RELEASED: March 1, 2010
ARTIST: Robert Rich
LABEL: Soundscape

If you are interested in a 5.1 channel high resolution surround version, you can purchase surround downloads from the Surround Music One link above: (

Organic, lush and sensual

Robert Rich’s first solo studio album in three years seductively blends languid polyrhythms with influences as diverse as South Indian Karnatic music, post-rock, jazz, and minimalism.

The title comes from ylang ylang, a flowering tree that grows in South Asia, with a mysterious fragrance that embodies elements of shadow and light, eros and gnosis, earth and sky.


Robert Rich: flutes, lap steel , piano, percussion, MOTM modular & synths
Ricky Carter: drums
Sakthivel Muruganandhan: mrdungam
Sunilkumar Sankarapillai: bansuri
Haroun Serang: guitar
Emily Bezar: voice
Forrest Fang: violin
Hans Christian: cello
Paul Olguin: upright bass

Pushing the boundaries of Robert’s melodic world-fusion vocabulary, such as on Seven Veils or Propagation, Ylang blends Rich’s expressive steel guitar, shimmering organic electronics and yearning flute melodies with influences as diverse as south Indian Karnatic music, pulsing minimalism and pensive jazz; while its deconstructed drums and blurry guitar feedback might feel at home with Sigur Ros or Bark Psychosis.

Rich enlists help for this undertaking from a circle of trusted
musician friends. The rhythmic scaffolding for the album comes
from two very different drummers. Ricky Carter adds his
intelligent sparse drumming, fluid with syncopation but complex
in meter. These rhythms could be a slow tempo homage to Jaki
Leibzeit from Can. Post-processing transforms them into rubbery
chuffing abstractions. The other rhythmic foundation comes from
the Karnatic mrdungam playing of Sakthivel Muruganandhan, which
also wanders into Rich”s sonic blender, shifting from time-
stretched blurs into organic live duets with bansuri master
Sunilkumar Sankarapillai.

Lilting in and out of this heady atmosphere of South Indian
music and minimalist space jazz, the wordless voice of art-pop
virtuoso Emily Bezar adds a feminine intelligence to several
pieces, and subtle melodic guitar additions from Haroun Serang
augment Rich’s soaring lap steel feedback. With acoustic bass
from Paul Olguin and string additions from Forrest Fang and
Hans Christian, the sonic texture warms to a glowing woody
earthiness. Rich’s audiophile production and delicate sound
design glue the textures together into a seductive and inviting
mossy nest. From these disparate elements, Ylang forms a sonic
entity unto itself.

Song List

Ambergris 4:14
Translucent 4:59
Attar 6:38
Verbena 5:03
Kalyani 8:09
Vetiver 6:25
Tamarack 5:38
Charukesi 7:11
First Rain 4:59

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