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The Sounding Board by R J Lannan
RJ Lannan is the reviewer for The Sounding Board.
Other reviews from The Sounding Board by R J Lannan:
  Into the Unknown by Joseph L Young, reviewed by Artisan Music Reviews on 10/26/2022
  FIRE by Sukha, reviewed by Artisan Music Reviews on 7/29/2022
  The Golden Age by Damon Buxton, reviewed by R J Lannan on 10/2/2019
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Into the Unknown
By Joseph L Young
Released 7/8/2022
Into the Unknown tracks
1. Into the Unknown  
2. Remembrance of Time  
3. Enchanted  
4. Secrets of Stone  
5. Beyond the Horizon  
6. Between Worlds (remix)  
7. Transcendence  
8. The Forgotten  
9. Eclipsed  
10. Windswayed  
11. Ancestral Crossings  
Into the Unknown
Joseph L Young
Into the Unknown

A divergent path is something that multi-instrumentalist Joseph L Young knows well. Sometimes known as a talented lead sax player, this composer has found a new kind of magic and uses it to enter Into the Unknown as his new album is called. The recording is almost an hour long of New Age and ambient flute music on eleven tracks. Using deftly created synth mixes, Young unlocks eleven doors that invite the listener on a spectacular aural journey.
At the first step we hear complex Middle Eastern themes. With the sound of gathering energies, a female voice calls to us. In this title track the door closes, but before us is a vast new world. Young’s music is at first an invitation, then a guide as horn, percussion, and dreamy voice coalesce into a musical pathway. We are now traveling Into the Unknown.
Slow, brooding chords lull us for a time in the next track Enchanted. A beckoning, beguiling flute with a hypnotic voice calls us and works the magic of sound. We float along on an invisible course and we are amazed at what is to be seen. Twisting notes wind around in our minds like a vine of hushed euphony.
Secrets of Stone is dark and dreamy, as if we are in a cave and making our way not by feel, but by following sounds. We hear rattles, bongos, dulcimer, and drums. There’s just a bit of light up ahead. A serpentine saxophone draws us deeper into the grotto. Joseph’s tune makes every fiber of our beings tremble in anticipation.
The track Between Worlds opens with soothing harp and idyllic flute to captivate the listener. We spiritize into a place of great beauty in which every way beauty can be experienced. This new world is fragile, verdant, but intangible. Young’s tender score here reminds me of the work of Brian Dunning. Young has managed to get to that unearthly nuance, but still remain in his own world. One of the best tracks on Into the Unknown for keeping to the theme.
We are thrust into a different dimension in the tune The Forgotten. Quavers and waves, drones and tinkling glass over a somber refrain of weeping cello lets us know that this is a place of sorrow, of desperation, and of hopelessness. The only spark of light in this dark drama is a crying flute. Very powerful emotion in this.
Hammered dulcimer and flute join together to manipulate the light on the tune Eclipsed. Scudding clouds in a turgid gray sky and no way to know where the light comes from. The smooth, almost jazzy tune ends up with light coming from all directions and the clouds parting only to be plunged again into darkness.
Other tracks include Beyond the Horizon, Remembrance of Time, Transcendence, and Windswayed. The final track is called Ancestral Crossings which is a journey that can now only be taken in the mind. Whether it be trekking across a land of solid ice or traveling in between the stars, it is lifetimes in the making. Where we came from remains to be discovered. Young offers us an orchestral piece to close the recording with a mourning flute and an intense bass line. With the addition of synth elements, the composer makes the work exist in the past and the future.
The album benefitted by the mastering of Andy Mitran out of Mitran Studios in Chicago as well as contributions by pianist Lynn Tredeau and percussionist Troy Kesner. I reviewed another Joseph L Young album called Every Moment and this new work seems more polished and with a lot more detail. The music is layered with stronger nuances, the elements more pronounced to give color and body to the compositions. Based on this finely crafted music, I’d follow him Into the Unknown. Highly listenable. - R J Lannan, Artisan Music Reviews

Rating: Very Good +   Very Good +
- reviewed by Artisan Music Reviews on 10/26/2022
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