Crown of Eternity – Dream Architecture
2.28.17 by Scott Scholz
If you’re already familiar with Inner Islands, you’re probably well aware that the label is a sure bet for aural excursions into tranquility and redemption. With a serene discography including Ki Oni, Stag Hare, and Kyle Landstra, I get a tinge of joyous calm just hearing about any new arrivals on the Island. While it’s hard to pick favorites in this lush catalog, it may be fair to say that their latest, Crown of Eternity’s “Dream Architecture,” is an archetypally perfect album for the label. The perfect sonic respite for whatever might be ailing you, or an excellent sonic meditation session to focus your energy if you’re already feeling fly, this tape is a next-level deep listening experience.
Crown of Eternity is the long-running duo project of Gallina and Mike Tamburo, multi-instrumentalists whose work and training unites musical pursuits with the healing arts. Mike has been featured on Inner Islands before, dropping the heavy-meditation double cassette “Presence” back in 2013. You might also recognize his wild jams under the Brother Ong moniker –I’d highly recommend his “Deep Water Creation” on Deep Water Acres, full of ripping shahi baaja loops through guitar effects. The Tamburos have a gift for coaxing warm, inviting music out of any instrument, and while much of their work has focused on strings, “Dream Architecture” is an impassioned exploration of metal percussion. Gongs, chimes, bells and bowls come together here toward the creation of a listening experience that soothes both body and mind.
“Dream Architecture” aspires to a transcendence that’s better felt than described musically. Centered around 11 gongs and over 60 supplementary instruments, these pieces occasionally get really dense to powerful effect, such as the middle sections of the title track. However, most of the album works with open spaces and subdued volumes, allowing the listener an intimate window into the rich harmonic potential of these ancient instruments. The recording itself is beautifully produced, too: cassettes aren’t always about low-fi, friends. If you fire up your best deck through your biggest speakers, you can lay down and really feel like you’re in the middle of this recording in progress, and I think you’ll find that it’s an empowering place to be.
Crown of Eternity is the real deal–with training in yoga, body harmonics, and sound massage, this tape may prove to be just as useful in your medicine cabinet as your cassette shelving. These likely won’t last long, so be sure to grip one from Inner Islands while you can. And perhaps even better, folks all over America have a chance to experience some Dream Architecture in person: check out these tour dates, and show the Tamburo family some love as they bring their beautiful ceremonies-in-metal on the road.