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Review

Ariel Kalma is the kind of musician that collectors live their lives to find at the bottom of a dollar record bin, and the kind who fellow musicians hope to become. He is a composer who worked on the periphery of a fringe movement, whose early adherents have recently seen an explosion in popularity...

- Vivian Hua, redefinemag.com

More reviews

 

Reviews of
Osmose

by Ariel Kalma
re-released as CD and LP

Reviews of other albums:
Le Temps des Moissons | Chillout India | Spirit Dancer
An Evolutionary Music | Open Like A Flute | We Know Each Other Somehow


musicforambients.blogspot.com.au (Spanish)

Músico parisino de formación académica. Ha pasado por multitud de grupos desde el rhythm & blues, el pop, jazz, electrónica pero sobre todo se le conoce por su etapa de los años setenta dentro del rock progresivo con gente como Christian Vander y Richard Pinhas. Tiene su propio estudio de grabación e incluso su propio sello discográfico Mosaic Music... more

ondarock.it (Italian)

Prima di archiviare un 2006 oltremodo prospero di leccornie discografiche, non possiamo non segnalare questo “Osmose”, del sassofonista Ariel Kalma, originariamente edito nel 1978, che sarebbe un peccato si perdesse tra la messe indiscriminata di ristampe che anche quest’anno si sono riversate sul mercato. Nato e cresciuto Parigi, Kalma iniziò a suonare il sassofono all’età di 15 anni, per poi approfondire studi d’arte e musica oltre che di computer science . Ben presto intraprese un pellegrinaggio cultural/spirituale tra India, Giappone, Canada, Stati Uniti, che gli permise di allargare i propri orizzonti conoscitivi e di acquisire competenze su differenti linguaggi e tecniche compositive. Tornato in Francia nel 1976, Kalma applicò quanto appreso, dando sfogo di creatività in uno stile che faceva della transglobalità il carattere predominante. ...more

Published in Tandem and Corriere Canadese newspapers Sept 21st, 2008
Organic and electronic sound are blended magically on the second of Ariel Kalma’s rediscovered vinyl releases from the 1970’s. This French saxophonist was to become fascinated with World music, but not before collaborating with musique concrete composer Richard Tinti’s tapes from that most dense of soundscapes, the tropical rainforest.

Released in a small edition in 1977, “Osmose”’s use of analogue synths and organ make it a cousin of the pastoral “kosmiche” of Tangerine Dream and Popol Vuh. And where the cosmic ambience of the pagan electronic symphonies of TD became associated with the vastness of space, Kalma’s minimal and meditative musical lines keep us grounded on the earth with a unique focus to the jungle’s chaotic chatter of bird song and insect drone.

Coming from the jazz world Kalma’s choices of acoustic textures were also important, as he brought echoes of Paul Horn in the Great Pyramid with the lead flute on “Forest Ballad 77,” and displayed his burgeoning interest in Indian modes with the alto sax on “Saxo Forest.” Thanks to this cd reissue a lost classic can be more widely appreciated.

Newagereporter
Osmose (Rerelease) by Ariel Kalma - posted by Lyn McN. - Programmer/host 
"Fantastic to have this one re-released! It was wonderful years ago, and has been unavailable for some time. It holds up very well, and is great to listen to, especially in the endlessly rainly Pacific Northwest!" 
Rating: Excellent

Doug Cole, M.A, General Manager, FM-91.3 (KOCV) Odessa, TX
"Osmose deserves #1 in my opinion… I ticked or approved every single track on it as suitable for airplay on my show (which is a totally selfish and subjective practice). I get maybe one or two CD's / yr. where I like all the tracks… it will probably be my #1 for next month too!"

Aquarius Records,New Arrivals #237
"Record Of The Week is Osmose by one Ariel Kalma. An amazing Krautrock / nature hybrid. Warm washes of synthesizer, tribal war drums and drones galore all mixed with the sounds of the rainforest, crickets, frogs, even flies. So weird and wonderful.

