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John Flomer

Night in the Vapor Jungle

 

Ori'Arian

 

We wait as we have always waited - in empty and quiet desperation -
in the depths of a chair, on the end of a pier, in the shade of an elm, in the arms of a pill,
for the mislaid spirit of bygone days, for a path to the space where our youth
and inspiration lay fading, for those passions confoundedly scattered in time
by the chaos of the heart.

We wait as we shall always wait - in quiet, but hopeful anticipation -
for those elusive, improbable moments of clear madness,
when once again, the future becomes deliriously real.

- John Flomer -

 

With this follow-up to his first release Mysterious Motions of Memory, visionary artist John Flomer returns to his magical palette to draw forth deep, introspective, at times almost dangerous, ineffable melodies beckoning the listener to the resting place of scattered passions and forgotten ideals, waiting to be rediscovered and set free. Dark and moody piano textures enchant, ethereal symphonies of sound envelop, and pulses of rhythmic vibrations conjure patterns like constellations of stars in yet another ingenious and creative work by a composer unlike any other today.

Artist Notes

"One day I sat down with my life and found a piano there."

Reviews

>Just wanted you to know I LOVE the new John Flomer disc. I posted the
>comments below at rec.music.newage a week or so ago. I think it's smart
>that one of your new ads in NAV showcases the album. It's a winner!
. . . . . . . . . . . . . .
>> ....Also on Spotted Peccary is the new one from John Flomer, NIGHT IN THE
>> VAPOR JUNGLE. It's outstanding. Less dynamic and percussive than his
>> first SP release, MYSTERIOUS MOTIONS OF MEMORY, but filled with a lush
>> beauty and a combination of John's trademarks (synth choruses, unique
>> time signatures) and a more ambient, if not even minimal style. Some of
>> the cuts sound like Tim Story, even. While I used the term ambient, it's
>> more melodic than that at times, but still bears no resemblence to a pop
>> sensibility, i.e. there is no verse, verse, chorus, bridge structure to
>> the songs.

JOHN FLOMER
Night In The Vapor Jungle
Spotted Peccary (1999)
Time: 50:39

John Flomer's newest release on Spotted Peccary is a masterpiece of atmospheric
ambient music that brings John's unique sense of ever-changing melody and time
signatures into a whole new realm. Where his previous recording, Mysterious
Motions of Memory, was full of dynamic and percussive music and marked by
densely layered rhythm effects, Night In The Vapor Jungle is, on the surface,
much less thunderous. Instead, the recording is overflowing with mystery and
wonder; it's full of a exotic beauty and shadowy light. In a word, it's magical.

Those who have heard Mysterious Motions...will recognize some similar elements
on the first cut, "Ori Arian," including the unique synth chorus effect John
uses in his music. However, the predominance of piano is somewhat new, along
with a flowing compositional style that emphasizes the drama inherent in the
melody itself, without resorting to a lot of percussion. The next song, "The
Goldfish Pool," continues in a dreamy vein, with the piano and a guitar-like
synth mirrored gracefully by synth chimes and bells. While this recording is a
departure from his previous one, still recognizable are the interesting time
signatures and shifts in a song's tempo.

Since John's songs are always evolving and are never constrained by pop
structures, it's hard to describe the music in a few words. "Trinket" is
graceful, delicate and haunting in its use of synth chorus counterpointed by
plucked strings and plaintive piano. "The Charm Wind" is up-tempo and resembles
Mysterious Motions... except for an almost Nancy Rumbel-ish oboe/English horn
line that weaves through the synths, piano and drums. "Through the Veil" is a
mid-tempo cadence number, with drums beating out an incessant rhythm and synths
keeping pace. John's compositional abilities, which were already excellent, take
a giant leap forward with this recording.

Night In The Vapor Jungle is chock
full of songs that you want to play over and over and over. The music is a
hybrid of the best keyboard-driven ambient music and a warm melodic sensibility.
You can't hum this music, but it's so accessible, while never resorting to
cliche or verse-verse-chorus structures, that it's damn near ground breaking. The
album closes with two fantastic pieces, "Moon Breaks Free" and "The Power of
Stars," both songs reminding me of Tim Story at his best.

Night in the Vapor Jungle is a superlative release that should (and, I bet,
will) appeal to fans of ambient music, electronic music, and even new age music.
It's organic without being tribal, warm without being melodramatic, and daring
without being abstract. In short, Night In The Vapor Jungle is a work of great
imagination and inspired musical talent. I guess it goes without saying it gets
my highest recommendation.

