by eyes cast down on April 28, 2011
I think Max Corbacho is driven by a love of life’s great mysteries. His music is fully informed and animated by this, by (as I’m hearing it) a quest for something transcendent, something far beyond our conventional, mundane states of being. I believe that, in this respect, Max is a kindred spirit to Lucette Bourdin, whom I recently featured here. In its feeling of reverence, its quest for purity, Max’s music often reminds me of Steve Roach’s magnus opus, Mystic Chords & Sacred Spaces.
Max recently re-released his second album, Far Beyond the Immobile Point, originally released in 2000. Two key features of this new, remastered version are (1) Max was able to segue all the tracks together, so we get to enjoy it as an unbroken flow, and (2) two bonus tracks. This all-synth, beatless, deep-ambient album now includes nine pieces, totaling nearly 75 minutes.
Any one of Max’s albums is evidence enough of his talent, commitment and maturity as an artist. Even this early in his career, Max’s sound-sculpting skills are clear, and goosebump-exciting to hear.
Primigenial Frontier is an ideal opener, capturing the entire album’s essence. It’s far away and vast, soothing and chilling. Everything is strangely illuminated, deep and still. A boundless intelligence, patient and probing, is suggested. “Primigenial” means firstborn, original, primary – and this feels just like that. We’re on the threshold of the unknown (and perhaps unknowable). It’s not even drift – this is a mesmerizing standstill. “Tantalizing” is the best word I can conjure for it. One just wants to behold this, with no need to move or look elsewhere.
Our journey proceeds through the unnerving, yet tempting Predawn Darkness, with its ominous, tectonic roars, to The Threshold, which can be a gateway to whatever the listener dares. Mystery, knowledge and the great power that comes with it, are all beckoning.
Soundless Sign is enigmatic and still, a mystic vision of expansion and depth. The bass sounds like our frame of reference dropping off below, as spacetime flies away from us in all directions.
This all brings us to the title track, by far the album’s longest piece at over 23 minutes. A wonderful glassy, shimmering and chiming, over a thrilling depth. Glorious, luminous chords slowly flying past. We have travelled a long way – where are we? Look within for the answer.
Delightful bursts of living light dispel the murk; exhilarating and sobering. There is so much we don’t know and cannot know, so much we can’t even imagine, but how can that matter when we are given so much? Our vision – our sense of what is possible, despite so much unknowable – is expanding. The final few minutes settle us right here, in an unimaginable fertile vastness, as we reconcile with that unknown.
The two bonus tracks, which conclude the album, both have striking titles. Ancient Transition instills a sense of eons past. What changed, and what of the ancient ways was lost in transition? Hundred Miles of Emptiness is calm, but not serene – still, but foreboding. Mysteries remain, and there is no presumption of answers here.
Far Beyond the Immobile Point is thrilling, ecstatic, beautiful and joyous to hear. Highly recommended!