OsmoseThere's something truly magical about music in nature. And we don't mean the music we find in nature, although more often than not, that natural music is far more interesting and beautiful then anything we humans can conjure up. No, we're talking about playing music -with- nature, -in-nature. The act of collaborating with something so big, so grand, so overwhelmingly complex, that sometimes just the mere act of creating sounds away from the studio or stage, just being outside in nature with your music, can seem truly divine. And as listeners, there is something thrilling about man and nature working together to make music. From the primitive forest black metal blast of Ulver recording Nattens Madrigal in the Norwegian woods, to the Jewelled Antler collective communing with nature, allowing wind and rain and sticks and stones to play as important a part in their music as they themselves, to the rain soaked ritual of Koukiji Kougezan's Live [11th] Final Hyakusenmansyuuraku, a near ambient performance for flute and sitar, with the falling rain, and thus nature, the focal point of the ritual / performance. So lovely, and vital, the music seems so much more whole, so much more alive, all intertwined with the elements.

Osmose was originally released in 1978 and found minimalist composer Ariel Kalma using all manner of keyboards, saxophone, harmonium, delays, effects, even circular breathing, to compose gorgeously minimal, softly spacey slow drifting ambient soundscapes, which were then mixed with the sounds of the rainforest (recorded by Richard Tinti). But unlike new age meditational music, this wasn't just music layered on top of random bits of field recordings, Kalma actually composed and mixed, edited and arranged his compositions to work with and within the sounds of the rainforest. Abstract melodies and warm chordal swirls, simple tribal war drums, perfectly blended with the calls of crickets and frogs and cicadas, the falling rain, birdsongs, flies, and all the sounds of the jungle forest. It sounds almost as if, while walking through the forest, you'd be just as likely to stumble across a bunch of analog synthesizers basking in a sunny glade or a wheezing harmonium perched in low hanging branches as you would frogs gathered by the edge of the stream. Sounds strange, but that's how interconnected the natural sounds are with Kalma's compositions. The distant animal calls sometimes form primitive loops, while Kalma paints them with warm soft smears of sound, extended drones and dreamy drifty ambience. Simple rhythms repeat while the sounds of the forest drift lazily by, everything sun dappled or rain soaked, It's almost like a pop ambient record recorded deep in the forest primeval. Or stumbling upon some ancient burial ground and discovering traces of some long gone krautrock jam, which over time had somehow sunk deep into the earth, or floated off into the sky, leaving nothing but memories, a handful of bones, sonic echoes of its former self. Sounds like ghosts, drifting like spirits through the leaves of the trees, floating weightless above the wet leaves and rich soil. Warm and fuzzy, dreamy and blissed out, so completely lovely and quite possibly our new favorite record to drift off to...

DREAM MAGAZINE #7: “ARIEL KALMA "OSMOSE"
THIS WONDERFUL NINE TRACK LISTENING EXPERIENCE WAS FIRST RELEASED IN 1978. IT SHOWCASES FRENCH COMPOSER ARIEL KALMA EMPLOYING A VARIETY OF INSTRUMENTS, TECHNIQUES, AND VOCALIZATIONS IN SUBTLE AND SEAMLESS ACCOMPANIMENT TO FIELD RECORDINGS OF THE PAPUA NEW GUINEA RAINFOREST MADE BY RICHARD TINTI. KALMA'S MUSIC NEVER OVERSHADOWS THE AMBIENT SOUNDS; RATHER IT SEEMS TO BLEND WITH, AND COMPLIMENT THEM. THIS ALSO HAS A LOVELY, ALMOST HOLY, OR SACRED VIBE. A CATHEDRAL OF DRONING SUSTAINED AND OVERLAPPING NOTES; SOMETIMES LIKE SITTING OUTSIDE A CHURCH AS THE OVERHEARD ORGAN MERGES WITH THE SOUNDS AND SONGS OF THE MANY VARIED INSECTS AND BIRDS. IT WOULDN'T BE MISLEADING TO COMPARE SOME OF THIS TO POPOL VUH, OR THE MORE SEDATE END OF THE TANGERINE DREAM SPECTRUM."

