released February 17, 2023
Written and produced by zakè, James Bernard, and Markus Guentner
Mixed and Mastered at Ambient Mountain House by James Bernard
Photography by Benoît Pioulard
Layout and design by zakè
©℗ 2023 Zakè Drone Recordings
This is ZD-023 | MMXXIII
"What more could you ask for than three highly respected masters of ambient sound coming together to create a pièce de résistance of aural brilliance? PITP and ZDR does it again; this time combining an incredible 'trio de force' consisting of zakè, Markus Guentner, and James Bernard.
Introducing 'Pyramiden'; a declaration of ambient excellence that will no doubt be held with the highest regards for generations to come. These eight arrangements take the listener on a journey to the most remote places, finding comfort in the beauty of stillness, awe-inspiring landscapes, and illuminated nights of wonder.
The tracklist may suggest a cold, lonely affair with titles such as, 'Polar Night', 'Seafrost', and 'Arctic Choir' but it is quite the contrary. Even in the coldest of times and places, warmth has its place and purpose. Warmth in this case could quite possibly be hope. An incredible array of textures and layers permeate throughout Pyramiden with impeccable beauty and pure resonance.."
"zakè, James Bernard and Markus Guentner build a cascading and overwhelmingly beautiful record that combines the zen of the best ambient/new age music along with the “Big Sky” openness of post-rock bands like Explosions in The Sky and This Will Destroy You.
You get songs with chilly names like “Polar Night”, “Seafrost”, and “Arctic Choir” – and there is a sort of vast arctic blue hue to these songs – but it lacks even a hint of desolation. I can imagine listening to something like “Assembly of Light” under blankets of blackness and stars as the aurora borealis dances high above my head. It’s a sonically spectacular album that never once takes for granted the ears listening in."
"With one representative of a past generation of Electronic Listening Music mavens, James Bernard, already brought into the PITP-affiliated Zakè Drone fold, zakè adds another in Ambient DroneMeister Markus Guentner for the latest in this Now Voyager‘s series of (inter-)stellar outings under his curation, Pyramiden.
Igloo-perusers may recall coverage of the previous collaborations of self-styled ‘healing sound propagandist,’ Zach Frizzell (aka zakè)—viz. syntheticopia, with kindred synth-spirit, ossa, which envisaged our curator and his trusty assistant as flight personnel on a new mission to collect and study the sound origins of the cosmos, and Stasis Sounds For Long-Distance Space Travel with UK ambienteer, 36, a field recording-infused “extended hypersleep program” inspired by nostalgia for an imagined forsaken world. While the chilly optics of Pyramiden‘s titles (viz. “Polar Night,” “Seafrost,” and “Arctic Choir”) may have you shivering in anticipation, any potential cold pricklies dissolve on entry to the sound world created by our Ambient Drone ‘supergroup,’ as its expansive tracts, eight in total, cumulatively evoke a beauteous tepor via a drone-drift soundscaping prowess at once luminous and caliginous.
A dialogue is set up between the cadence of ambient drone and the cascade of post-rock (rock sublimated) with an array of textures and strata perfused in a kind of slo-mo wide-sky outfolding. It effectively puts past inside the present in musical motion, affording psychoactive teleportation to temporo-spatial elsewhereness."