"Simon Lomax is a producer of electronic ambient space music who, through his unique and involving music expresses a personal global intuition. His work possesses an unparalleled sense of sonic depth and universal scale whilst exhibiting a remarkably lucid grasp of texture."
Star's End Review
NEW ALBUM Zone of Cold
New shoots from old roots.
It's been 8 years since Simon's well received album .74 (point seven four) written under the pseudonym Maitreya. With this his first release under his own name Simon Lomax steps out from behind the name to reveal something a little deeper.
You'd be forgiven for thinking that with the change of name that perhaps there would also be a change in sound but instead there is a deepening and layering capturing the very best of Simon's previous work underpinning the new growth.
Zone of Cold explores new atmospheres and structures which give the release a certain holographic ethereal quality all of it's own. You will hear the unmistakeable Maitreya of old but with the new qualities that takes you somewhere more.
From the gathering momentum of opener On the Horizon through to the vaporous Crystalline Air and the aching stillness of This Fragile Veil, Zone of Cold is a well worth a listen and well worth the wait.
1 On the Horizon
2 Still Light
3 Alone on the Plateaux
4 Warmed by the Emerging Light
5 Hidden Within
5 Crystalline Air
7 The Calm Before
8 With Dark Intent
9 In the Shadow of Winter
10 This Fragile Veil
Total time: 60:50
What people are saying
Back when I was 15, Maitreya’s .74 album played a prominent part in the evolution of my own listening behaviour. I’m sure I’m not alone in acknowledging the change in perspective that accompanies the entry into meditative and reflective music; for me personally, it involved peeling away any assumptions of listening being a secondary sense that galvanises life’s other (predominantly visual-based) experiences, the growing merit of listening as an experience in isolation of anything else, and the self-perpetuating curiosity that continually sought music that would reward my newfound appreciation of texture and micro-detail. In amongst the instantly penetrative 3-minute pop and rock that otherwise occupied my musical soundworld, .74 was one of my early explorations of what could be termed “the abstract”.
Because of all this, I’ve been eagerly anticipating Zone Of Cold. It’s not only my own nostalgia that resurrects those feelings of entering something mysterious and alien – Simon Lomax’s first record in 9 years abandons the vague melodic structures that flecked .74 with a homely musical recurrence, and instead loses itself down winding paths of fog and snowstorm. No longer do drones curl neatly back in on themselves for the sake of repetition and motif – while his blurry electronics still dominate, Lomax himself feels decidedly more absent in determining their direction, allowing them to bleed over into dissonant clashes and ring out with a rich, almost organic feedback.
In my interview with Simon back in 2010, he spoke of the “Zone Of Cold” as a state of plateau, and a point of reflection in amongst a life of constant change. Thus it makes sense for its composer to be only semi-present, blissfully observing sound as it drifts out of the lines. Yet the title also makes a more explicit reference to the temperature of the record, which appears to strike a direct contrast with the searing heat that often wafted through .74. During “In The Dark Shadow Of Winter” I hear this most explicitly, with choral tones and synthesiser pads emerging and receding like lighthouse beams in a bitter winter mist. There’s a sense that Zone Of Cold sheds Lomax’s more musical affiliations to conjure place and environment in more vivid detail – places that move in response to their own ecological collisions rather than in accordance to any predetermined compositional narrative. It’s a most welcome move.
Jack Chuter - ATTN magazine
As Simon states, "Zone of Cold" had a long time coming, as his last effort ".74" (made under the Maitreya-moniker) hails back to 2004. Meanwhile, the Maitreya-project has ceased to be. Its immersive and overall lush ambient soundings are now more or less carried on.
With this title, one might expect harsh, clinical soundings, but its introspective sonic content reveals a world of beautiful stillness and warmth, which Mr Lomax likes to refer to as holographic ethereal quality.
The sixth Council of Nine release "Zone of Cold" is a one-hour deep and emotive atmosphere made up of ten individual pieces. It presents an inner world in balance, softly blooming and glowing as its veil is gradually lifted, and in the end is passed on to a gentle breeze.
The free form, slow morphing textures and precisely layered soundscapes evoke a vast and remote environment in which various smooth levels can be discerned. On "Warmed by the emerging Light" and "Hidden Within", even a sense of circular movement shows up in the vapor sketches and infinite drifting space. A feel of the latter very nicely surfaces on "Crystalline Air" and the smooth resonating "The Calm Before", while minimal piano keys accompany the lyrical "With Dark Intent". The great wide open reveals itself on the key-track "In the "Shadow of Winter" before all dissolves in the incredible stillness of the vaporous "This Fragile Veil". The excellent mastering and production put the icing on the cake here.
All in all, the 61-minute "Zone of Cold" is a well-accomplished ambient/space instalment entering a new dimension of surreal whiteness. It is best experienced and cherished with quality headphones.
Bert Strolenberg - www.sonicimmersion.org
The first two tracks on Zone of Cold really call attention to themselves. Using the dynamic range across a sustaining chord these pieces each build a unique tension of loudness, then near silence, and abstractly asks the listener to contemplate the depth and complexity of the sounds themselves. Simon Lomax is the composer of this transformational music. Known previous to Zone of Cold for his work as Maitreya, this album manifests all of his previous project's strengths, now under his own name.
The listener's enjoyment of Zone of Cold begins and ends with a gloom so brilliantly conveyed by its pace and performance. A time-stopping work of preconceived forms and strategies Lomax succeeds in conjuring the arboreal and fatal illumination of winter light. Digressive sighs of synthesized tones portray an atmosphere of bitter cold as the ten tracks drift aimlessly into new territory - a sprawling coldness its only message. Crystalline notes enshrouded in reverb shimmer on a background of blurred sonic imagery. In places the brooding drama lifts - in an aural montage of venting steam and keening synth lines, while elsewhere the feel is more that of frozen brittleness. Floating on clouds of sound and ideas can take the listener quite far, maybe further still were we asleep while wrestling with Zone of Cold - in the pure interplay of timbre, divorced from form.
Chuck van Zyl/STAR'S END
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