- Bill Binkleman -

 

 

October 2000
by Paul Hightower

John Flomer's contribution to the Spotted Peccary catalog of fine instrumental ambient works is well in keeping with brethren like David Helpling and Deborah Martin. On Night in the Vapor Jungle, Flomer conjures up fantasy dreamscapes, some haunting (as on "Trinket" or "Shadowdomain") and some serene ("Weeping Cavern, " "Moon Breaks Free"). Flomer's trademark is his use of unpredictable meter shifts, where melodies take unexpected turns without losing any of the flow of the piece. It makes for a subtle sense of vertigo in the compositions that is quite delectable.

Stylistically, most of these 10 tracks lilt by on gentle strains of plunked keys drenched in echo and atmosphere, sometimes accompanied by ghostly choirs ("Ori'Arian," "Centuries") or by doleful reeds ("Power of Stars"). Even more enjoyable for me, however, are the few pieces that buck the trend by pulsing along more vigorously, as on "The Charm Wind" or the terrific "Through the Veil." The latter even recalls some of Vangelis' better work from the late 70's/early 80's, especially with Flomer's use of percussion. All in all this is a great collection, full of surprises. I've honestly never enjoyed being toyed with so much by a writer who has such impressive command of his medium and I highly recommend Night in the Vapor Jungle to all fans of Spotted Peccary's fine stable of ambient music.

 

john flomer: night in the vapor jungle
(Spotted Peccary - 1999)

I know New Age is a term/style many of us love to hate; even self-assumedly open-minded folks as myself may find lips curling into a sneer around that term and the worst of sounds associated with it...

Though, when you spend a night in the vapor jungle, you find yourself surrounded by the atmospheric moodiness of 10 pieces of john flomer's new age piano music... and in this case, that is largely a comforting prospect to look forward to.

Cascading piano notes twinkle in "ori arian's" majestic choral/synth stream, radiating with faraway thunder and effervescent light. A glistening bauble from some neo-medieval fantasy world, the chiming doublets and triplets of "trinket" bask in simple, sweeping loveliness.

Progressive new age arrangements guide "the charm wind" on its semi-symphonic course. This would be a track that, despite its poise and grandeur, leans toward the overly emphatic... unlike "weeping cavern" where melancholy pianotones hushedly radiate within their own little expanse. A light tribalistic rhythm propels listeners "through the veil," into Flomer's world, revved up with magic synthsounds, choirs and his pianofortes.

The lush choral drifts of "centuries" (7:00) are overlain with multiple layers of ivories a'tinkling. My favorite moments are where the notes veer into wholly unexpected territories. Solemn beauty flows during "moon breaks free" (3:21) as nimble fingers send notes skyward, leaving a trail of resonance.

I enjoyed my "night in the vapor jungle"; the calming sounds genuinely warmed my listening space during the hectic December pre-holidaze. While I would personally prefer a little less polish, the composer obviously has his own vision and seems to have attained it. An 8.1 for gorgeous sounds, no matter what title one might choose to apply to them. john flomer has his own website where you can learn much more...

This review posted December 28, 1999
AmbiEntrance © 1999-97 by David J Opdyke (except CD cover art, rights retained by original owners).

John Flomer: Night in the Vapor Jungle
(CD, 50:47); Spotted Peccary Music SPM-0702

Piano, synths, and various symphonic embellishments are offered here in ten
tracks ranging 3:20 to 6:59. Flomer has all the traits of Constance Demby, Tim Story,
Vangelis, Peter Buffet, David Lanz, Roger Eno, and Harold Budd sprinkled everywhere
in this deeply contemplative, moody, and misty meander. Flomer utilizes simple themes
of relaxation balanced against evolving undercurrents of tension/release. Synth
orchestrations can be Demby lush, Vangelis bombastic, or even W. Carlos/Nik Tyndall
evocative. You will find only a few tracks of upbeat, rhythmic moments. Flomer is
predominately a spartanly melodic, stair-climbing, onward progression-oriented
composer. Begin simply, augment, improv over, build, then reverse the process. It works
for most out there that love such relaxing aural journeys. Flomer does a fine job of
putting all the elements seamlessly. This is music to disappear by, slowly, gently -- gone.
What continues to amaze me, one piano/synth release after another, is how so very many
continue to echo a pivotal 1980's release called The Waiting by Peter Buffet.
Perhaps the piano and synth peformed in a that introspectively heady, New Agey mood
must naturally evolve into similar scenarios. If you prefer your piano with emotive synth
framing, then go with the Flomer flow. Ahh . . .

