Stephen Philips Reflections in Water

Stephen Philips has been a proponent of underground space ambient music for several years, releasing his own material along with that of others on his label, Dark Duck Records. The sounds on Reflections in Water tend to be dark, spacious and brooding - apt to soundtrack remote desolate wintry wastelands in twilight. To those familiar with the ambient genre, one could liken the sounds of Philips to Thomas Koner at his most ambient or Steve Roach, but Philips has his own distinctive style. Interspersed throughout the CD are sounds of running water, in keeping with the theme of the title with rich layers of synthesiser sweeps that levitate over the water noises and air current whistles. Although some electronic rhythms and noises do occur, these sounds are fleeting and are ultimately sucked into the vast vortex of ambience. Every track here is long, engrossing and quite beautiful in an austere way; fitting for a documentary on geologic formations or the origins of galaxies. Reflections in Water may help facilitate the listeners' more introspective listening moods. (Dark Duck)