Boomkat Product Review:
Another indispensible pearl from Ariel Kalma’s golden era, Osmose was recorded in 1978 and features Richard Tinti recordings of the Borneo rainforest. You should know what to expect - top tier recordings of birds, frogs and crickets interwoven with flute, saxophone and vintage synths/drum machines.
“Ariel Kalma was recommended to Richard Tinti who had just come back from Borneo with hours of rainforest ambiences in high quality recordings (on a ‘Nagra' recorder). To their amazement, birds and keyboards, flutes and crickets, saxophones and frogs, war drums and (vintage) drum machines had much in common in terms of pitch, melodies, rhythms, effects. Ariel decided to blend his compositions with the rainforest atmosphere, and thus Osmose was created
Ariel's musical minimalism avoids being serialist or academic, despite being part of the INA GRM studios for many years. So, neither is it concrete like Parmeggiani or Risset, nor is it classical like Philip Glass or Michael Nyman. If anything, Ariel's music is deeply cosmic, sometimes even a bit psych, ala the great Krauts of yore: old Tangerine Dream, Sand, Cluster etc. His cathedral like tones and running counterpoints actually give the rainforest noise a sinister edge.
The music absolutely subverts the traditional idea of the rainforest as that of a happy hunting ground for cause riddled yuppies with Benzes full of Kruggerrands. Osmose reminds that not only is the rainforest a place of awe inspiring beauty, but it is also something very dense and alien. It is a place of removal; it is a place of isolation; it is a kind of inner space; it is an extraordinary and surreal church of sorts; and it is deadly.
The album has a progression that's almost a story in toto, where the next rise is finally crossed revealing the huge, seemingly impenetrable expanse of lush greens. The expanse is then explored with wide eyed wonder until the guide dies and the companions start succumbing to fever, ague, snakes and unseen primitives at home in the shadows. Appended by 3 previously unreleased tracks from the same sessions, this reissue finally allows the rainforest to live up to its natural state of untamed jungle."