Exposé Online banner

Robert Rich — Geometry
(Linden Music LM 2022, 1991/1994, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 1995-03-01

Geometry Cover artAs the title implies, this reissue — originally recorded in 1987-88 and previously only available as a French import CD — crosses the bridges between mathematics and music, applying these relationships to the rhythm, melodics, and the very tonal constructs of the musical foundation itself. By using just intonation, Rich has eschewed the traditional Western scales in favor of the more mathematically pure. Then, by applying some of the more organic and explorative mood-scapes that are uniquely Robert Rich, these ideas avoid the tedious and cold experimental treatment that they would have received under anyone else's stewardship; instead, they blossom to life with beauty and warmth. So what does it sound like? The early tracks, "Primes Parts 1 & 2" and "Interlocking Circles," are vaguely reminiscent of traditional Javanese gamelan stylings — cyclical in flow and symmetrically structured, very flowing and natural. With "Geometry of the Skies," the music moves on to a more spacious plane, evolving slowly through ever-changing patterns of tonal color, building, growing and dissolving. This continues until "Geomancy," the sixth of eight tracks, where patterns and rhythmic structure are re-explored with bamboo flutes, kalimba and hand drums, yielding again to a more flowing synth-based piece, "Amrita," with the final track, "Logos," bringing the album full circle to a point not far from "Primes." Rich has wisely chosen to flow the album from the more structured and higher energy pieces to the more impressionistic low-key explorations, making it an excellent disc to wind down/out to; the music here is challenging as well, but the listener isn't forced to accept it only on that level. In all, this is a welcome reissue, and one that keeps finding its way back into my CD player with regularity.

Filed under: Reissues, Issue 6, 1994 releases, 1991 recordings

Related artist(s): Robert Rich

Latest news

2020-03-24
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more

2020-03-17
Cruise to the Edge and Seaprog 2020 Festivals Postponed – The worldwide outbreak of the novel coronavirus has started to produce casualties in the music festival world, and music festivals are not immune. We've had word that both the Cruise to the Edge (originally slated for March 27 - April 1) and Seaprog (originally June 5-7) have been postponed to later dates, with those dates to be announced. » Read more

2020-03-06
McCoy Typer RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of one of the most influential pianists in the history of jazz, McCoy Tyner. His tenure with John Coltrane in the early 60s includes some of the most treasured recordings of the era, including My Favorite Things and A Love Supreme. After leaving Coltrane's group, he had a long and successful solo career. He was 81. » Read more

2020-02-18
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Cream - Disraeli Gears - Deluxe Edition – What comes to mind when you think of psychedelic blues rock? For me, it’s Cream. They were the most important UK rock band out of the 60s besides the Beatles and the Stones. Eric Clapton, Jack...  (2006) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues