Review for Excursion Three

John at Hypnagogue has written up a lovely review for Excursion Three.

Altus has pulled off quite an alchemical trick with Excursion 3, creating pieces that are lighter than air while still nicely weighted with emotion. Over the course of these three mid-length pieces (10, 20, and 30 minutes, respectively), musician Mike Carss maintains a quiet yet meaningful voice, and guides us on a journey that begins melodically and melts down into a silken ambient space […]

Read the entire review here.
Thanks John!

The Time Collection

In the midst of working on a two-disc album entitled “The Time Collection.” You can expect some very deep, epic music.

Release date is still to be determined, however it will be somewhere between the end of 2014 and the first few months of 2015.

Disc 1: Ghost of Time
1. Illusionary Progression
2. Like Sand Through Fingers
3. Live for the Now
4. Absolve the Past
5. Brave the Future
6. Aetas

Disc 2: Time Forgotten
1. The Patience of Eternity
2. Memory Thief
3. What You Leave Behind
4. Walk with Oblivion

There’s a good chance this will be available as a limited-number CD release as well. I can guarantee it’ll be a rare thing to own. Very much a collector’s item in special packaging. More details on that closer to release day.

For those prefer downloads, don’t fret. It will be available for free as usual.

Reviews for “Excursion Three”

In case you missed them, here are three reviews for Excursion Three.
My thanks to Bert (Sonic Immersion), Allister (Make Your Own Taste), and George (The CerebralRift) for sharing their thoughts of my work with their respective followers.

Sonic Immersion

[…] The free form, pastel-colored sonic landscape laid out here complements the previous recordings beautifully, painting velvet textural sceneries before the mind’s eye with an ongoing string of soothing and uplifting waves washing ashore and drifting away profoundly sensitive and gently. This intrinsic mood music also carries some slight melancholic undercurrents though, most notably on the gracious “Gathering the Moments”.


Make Your Own Taste

[…] There’s nothing prettier on the musical earth than the gentle sequencing and airy synths of pieces like “Journey’s End.” The lovely sparse piano of “Gathering the Moments” gives Budd a serious run for his money, and the 30-minute “Silver Shores” is a true synth pad tour de force, the equal of our pal Phil Wilkerson in the modern synth pad genius sweepstakes.


The CerebralRift

[…] This is a release where you can almost pick your excursion. While it’s all about the end of the journey, it’s also about putting the experience or mood of the journey into perspective internally. It’s up for you to decide what the journey has meant to you, and whether you wish to remain.

Altus in 2014

Before I delve into this missive, I’d like to thank all those who’ve donated money. I’ve been flooded by a large number of donations these past few weeks! All I can say is wow! I guess Sleep Theory Volume 2 is a hit, despite my concerns about it. Thank you all for your generosity!

2014 marks two decades into my musical journey. Well, technically September 2013 was the two-decade mark, but this is close enough. It was in September 1993 when I discovered a free music-making tool on a BBS called MOD Edit.
MOD Edit
This simple program gave me the ability to do what I’d always wanted to do as a kid: make music! What I produced was terrible, but hey, we all gotta start somewhere, right? Unfortunately I lost all my earliest works (probably 20-30 songs) to a boot sector virus called Stoned.Empire.Monkey.B. It toasted the hard-drive, and had infected my backup disks as well. Viruses back then where nothing like the watered-down annoyances we have today. If you’ve never experienced a virus from the earlier years, consider yourself lucky.

2013 was certainly a different year for me. I took a six-month break from music–a rare thing, given the last time I took an extended break was over nine years ago. The concerns I have about my work remaining relevant and interesting (something I talked about a year ago) still weighs heavily on me. The need to explore completely different sounds and genres has grown stronger within me–music so different that using the moniker Altus would be wrong. This has already happened to a degree. For example, the beat-oriented works in Crossroads and ECOTONE aren’t very appropriate for the Altus brand. Moving forward, I’ve decided to keep such endeavours separate, so the ambient works that Altus is best known for remains that way.

The next question you may have would be: When can we hear this “different” music?

My answer: Maybe never. I haven’t fully decided on this yet, but the new moniker I would release under could be completely anonymous–disconnected from myself–the ego. This concept is hardly new. A great example would be Austere, an anonymous duo who I’ve chatted with in the StillStream chatroom and on Facebook. I’ve also heard rumour that Darrell Burgan (Palancar) might have anonymously released music under a different name.

By doing this, the music is left alone to speak. Any connection the listener has to the artist (good or bad) is disconnected. This disconnect is curiously appealing to me.

Anyway, all this babbling and I haven’t even covered what I have planned for this year. Onward!

Excursion Three
After a couple of years on hiatus, I’ve been told the Earth Mantra netlabel will be releasing new music soon. What a perfect time to produce a third part to the Excursion series, as the other two were distributed through that netlabel.

Ghost of Time
Expect moods and textures similar to those found in the fan-favourite Coma Cluster. This will be self-released.

Katabasis (working title)
Harry Sklar (Har) and I are planning another collaboration together. If you recall, we produced the dark and moody Shadow District together. We’ve barely begun, but the plan is to explore some very dark themes consisting of a mix of ambient and heavy percussion. It will be very un-Altus. I will announce it here and on the Facebook page, but will be available elsewhere to download. This work will be under a unique moniker (a band name has yet to be decided). This was something Harry had suggested when we were working on Shadow District, and I’m kicking myself in a butt for not agreeing to it then.

If you’ve read all this, I appreciate your time and interest. If you have any comments or questions regarding what I’ve written here, I’d love to hear from you. The best way to contact me is through e-mail, or on Facebook.