Fresh, free-flowing immersive dreamscapes in a minimal contemporary style. Rich with details, textures and treatments, The Vivid Unmapped also exhibits a rare delicacy throughout its various moods and sonic excursions. If you enjoy music like Entia Non and offthesky you are in for a real treat.
"What started out as a collaborative experiment quickly transformed into something much larger. As we continued to work together we became more and more comfortable with the project, allowing the album to take on a beautiful lush environment filled with non-conflicting sounds even with the presence of multiple tracks of field recordings, guitars, synths, piano, effects, and more. The idea of sleep, dreaming, and hypnagogic states soon became a focus and direction for the project, with the songs representing many of our oneiric feelings." Jacob Newman and Devin Underwood
There is a part of us that is deeper than just our own thinking, a part that keeps us connected to the rest of The Universe. THE VIVID UNMAPPED (63'32") by Jacob Newman and Devin Underwood is quite representative of Ambient Music's power to touch this part of us. THE VIVID UNMAPPED fully embraces the ideas behind this most indistinct form of music. There are no big beats, no climax, no narrative sense - this work seems in equal measures natural and alien, and definitely alive. With their shapeless collection of tonally diverse moments Newman and Underwood go deep into music's relationship with space. Inharmonic forms interact to create sonic fields out of this duo's perpetual and meticulous adjustment to sound. A finely wrought sonic experience THE VIVID UNMAPPED makes a sharp departure from realism as the opening section's field recordings overlaid with synth moans and drones gives way to reverberant guitar and piano notes rising above an expanse of swirling breathing timbres. The eight rich sonic environments drift through the CD's span - with each movement bringing another resonating impressionistic mood. Present in this work is a feeling for poetic association as tones and forms hint at acoustic instruments as well as natural sounds of the Earth itself. Through music technology Newman and Underwood portray a tamed natural world, converting it into a sphere that is responsive to their wishes - an extension of themselves. The listener will notice the intelligence behind the moody atmospheres, and realize how rare and beautiful it is to have an album grounded in instinct.
Chuck van Zyl - Star's End
Jacob Newman and Devin Underwood are brand new names on the DataObscura roster and unknown to me. When searching for additional infos on both these US based artists, I found several download only releases on Earth Mantra by Jacob Newman, while Devin Underwood is, except for his co-work with Marcus Fisher (one CDr), more known as one half of Drexon Field (two CDs plus a few downloads) and his own Specta Ciera project (CDr plus a few downloads). Okay, let's focus now on "The Vivid Unmapped". An initial look at the light plastic packaging brings a first positive surprise, the slightly improved DataObscura design now features also a back cover card, so on the inside, when opening the transparent case, a nice panoramic picture is revealed. That is always a bonus with this kind of music. Nice work, APK!!! Exploring the sonic part, Jacob and Devin provide a very fresh blend of ambient tunes precisely enriched by a large dose of natural sounds. These air waves are tranquilly floating, but on many occasions are spiced by fragile experiments and ventures, but always with a highly mesmerizing impact. The opening "Early" sounds like morning life on the shoreline, just like the insert picture. "Upon Awakening" is a more breathing, but serene and warm soundscape with another fitting track title carefully describing the atmosphere. This is a true winner!!! "Unconscious Movement" keeps its lively mood with some gentle piano tunes and high-tech sonic excursions and glitches. The next piece, "Tracing Memory", flows on a mechanical course, but it is more mysterious and also exotic due to some flute-like sounds. Absolutely magnificent piece of music I must say!!! "Memory Canyon" moves on a darker and slightly cinematic path, again finely colored by assorted sounds, noises, glitches and gloomy voices. The more I listen to these minimal, but richly colored sonics, the more I am impressed. "Lucid Reaction" sophisticatedly blends futuristic sonics with environmental and primordial sounds, voices, and bits of evocative piano tunes. The result is an incredibly colorful and tricky composition with a deeply submersible effect! I think "Motionless Transportation" doesn't need any further description, the title speaks for itself. Although probably the most experimental, eclectic and more massive composition, it is a kind of transcendental experience!!! "Her Gesture" keeps the tension from its predecessor, but later moves into more quiet territory, a really nice conclusion! "The Vivid Unmapped" is definitely a top quality release from this talented duo excelling at textural richness, elaborateness and distinctiveness!!! So I really look forward to future offerings of Jacob and Devin, and hope this is not their last joint release. And big thanks also to DataObscura for bringing us this thrilling ambience!!!
Richard Gürtler (Bratislava, Slovakia)
• Newman & Underwood have a fresh sound yet still manage to plumb the depths of true ambient.
• It's minimal … yet loaded with multiple layers of subtle treatments & textures, which bear out repeated listenings.
• It's thinking man's music, ambient and as interesting as it is ignorable (shout outs to Brian Eno).
Gene Bulmer - Ambient Landscapes
Non-flash mp3 samples::       
Date May 2011
Download mp3 encoded at 320kbs