~ John W. Patterson - Eclectic Earwig Review

The #1 Trade Magazine for Retailers of New Age Books, Music, and Merchandise

Night in the Vapor Jungle
John Flomer/ Spotted Peccary
Reviewed March/April 2000

by Ted Cox

Among the cutting-edge electronic composers on the highly regarded Spotted Peccary label is John Flomer. Here, he offers an introspective follow-up to his debut "Mysterious Motions of Memory". The more subtle and somber "Night in the Vapor Jungle" provides Flomer an opportunity to glide his piano over beds of symphonic electronics, some of which might be considered avant garde in the genre of New Age-classical music.

"Through the Veil" and "The Charm Wind" recall the fast-paced early works of Tangerine Dream and Jean Michel Jarre with percussion and keyboards ablaze in fiery color. The rest of the album moves in slow, measured paces. Most dark is the plunge into "Shadowdomain," full of ominous chords, spooky sounds, and sinister atmosphere. The shimmering and plucked-string keyboard texture depicting a murky "Goldfish Pool" and the faux-oboe solo with synth and voice choir in "The Power of Stars" give special treatment to nature and the universe.

Ted Cox studied at the Eastman School of Music. He currently is the classical and New Age buyer for Tower Records in Vienna, Va., and host of a New Age radio program.

One of the "new" artists you're hearing on NetRadio.com is John Flomer. His latest CD, Night in the Vapor Jungle, is a dreamy, atmospheric journey steeped in mystery. Although new to many of our listeners, Flomer actually has been recording for almost a decade, producing some independent projects and a previous release on Spotted Peccary, 1996's Mysterious Motions of Memory. Like a number of New Age artists (Kitaro, Vangelis and Yanni among them), Flomer spent some time in Rock bands before hanging up his guitar and deciding to explore New Age music. His instrument of choice is now the synthesizer, he says, because of its ability to take listeners "into a fantastic realm where things don't have to make sense to make magic." Listen for John Flomer's compositions "Ori' Arian" and "Through the Veil" on NetRadio.com's New Age channel.

April 2000 / by Jane Fredericksen

Jane Fredericksen programs the NetRadio.com New Age music channel. She has worked on-air and as music director at leading stations in the Minneapolis-St. Paul market. As a music director, Fredericksen won a national Gavin Award for music programming in 1994 and 1995 and won the Gavin "Anti-Award" for "The Programmer With the Fewest Horrible Things Said About Them Behind Their Back. She joined NetRadio.com in 1998.

John Flomer is a master sound designer and arranger. He is at his best when building dynamic soundscapes and romantic atmospheres. Night in the Vapor Jungle is a melodic set of electronic new age compositions from Spotted Peccary Music. Flomer augments his electronic soundscapes with a gentle acoustic piano and subtle wordless vocals. Deep listeners will feel the drift as the music builds clouds of serenity and peace. The psycho-sonic refrains will affect listeners in subtle ways. Even casual listeners will have to smile as they enter Flomer's exotic soundworld. As with his other Spotted Peccary discs, this CD will appeal to fans of Suzanne Ciani, Jonn Serrie, Kitaro, and Steve Halpern. This disc is excellent for romantic encounters and affairs of the heart.

~ Jim Brenholts, All Music Guide

Album Credits

Music composed, arranged and performed by John Flomer.
Produced by Howard Givens, Jon Jenkins and John Flomer.
Executive Producer, Howard Givens.
Mixed at Spotted Peccary Studios by Howard Givens, Jon Jenkins and John Flomer.
Mastered by Howard Givens.
Illustration and Design by Greg Klamt.
Original cover concept and images by John Flomer.
Additional vocals by Deborah Martin and John Flomer
Studio Referencing on Hafler Amplifiers

Midori - Aria - Ian - MaryAnne - John Frederick - Robert

Howard, JJ, Deborah, Greg, Philip,
Zaneta, Cassie, Takaharu, Makoto
Grace, Michael, Douglas, Joel
Sammy, Jammy, Yammy, Dessi
Randine, Sam, Byrd
Goldie, Wolfman, Allie, Max Snyler
Little Johnny

For Mi-chan, my little kicker

"Hidden on the point of a pin are clues to the emptiness that drives us mad "

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