Peter Roberts

Wilderness Explorer

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Wilderness Explorer is another strong nature recording from Peter Roberts. Free of cumbersome synthesized accompaniment, the album's eight unique pieces envelop the listener in a world ruled by ambient sound. It begins with the chirp of "Pacific Tree Frogs," where a slight echo adds a disorienting circular quality to the insistent sound. It's hard to tell what's more eerie about "Wolves" -- the mournful call of the animals themselves, or the thudding silence in between their noises. Incredibly, Roberts' field microphones are unmarred by wind, passing animal feet, or other animal noises, picking up only the throaty howl and purr of the wolves. Other highlights include the two closing pieces, "Field Crickets" and "Ocean Surf." They aren't as unsettling or fascinating as the album's first half, but function quite well as mood or relaxation enhancers.

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