(((XM))) SATELLITE RADIO station
“WE HAVE ADDED CUTS 3, 4 & 9 FROM OSMOSE BY ARIEL KALMA TO OUR REGULAR ROTATION!

Fishcomcollective, review written by Upchuck Undergrind:
Massive ambience is yours, a trip to the ethereal ambrosial euphoria of heavenly space, aural pleasure elongated to infinity, unmeasurable pleasantry for your ear canals ... Ariel Kalma uses a variety of instruments to create beautiful, lush and spacey music that sometimes doesn't readily reveal the original instrumentation. It's notable that at least one track was used for a planetarium type event as all the music here seems perfectly fit for such consumption. Verily, this is a soundtrack for sci-fi utopia, the laser-gunless version of ascent into infinite space perfection ...

Chain D.L.K. - Music Reviews, written by Perry Bathous
Hailing from the realm of Tangerine Dream is this pleasant collection of original synth music paired with nature sounds, from French ambient pioneer Ariel Kalma. In 1977, the year of its original release, the recording was sophisticated enough in both concept and execution not to be at all your typical space-trip. The music on each track is blended with rain forest sounds from Borneo brought back to Paris by composer/recordist Richard Tinti and layered in tastefully, if not artfully. On certain of the tracks different instruments are featured, such as soprano saxophone (track number one, "Saxo Planetariel"); harmonium (number three, "Planet-Air"); flute (played modally through "Forest' Ballad"); and guitar and organ (the also-remarkably-titled "Orguitar Soir"). Kalma himself claims to have employed a "circular breathing" technique whilst recording his wind instruments, a physiological twin to the classic technique of tape-looping, which is also featured in spades. The overall effect is eerily terrestrial and space-age at the same time. This can take you back to a blissful, pre-digital era just before the 1980s -- when the Yamaha DX7 took over all synthesized sound, and the terms "New Age" and "Rain Forest" came to mean phony crystal magic and overblown, insincere environmental causes. (And by the way, don't let that soprano sax scare you away -- this is a safe distance from Kenny G territory, so indulge yourself without worry.)

Outer Space Gamelan
If I could, I'd like to talk a bit about a record that blows everything else today out of the water even if it was originally released in 1978. This music is just too great to not be heard and appreciated. The story behind "Osmose" is that in 1977 a visual artist named Richard Tinti set out for the Borneo rainforest equipped with a Nagra recorder, a pair of microphones and a camera, and spent many hours documenting the sounds within. So lots of insect noises, some birds, war drums (!), other animal-generated sounds, but mostly that kind of almost subliminal vibe that such a place emanates. More on that later.

Later that year Tinti hooked up with musician/composer/artist Ariel Kalma and Kalma, using Tinti's recordings as the foundations, proceeded to create incredible works of cosmic ambience using saxophone, synthesizers, keyboards, flute, drum machines, harmonium, guitar, vocals and multiple effect/pitch filters. Heavy? No foolin' - "Osmose" is subtitled "space music in the rainforest - a breath of fresh air".

Kalma's creations don't just rely on the rainforest's drones to provide a backdrop - they're actively integrated into the sounds being produced and Kalma is careful to consider the pitch and tone of Tinti's original recordings before adding his own. Which is probably why the lush blast of warm harmonium drones on "Planet-Air" are a match made in heaven when combined with the call-and-response chirping of the birds, who sound like they may just as well be sitting atop the harmonium. Ditto for the swirling psychedelic opener "Saxo Planetariel" wherein Kalma uses circular breathing to draw out a heavenly, organic sound from his saxophone. It paints a strikingly vivid portrait of the rainforest at night, the kind that compels you to curl up right there on the dirt floor for 50 or 60 years.

