient rhythms of a rather enigmatic Berlin School. If at times there are lengths, in particular with the opening track, PATH OF LEAST RESISTANCE blows up in our faces from its 13th minute. Craig Padilla and Zero Ohms merge their styles with their fanciful vision where everything fits together in order to plunge the listener into a rather dark but somehow harmonious heterogeneous universe. A beautiful album where the fans of EM, both Berlin School and ambient, are going to savor by going from surprise to surprise. The signature of something good!

Sylvain Lupari (April 2nd, 2015) *****

Available at Spotted Peccary Bandcamp

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