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Step into the ethereal world of ambient music with Terrace of Memories, a collaborative CD by Sam Rosenthal and vidnaObmana. This immersive and haunting album beckons listeners to lose themselves in its intricate layers of sound and emotion. Rosenthal's masterful composition paired with vidnaObmana's atmospheric textures create a musical journey that is both introspective and transcendent. Terrace of Memories is the perfect addition to any ambient music collection, and a must-have for those who appreciate the beauty of instrumental storytelling. Let this album transport you to a dreamy, introspective realm as you lose yourself in its mesmerizing melodies.

 

1992’s Terrace of Memories is an organic ambient album of longing and gentle melancholic minimalism. Sam Rosenthal (Black Tape For A Blue Girl’s founder/synthesist, then based in Los Angeles) and Dirk Serries (then recording under the moniker vdnaObmana in Belgium) blended their atmospheres and somber contemplative electronics on this timeless album filled with lush, dark and beautiful impressions. Energized by a passage of text written by Sam concerning a lost love, the swelling deep waves of the five tracks suggest memories of more pleasant times lost forever in the cold, lifeless present. The pieces are appropriately mournful with a slow grace as they drift through a world of remembrances, an endless stream of succulent and stirring reflections.

Rosenthal and Obmana created this album the old fashioned way — by sending tapes in the mail across the world. They captured the essence at ambient music’s core, creating a dreamlike, surreal universe, and wrapping listeners in the fascinating soundscapes. Obmana’s icy and isolating textures are beautifully contrasted by Rosenthal’s warmer synthetic presence. It’s a blissful, slowly spinning environment for those contemplative rainy or winter nights. This is ambient minimalism at its best.

2024 remaster by Dirk Serries, taken from original DAT mixes.

CD in 6-panel digipak with additional images.

Copies signed by Sam Rosenthal.

 

Reviews

 

England’s MUSIC FROM THE EMPTY QUARTER wrote in ‘92: More than ever before, Sam lets his emotions run away on a tide of ambient turbulence. Five drifting movements ride the intake of senses, breathing the air of life and surrounding beauty. As fullsome as the cycle of seasons, cascading visions of past and present contact loop and collide. A very deep personal intrusion into the mind & heart, represented by a dark, mysterious and sensual music. Cast adrift into the caring hands of this truly original and honest artist who not only lives within himself, but sheds his soul through others as well.

 

 

ALL MUSIC GUIDE

review by Jim Brenholts: The liner notes tip listeners that the soundscape is going to be about a lost or unrequited love. The music is appropriately somber without becoming dark or maudlin. Obmana and Rosenthal are not only lamenting the loss, but they are celebrating the love itself. Deep listeners will feel the pain of losing love while enjoying the experience of having love. Is it better to love or to be loved? That question might never be answered. Rosenthal and Serries are not looking for closure here either. But they readily admit that having the experience — be it lost or unrequited — was priceless. This CD will appeal to fans of Robert Rich, Alio Die, Mike Griffin, and Dave Tollefson. It is essential for all fans of electronic minimalism.

ALLES SO SCHÖN STILL HIER

by Nils Wortmann (a 2021 book of the 100 best ambient albums from 1975 to 2020): Behind the project name Terrace of Memories is the American Sam Rosenthal, founder of the label Projekt Records, and the Belgian Dirk Serries, who has made a name for himself in ambient circles especially under the pseudonym vidnaObmana. The result of this unique collaboration is five pieces of haunting ambient compositions, which on the self-titled album create a perfect symbiosis of the darkwave sounds of Rosenthal’s Black Tape For A Blue Girl and the cool beauty of vdnaObmana’s early works. With words like gloominess or haunting one can try to approach the compositions on Terrace of Memories but they do not really hit the mark. It is better to simply marvel at how the album unfolds such an enchanting and devastating power