by Phil Derby, Electroambient Space
If you liked IMMERSION: ONE, it is no stretch of the imagination to virtually assure that you will like volume two in the series. And if the title "Artifact Ghost" sounds familiar to fans, it should -- a shorter version appeared on TEXTURE MAPS. And in another cross-reference, the beautiful violet and teal cover art is courtesy of John Vega, whose trend-defying graphics appear on Steve's KAIROS DVD. While the first in the Immersion series was quite minimal, a sort of softly undulating white noise almost, this one has just a bit more going on. Oh, there's still no discernible melody and no rhythm to speak of, but there are more shadings in the depth of the various sonic textures -- some are deep and resonant, others are feather-light wisps of sound, all gently rolled into one delicate decanter. Though familiar musical phrasings meander throughout, subtle and yet distinctive changes do occur. Sometimes dark drones slowly roll in like thunder, at other times the sound plays more like slender intertwining tendrils. And while this ghost definitely has a haunting quality about it, there is considerable warmth as well. Another one to immerse yourself in as we look forward to volume three.