Max Corbacho | Splendid Labyrinths

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Splendid Labyrinths

by Max Corbacho

Splendid Labyrinths condenses most of Max's work over these last two years, where he keep the search for new harmonic structures and calm spaces started in The Ocean Inside.
Genre: Electronic: Ambient
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. The Flowing Path
16:37 album only
2. Towards the Center
12:09 $0.99
3. Earth Womb
7:56 $0.99
4. Wave of Reflection
5:47 $0.99
5. Wonderheart
16:24 album only
6. Shaping the Endless
14:37 album only
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.



to write a review

Morpheus Music

Splendid Labyrinths
April 2015
Atmospheric ambient electronica.
Vast beatless zones and undulating velvet expanses: Splendid Labyrinths is an album of ambient immensity and immeasurable time. Max Corbacho's latest release features heaving multi-layered drones that seem to drift in and out of focus and intensity like slow-motion sunlight filtering through gracefully moving storm clouds. These opulent sonic textures are of impressive fathomless density, they seem to stretch away into infinity and endless darkness whilst at the same time presenting more imminent audio formations that waft and furl like intangible filaments of smoke or warm currents in water. The ordering of the tracks is interesting: two long-form recordings on either side of the relatively brief Earth Womb and Wave of Reflection, this seems to reflect the cover image where a tight core is surrounded by larger structures. Much of the tonal nature of the music is uplifting, warm chords and heavenly synth voices suggestive of light and gentle ascendance holding the most proximate regions.

The front cover of Splendid Labyrinths features a vivid yellow-orange, mandala-like multi-disc bloom comprised of overlapping labyrinth discs based on the classic design of the Chartres labyrinth, and rendered in a 3D software by graphic artist Michael Rodriguez Pletz. This is very much an image of many depths: the complexity of the layers revealing forms and patterns that arise and fall away according to one's focus. On one level, a simple flower design of twelve regular petals; on another level a three-dimensional bubble of infinite depths encircling a bewildering black hole.

Inspired by the landscape and sky of his origins in southwest of Spain, ambient master Max Corbacho composes music that references "the essence of the great and ineffable mystery of our existence." Splendid Labyrinths perhaps manages this with greater effect than ever. Released on the heels of Future Terrain, a track that "emerged in parallel ...during the long building sessions for Splendid Labyrinths", this latest album holds six recordings, four of which all hover somewhere around the fifteen-minute mark. Two shorter pieces lie in the central hub closer to six and eight minutes each Promotional material talks of "an atemporal quality" explored in recent releases following "maybe only the breathing and the pulse of the artist," very apt here. Visit the Max Corbacho website or Max Corbacho Bandcamp page for more information and opportunities to listen to the tracks of Splendid Labyrinths as well as previous releases.

Richard Gurtler

"Splendid Labyrinths" feature delightful glimpses of aural grace and tranquility
Time flies so fast, already two and a half years have passed since the release of breathtakingly monumental "The Ocean Inside" double album. "Splendid Labyrinths" mark the return of Spaniard Max Corbacho, one of the leading forces behind the pure atmospheric driftscape. Self-released at May 15th, 2015, and packaged in a glossy 4-panel digisleeve presenting cover design and layout by Spanish-American visual artist Michael Rodriguez Pletz, the album reflects The Flowing Path, a journey through the life as revealed by the artist.

And it's "The Flowing Path", with 16:37 the longest labyrinth, which ignites this exquisitely effortless, nearly 74 minutes long glide. Max Corbacho activates all his soundscaping insignias, utterly graceful drifts smoothly arise and shift the listener into a genuinely atmospheric splendor, where infinitely expansive washes gently free-float through hauntingly nuanced sceneries. Colossally fascinating soundwalls are precisely counterpointed with magnificently intensified billows. A truly exciting gateway to "Splendid Labyrinths". 12-minute "Towards The Center" unfolds more tranquil, less dramatic, although as much amorphously spacious with its rather monochromatic drift layers, which inconspicuously transmute into heavier deluge of drones, intricately amalgamated with ear-tickling swirls and transcendental dissonances. Quietly emerging, yet profoundly immersing "Earth Womb" straightly dives into tremendously unfathomable depths, revealing all spellbinding enigmas and showcasing Max Corbacho at his most subterranean. Obviously, he couldn't have chosen a more fitting track title for this adventurous odyssey. But it's "Wave Of Reflection", where Max Corbacho fully exposes his genius soundcarving. Sweeping monumentality of gracefully drifting layers is simply jaw-dropping!!! A parade of gossamer cyber-biotic traceries smoothly permeates through the undulating massive washes and continuously glimmers this aural grandeur. Pure magic!!! I only have one problem here, and it's a very crucial one, the length of this masterpiece. With nearly 6 minutes it's the shortest one on this album, I can't help, but to me it's way too short. However, "Wave Of Reflection" immediately enters the Pantheon of epic sonic canvas, just right beside the phenomenal compositions such as "Light-Matrix Portal", "Towards The Bottomless Sea" or "The Talisman". Bravo, Max!!! "Wonderheart", another 16-plus minutes long track, safely glides through warmly spacious realms, majestically waving and authentically evoking dazzlingly overwhelming immenseness. The closing "Shaping The Endless" keeps on free-floating, yet massive and tense path, although during the first 10 minutes I am somehow missing more engrossing scenario, when comparing to "Wave Of Reflection" or "Earth Womb". Fortunately towards the end the track clandestinely metamorphoses into more mysterious quietudes guiding your journey through "Splendid Labyrinths" into the finale.

No wonder, after two magnum opuses such as "Ars Lucis" and "The Ocean Inside" the expectations of all aficionados of atmospheric soundscaping were prodigiously high. With "Splendid Labyrinths" Max Corbacho has again delivered a high quality album, although it doesn't exactly reach the stunning magnificence of its two predecessors. It certainly depends on the theme covered and The Flowing Path can't always be grandiose and graceful with its sinuous ways. However, "Splendid Labyrinths" album is a very solid recording by Max Corbacho, featuring delightful glimpses of aural grace and tranquility he is persistently praised for. Good job, Max!!!

Richard Gürtler (Jul 02, 2015, Bratislava, Slovakia)