Returning to Constellation Tatsu with his sixth album, Curved Light defines his sound anew with Flow and Return. A visceral psychedelic journey, the album is perhaps more densely layered than his previous efforts, but here laced with a fresh batch of memorable melodies and a neon under-current of 21st century dread. While resisting the label “ambient,” Curved Light’s Peter Tran clearly displays a gift in composing instrumental symphonies with only hardware synthesizers, loopers, and vintage effects machines.
Flow and Return as a 14-track sonic journey covers a lot of psychic ground, with serene, ravishing soundscapes punctuated by more swiftly sequenced compositions. He’s as deft crafting driving basslines and strident synth stabs as he is presenting lugubrious clouds of sedated ambience. “Colorform” is reminiscent of early ‘70s composers and draws a clear comparison with Tangerine Dream, while “Non-Volatile” bear resemblance with fellow Austin dwellers S U R V I V E.
In the past two years, Tran has managed to distinguish himself with a landmark electronic sound in a town now famous for ground breaking electronic artists. Tran moved to Austin from the DC area in 2015 with his partner, Deirdre Smith, a visual artist who provides his albums and live shows with visuals stolen from the most vivid lysergic episodes. He has performed numerous shows with luminaries such as S U R V I V E, Suzanne Ciani, Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, and Steve Hauschildt, and recently provided the soundtrack for a fictional story told live in Austin by Reading Rainbow/ Star Trek star, LeVar Burton.