US based Australian composer David Shea returns with a semi-acoustic wash of immersive dream states pegged as ‘Rituals’. Shea spent time immersing himself in Buddhist and Taoist traditions; and in some respect these have come across in this aural representation of his thought processes.

Opener ‘Ritual 32’ drags on classical influences, interwoven with Dark Ambient, obscure pipes and piano work that glides off into a vast ravine as the song stumbles graciously; purposely losing its footing on the edge of the crags, whilst ethnic chimes clang in the distance.

In contrast, ‘Emerald Garden’, is a darker affair that loiters within a web of psychosis. Reverberated drama unfolds in a backdrop of cinematic terror, eventually concluding in a calming swamp of blissful drones; and whilst ‘Wandering in the Dandenongs’ meanders pointlessly in self-absorbed Tibetan dribble, ‘Sunrise’ picks up the pace with a range of tribal drum work; providing a welcome abstinence from an obsession with incense sticks and hessian rugs.

It’s at this point that I find myself torn whilst listening to this latest album. I have a deep appreciation for the majority of work on this release, especially where the ambient tones are concerned; however, I have never been a lover of music that bases itself of eastern tribal influences. Don’t get me wrong, Shea’s interpretation of such sounds, holds itself together better than the works of Z’ev and such like; but it’s still an irritation, in what is a competent display of pitch and tone.



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