review

Tim Larkin – “Uru Music” Review

Tim Larkin’s music is filled with such ambient wonder, sometimes you get completely lost. This makes ideal music for series such as Myst. With “Uru Music”, Tim Larkin gives us a complete landscape of beauty to our ears.

“Atrus Open” is a spoken passage which ends with a climatic little flicker of string arrangement before the real music starts. “Beyond Gira” then takes us to the ambient outdoors with a surreal mixture of vocal layering, didgeridoo’s, desert percussion and distorted animal callings. The whole sound is organic with little digital nuances throughout and is very cleverly thoughtout. The song doesn’t grab you in terms of hooks and riffs, it just calmly sweeps you away on a journey.

“Out of The Hive” is up-tempo and exotic in its flavours and instruments. It seeps into your ears and I often find myself jigging in my seat to this one – quite a typical jungle song if you like. “Badlands” then brings the more digital electronic side to the fore with some fun eastern bass/percussion merging while the main tune is once again a pretty woodwind lead before string elements come in for the climax. “Gallery Theme” has what sounds like the previous songs bass/percussion only slowed down and muted to a soaring female vocal before she is accompanied by soft but saddened keyboards. It sounds very much like an Enya/Clannad piece actually, which is no bad thing.

“Air Stream” then brings acoustic guitar to the front with a country western inspired piece which is nice to relax to before “Yeesha’s Theme” takes you on a calm but not entirely settled ambient piece. The balance of the beautiful and the unnerving is particularly well done here and the song never stays still, a tribute to Tim Larkin there.

“Convergence” again finds itself in a similar aboriginal vein thanks to the tuned percussion (marimba’s, barafones etc) with another meditative jungle theme, which is showcased again in “The Well” before “Spore Me” gives us an ambience made entirely from keyboard pads, ala ambience of Final Fantasy X.

“Baron’s Theme” is one of echoes and tension. It doesn’t really grab you as a hooked song, as none of this soundtrack really has any major hooks, however it is haunting and well performed and falls seamlessly into “The Library” which is another nice if uneventful ambience piece.

“The Vault” is a 6 minute epic though, bringing out the percussive bongos, electronic snippets and all kinds of woodwind fun for a seamless journey off to somewhere baron yet full of wonder.

“Trailer Music” actually gives us the biggest music probably of the soundtrack in terms of pacing and drama as it works just like a trailer should. Its a very cinematic piece that borrows a bit from everything before it and rounds off with a nice climax. “Fall of D’Ni” is very much discorded ambience before “The Bahro” gives us deep ritual male vocal basslines and creepy moans of drums. There is a “Bonus Track” too which is possibly the most percussive track for a while which fades in and out quite happily.

“Uru Music” works best as a whole piece I think. It’s very much like the “Ico” soundtrack in that its beauty may well completely miss you if its not your kind of CD. While perhaps not as hypnotic as the “ICO OST”, it’s ambience is from a different perspective, not to confuse and ghostly warp, but to provide dead wasteland ambience of the unknown and it achieves that with great success. I would recommend this soundtrack to fans of ambience and also fans of the more laid back jungle themes they’ve heard before. It’s quite understated but a unique and pleasant experience nonetheless.

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