Some of the tracks on "Osmose" have a lot in common with the early space/kraut investigations of bands like Tangerine Dream, Guru Guru and Cluster, but very much relieved of their "rock" elements. What you're left with is a pure and sweet gloss that sticks in your nostrils and pollutes your mind in the kindest kind of ways. Most notable of these is "Manege" which features a loping keyboard rhythm in duet with "frogs, fireflies, and all kinds of night creatures", as the liner notes say, and "Gongmo" which was originally created for a 1973 slide show named "Voyage au Centre de la Tete" so you know it's turned on. Best of these cuts has to be "Forest Ballad" which is described so well in the liners that I could never top it so I'll just reproduce it: "a silver flute echoes ever changing, harmonic waves of flanged keyboards and tuned reverbs amongst the trees of the rainforest, and as the sun gets hotter, morning birds and insect alike revel in a crescendo of sounds". A-fucking-men. The morning birds, the insects, and me.

That sums up the tracks from the original issue but this re-release includes three bonus tracks, recorded at the same time as the others but completely unreleased until now. "Osmose Chant" is exactly what the name foretells it to be, and although Kalma's vocals aren't as striking as the man himself, the piece does a pretty great job of conjuring up visions of Prandit Pran Nath working on the morning raga in the heart of the forest. "Saxo Forest" is a bit of a companion piece to the first track but features no effects or synths that I can pick up...just the terrestrial ambience and Kalma's thoughtful huffing on the sax. You know how Kaoru Abe used to practice by the roadside until he could hear himself over the oncoming traffic? Exact opposite, baby. "Orguitar Soir" is the best possible closing track for the effort: "a sweet guitar and flanged keyboard (tuned in a Morrocan G' nawa music style) lounge in a summer glade, intermittently pierced by birdsong". If that doesn't make you want to strip off all your closes and live free, well nothing else ever recorded will.

The only critique I could possibly come up with in regards to "Osmose" is that it's got a pretty fierce "New Age" feel to it which could turn off some people/squares. But maybe if all New Age music was like this it wouldn't be such a maligned pseudo-genre. And if you've already had your run-ins with Hermann Nitsch, Charlemagne Palestine, Pran Nath, Akio Suzuki, Toru Takemitsu et al, then you've probably already wondered about the potential New Ageyness of it all already. Nevertheless. "Osmose" is all the relaxation you'll ever need compressed into just under an hour's time. The perfect album to sleep by, or do anything lazily by really. But it's such a beautiful, subtle, well-crafted album you'll be revisiting it over and over and over and soaking in it like hot bathwater. And best of all, now you don't have to pay $175+ for it either!

'A Ultima Fronteira' radio show (Spain), Roberto Valdes
Ariel Kalma es un músico nacido en Francia que conozco a través de los fabulosos recopilatorios que publica desde Australia a través de su sello Music Mosaic , pero desconocía su faceta anterior. 

"Osmose" es un trabajo publicado originalmente en 1977, el cual se reeditó en 2006 con tres temas extras. Está editado en un precioso digipack y con el cd en un bolsa imitando la publicación de un LP, una forma muy bonita de recordar al clásico vinilo. 

Este trabajo es toda una sorpresa musical, un disco donde Ariel Kalma mezcla los sonidos de los teclados analógicos, guitarras, etc con los sonidos del bosque, los cantos de los pájaros, el ruido de las ramas que se mueven con el viento, el fluir del agua... Música ambiental con los sonidos de la naturaleza, un trabajo de experimentación electrónica que nos hace recordar en su parte más ambient o minimalista a Brian Eno o en su parte más psicodélica a los primeros Tangerine Dream. 

La naturaleza siempre ha sido fuente de inspiración para los músicos y sus sonidos el reclamo para obras de corte ambiental donde se fusionan con la electrónica e instrumentos acústicos para que podamos imaginar un mundo libre de todo ruído, un mundo donde la naturaleza nos rodea, un mundo donde soñemos que somos libres...

'Flagrant' on iTunes: 
This record 'Osmose' from 1978 is the spectral blend of organic + cosmical instrumental drones, chanting and field recordings taken in the jungles of Borneo. To listen to this is to not know where the jungle ends and the cosmos begins, much like the ocean planet in Andrei Tarkovsky's Solaris. I am reminded of this vision throughout the recording. What is most striking to me is the organisational quality. There is always a focused consistancy. The sounds never meander aimlessly despite some of the cosmological textures. Top notch trance out recording.


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