Ambient Bliss: John Puchiele Ensemble – “Life Cycle”

jpe lc

Artist: John Puchiele Ensemble

Title: Life Cycle

Released: 2013

Label: Antediluvian Records

Format: CD, Digital

Genre: ambient, modern classical

On the back panel of the CD, we’re given the short description, “… this recording is an ambient, orchestral sound allegory for the life cycle.”  With track titles like “First Steps,” “Thinking,” “The Big Sky,” and “N.D.E.” one can see this theme rather clearly.  The music reflects this with deep, atmospheric arrangements of synth, strings, piano and textured vocal choruses.

The music reminds me a bit of Eno, Rich, maybe a bit of Glass, a dash of Biosphere and a hint of Moby’s deepest ambient side.  At times, the melodies and layering are simple, light and gentle.  Other times, things pile up, thicken and rise into a loud chorus of sound.  It’s an interesting series of gentle and rolling movements that make this a very good piece to meditate to, contemplate to and perhaps, ponder the meaning of life to.

The album as a whole does well to keep things together and each track also works brilliantly as a standalone piece.  I appreciate and enjoy the mixture of acoustic and un-textured piano pieces as well as the soothing waves of the strings and synth.  I feel that the two styles work well to bring the organic and the synthetic flawlessly together to create a soundtrack to the cycle of life.

After spinning this disc, I am looking forward to hearing more from Puchiele.  I think this was a great album to kick off the summer with for our Ambient Bliss series.  Check this album out!

(4.8 out of 5)

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About Nick H.

I'm a geek for music whether it be on vinyl, CD, 78 or whatever. My goal is to sniff out the greated music on Earth, specializing in the obscure. I make music myself as well, mostly ambient and sound collage (1 album out and a few remixes so far). I work full time as a professional mascot (it pays the pills) but will soon retire, i hope.
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