One of my very favorite artists in the world is Mike Carss, who records stunning ambient music under the moniker Altus. And one of my very favorite releases by Mike has been his series of albums entitled Winter Embrace.
Time flows by us, and sometimes we don’t even realize how quickly. Somehow the original Winter Embrace has reached 15 years of age, and Mike has decided to reissue this landmark piece, not only as a remastering – but as a complete re-performance. From his liner notes:
” … What harms the 2002/2005 recording are the tools I had at my disposal, as well as the limitations of my technical knowledge. Any artist can tell you that we’re always learning something new. I’ve learned a lot about sound design, and my current toolset offers me a much better set of options than what I had then.
What you hear now is the definitive version of Winter Embrace. Aside from the twinkling bells that permeate the recording, everything you hear has been meticulously rebuilt from the ground up, treated with the utmost respect in terms of keeping the mood intact. To be clear, changes have been made, but if you were to compare, I think you’d agree this version is a vast improvement …”
After hearing this new release of a long-cherished classic, all I can say is wow. The original sounded good and had that lush Altus compositional style, but the new version is smooth and exquisite, an absolute delight for the senses. I didn’t think it was possible to improve upon a classic, but Altus has done so.
I encourage anyone who loves ambient music, cinematic music, or just loves winter, to grab a copy of this superlative album, by a true master of the genre. Get yours here: