Inner Travels






Sometimes a little smile can improve the whole day, a fragile mindfulness lets the nihilist believe in mankind again, you know the deal. Then as a music lover, it so happens that the smallest works are often the important ones, and this most certainly applies to Nourish by Lake Geneva, Wisconsin-based synthesist Inner Travels aka Steve Targo whose flavor of New Age has nothing to do with the esoteric erethism of the 70’s. It is instead a stratiform approach of multiplied – not multiple – meanings, always enchanting the soul in comprehensible pieces that are open to scrutiny yet awash with gyring positrons, incandescent cell tissues and an angular momentum that whets the sensorial apprehension. Self-released on Bandcamp and spanning five untitled tracks, Nourish is kept under the radar, the artist himself doesn’t want it to be a big deal. But for his fans, this collection is a revelation, or better still: an elation. The tracks may be untitled but encapsulate the paths that eventually led to the previously released albums and EP’s by Inner Travels. You can call them B-sides, ancillary vignettes or leftovers, but none of these terms triggers the excitement of listening to additional tracks that could have made it onto the final release. I cannot imagine why these gemstones didn’t make it in the end, but I am entirely grateful that Inner Travels decided to let the public in on their existence. I know what I have to do, so here goes everything…


Aerose-brazen flares, nomological centrioles, aquatic muons and the flute-like syringa synths that are the trademark of Inner Travels: enter the first untitled track that derives from the horticultural sessions that eventually brought us the prospering Garden Music (Rainbow Pyramid, 2014). Such being the case, the aural photodissociation is eminently turquoise, with vestiges of anthocyanin in-between the interstitial pyroxene-filled ventricles. The designated mood cannot be pinpointed, it is a cocktail made of scything puissance, effervescent punctilio helixes and blurred polymers. Untitled 1 is therefore a bit farther away from Steve Targo’s truly soul-cleansing New Age adventures, but remains a vincristine-alloyed concestor regardless, certainly flowering and blooming much more ebulliently due to the lack of cloak-and-dagger mysteries and other clandestine chloroderivatives. Even on lower volumes, this first track is imminent and immersive, enchanting with its orthochromatic megafauna.


The next two tracks are possibly the most interesting tidbits from an extrinsic point of view, as they are basically in limbo: Inner Travels only reveals that they have been created in a timeframe of October 2013 till January 2014. They cannot be attached to a certain flavor of an album or EP. Interestingly enough, they are the adjuvants and illuminants that brighten up the way from the eclecticism of Targo’s former Riot Meadows moniker into the self-chosen iconoclasm that is New Age, an admittedly crowded field. As usual, I may read too much – and on top of that, too many wrong things – into the existence, but rest assured that these two tracks are fully functional Inner Travels sporophytes and the first harbingers of the cotyledons, lycopods and phragmoplasts to come. Untitled 2 is a gaseous colchicine-alloyed syncytium of swirling synth ecomorphs, adaxial aureoles and molybdenized afterglows of mutual understanding, running on all cylinders while painting an electropositive pectiniform diorama in technicolor. Untitled 3, then, sees Inner Travels fathom the vitreous verglas ventiducts of the mind through which the bubbly beat-accentuated pyrethrin is channeled. Jungular syrinxes, rhombohedral birds and polyphonous sunset surfactants round off a rotoscoping accretion of atomic vitalism.


The last two tracks are remainders of the sun-dappled sessions that were to become First Light (Twin Springs Tapes, 2014), one of the most lilting telomeres of cenobitism in the New Age scene and a huge favorite of mine. These two untitled entities are therefore unapologetically close to my heart as well, and I for one don’t see them as ostracized mis-chromosomed scapegraces but prefer to call them debonair superionic macronutrients. Untitled 4 inherits the multinucleate translucency of the gleaming fluid-processed synth drones whose bright proteostasis proselytizes the mind by offering a phototropism that is augmented by violin-esque planetesimals and pseudotensors. And as always, deep within the barycenter: glistening glints, sparkling scintillae and fluvio-lacustrine droplets. Afterwards, Untitled 5 comes along in the shape of an isothermal abiogenesis, connecting the arpeggiated dots in a perihelic glacier of crystalline purity. Aliphatic glucans, amniotic rivulets and salubrious avulsions emit light, emanate equimolar chromophores and radiate viridian mica in a cajoling caproic viscoelasticity. Despite the lower temperature, effulgence and micrometry unite in a spherical finale.


With the over-crowded New Age scene in mind, the music of Inner Travels is all the more protruding through the mucoid ether, but it is almost audaciously scary how great the – now previously – rejected material really is. The decision to curate tracks for an album or EP takes guts, but it takes a particularly strong will to rule out these gregarious constituents which had ennobled each and every work they would have appeared on. While Nourish is a release that bridges or caulks the gaps between two proper releases, it is no hastily compiled compilation of B-sides at all, and even if this were the case, we all have our bands and artists which only release their best tracks as B-sides anyway. I wouldn’t even dare to allege that these five untitled hypanthia should replace certain tracks or segues that did make it onto an Inner Travels album or EP, the primary reason being my joy about Steve Targo letting us in on the plasticity, the slow forming of the Inner Travels epistemology, its ingredients, stylistic entities and synaptic triggers. This is the good kind of New Age that looks forward, despite being dependent on (overcoming) memories and past encounters. Fans of Inner Travels need to support this collection of unreleased material anyway. Nourish is one of those offerings where the abundantly used terms gift or present magnanimously receive the crucial meaning they ought to enshrine.


Further listening and reading:


Ambient Review 440: Inner Travels – Nourish (2015). Originally published on Jul. 1, 2015 at