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The Ritual

by Alto Stratus

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    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality downloads of Vrije: Old Woulds Vol.1, Alto Stratus: Old Wounds Vol.2, Vrije: Blitzkrieg, Vrije: Terminus, Retrospection 2, Vrije: Six, Retrospection I, Tasty Morsels, Adhara: Visions Of Alucia, Vrije: Transmission, and 50 more. , and , .

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Scrying 11:00
Bardo Thodol 06:46
Ceremony 18:13
The Captive 15:22


Descriptive of man's rituals and ceremonies, the music on this album attempts sonically to reflects the calm serenity of meditation, the tense air of the ritual dance, the weird realms of occultist magic and more, with synthesizers and sound sampling, to create surreal sound paintings, taking the listener way beyond physical realms...
The Ritual was the culmination of 10 years of sonic exploration and self-training, developing our own language as non-musicians. Next to the Biomechanoid release this was our most melodic and musical endeavour and was the very last thing we recorded before putting all such activities on hold and starting up Ultima Thule. Recorded over a period of 4 days, it was one of the few recordings we made taking advantage of the multi-tracking possibilities of a 4 track Teac reel to reel, so for the first time we could play back and dub live without loss of quality. The Ritual is basically a collection of live recordings, with additional channels added later. In recording it we immersed ourselves in the concept of magic and mysticism, engaging in hypnotic and entangled patterns of sound, using synthesizers, keyboards and sequencers, plus loops and sampling. Some well-known voices can be heard imparting their wisdom in a repeated looping fashion, all adding to the ritualistic feel.


released August 12, 2014

Recorded at Tachyon Studio (25-28 March 1989).
Bonus The Captive taken from A Cage Went In Search Of A Bird
(Dark Star DIS 1-2) sampler.
Digital transfer by Alan Freeman at Tachyon Studio (12 May 2002).

Alan Freeman: synths (Octave Cat, Korg MS20), Siel Orchestra 2, samples, loops.
Steve Freeman: synths (Moog Source+Moog Rogue CV linked sequencing), Casio MT68, samples, loops, Sinclair Spectrum programming.


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Alto Stratus Leicester, UK

The duo of Alan and Steve Freeman (Ultima Thule), we spent much of our spare time during the 1980's experimenting with electronics, sound collage, etc., recording some 30 odd cassettes as Alto Stratus (and other guises: Vrije, Q.S.O., Electric Junk, etc.), also as soloists, and the trio ZBB. For 30 years we've continued with a 10 further releases since, bands: Endgame, The Newt Hounds, Triax, etc. ... more


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