Boomkat Product Review:
'Yuen Shan' (Round Mountain in Chinese) is a deeply meditative percussive suite first conceived in Taiwan, 1973 and realised in 2014 using pre-recorded tape sound and live percussion recorded over the interim. It's the first new Ranta release in 25 years, and reminda us the hypnotic brilliance of his 1970 'Mu' collaboration with Conny Plank and Mike Lewis, which was reissued in 2010 by Metaphon (who're also behind those excellent IPEM collections).
We're dealing with highly esoteric and complex material here, manifesting an expansive consolidation of the artist's long-standing interests in tai-ji-quan (the internal Chinese martial art) and Chinese philosophy - in particular Taoism - together with the cosmic cycles of ancient Greece and ancient India and his almost preternatural percussive instincts. It breaks down into four parts (around 20 minutes apiece), each representing the four phases of human life according to Taoist thought and forming a compelling, dramatic sound story of multi-tracked, multi-dimensional rhythms, electro-acoustic spaces and shimmering drone tones. In the works for more than 40 years, 'Yuen Shan' is a staggering opus; a rarified corpus that defies any easy grasp of the nebulous reference and meditative focus at its core, yet one one that works on a sublime, transcendent level that seduces with subliminal effect.