Aug 2011 09

Aaron Martin - Night Erased Them All
Aaron Martin
Category: Ambient / Electronic
Album: Night Erased Them All
Stars: 4
Blurb: A medley of gorgeous soundscapes and soothing movements.


A review for ReGen Magazine – and, in fairness, any respectable review – ought to have a significant level of objectivity. Everyone has a subjective opinion about everything; therefore the objective review truly captures the talent and skill present in an album. Aaron Martin’s Night Erased Them All, however, defies the typical review structure for the simple reason that it stirs too much subjective emotion to be justified through an objective lens.

One could analyze the technical aspect of Aaron Martin’s work: his skillful use of panning and frequency manipulation to carve out entire sections of sound for various instruments; his talent for strings (cello in particular) that blend classical training with contemporary modes; the synthesizing of this classical element with a solid electronic/ambient background. All of these Aaron Martin executes masterfully, making him, by far, one of the more skilled artists in the ambient arena, treading slightly into the drone category (and cleaning up there) as well. But to truly capture Martin’s work, one must embrace the subjective, emotional element that is stirred by Martin’s music: the natural heartbeat pulse of sound that emanates through the bass of “Limb Study,” underlining the coupling of smooth strings and biting electronics that swell into majestic highs and subtle lows. The piece moves through modes with ease, transitioning from natural to melodic minor and back again.

The sheer beauty of “Limb Study” is outstanding. It is also, in some regards, a drawback to the album as a whole as the follow-up track “Kept Ashes” cannot fully match its splendor. It does, however, try its hardest. Beginning with a seamless transition from the previous track, “Kept Ashes” cuts smooth and calming chants through a crashing wall of sound, the music cresting and falling like ocean waves. “Kept Ashes” continues the polymodal trend, as well as the solid blend of organic and electronic instrumentation (though “Kept Ashes” treads more electronic, as “Limb Study” treads more organic).

In this writer’s opinion, there are very few artists in this genre who can match the beauty and grace that Aaron Martin has produced. If one track had not eclipsed the other, if the two pieces could equally match each other, then this two-track album could possibly be the best album of this year.
Track list:

  1. Limb Study
  2. Kept Ashes

Aaron Martin MySpace
Sonic Meditations Website
Sonic Meditations Facebook
Zak Vaudo (Chaostar)

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