Any album that results through the exchange of CDRs is usually best avoided as it leads, in most cases to a monotonous experience lacking in dynamics or variation. That's certainly not the case here as these two geographically disparate artists (Adrian lives in New Zealand, Boots in The Netherlands) have combined to create an album which will easily satisfy any ambient cravings you might have.
The expertise and experience that these two musicians have gained over the years is put to good use throughout with each track perfectly evoking it's title in the listener's head. The gently swelling chords which open "Deep Within Forbidden Mountains" in unison with ethnic flutes and the sound of thunder are perfect for bringing pictures to life within the head of the listener as do the touching piano notes that herald "The Morning Dew". Close your eyes (like any good ambient album this is best experienced late at night in a darkened room, preferably with headphones) and you can easily picture the sun peeping over the horizon as the flowers open to welcome the new day, likewise the birdsong and isolated piano notes that open "Fields In Evening Light" perfectly reflect the end of the day. The rhythmic colouring adds a more optimistic feel although the underlying changes are very subtly done which is an important but often overlooked part when composing music that is tranquil yet compelling. This is something the two musicians achieve with ease time and time again with "Moonrise" and "Night Sky" hinting at the mystery of the night, the latter with a smattering of ethnic percussive colouring while the plaintive lament of "Ancenstral Graves" ably evokes memories of those long gone. While it's true that the explicit titles used here do explain the influences behind each piece it's a fair bet that the effect would be the same even if they were absent. The muggy, slightly indistinct chords of the closing "Papanui Lagoon", as another example or the birdsong that opens the title track (a small but nevertheless important contribution) could never fail to evoke the mind pictures that they do.
This tranquility is broken somewhat abruptly by the ethnic percussion of "Forgotten Islands Rediscovered" and here it's very much a "Mutiny On The Bounty" feel with just the slightest hint of menace. Peace is soon restored during "Under A Sheltering Sky" where an underlying tone that is rich and warm provides the basis for a soundscape that is forever changing gently and subtly, like an artist mixing colours on his pallette creating a host of different tones.
Where Ron Boots and Rudy Adrian succeed where so many others have fallen is in their expert use of appropriate sounds, both synthetic and sampled which is why in this case the phrase 'Picture Music' has never seemed more appropriate.
Artist Link: http://www.groove.nl