Bill Binkelman, Reviewer
Zone Music Reporter and Retailing Insight magazine
On MOSAIC, keyboard artist David Wahler reaches a new pinnacle in his artistry of crafting emotionally rich, serenely flowing, and gently rhythmic electronic music soundscapes that intermix new age music elements from the classic period of late '80s and early '90s with a more contemporary aspect and state of the art production quality. Wahler paints on a broader musical canvas than on his earlier works, but his trademark warmth and intimacy are apparent with every piano note and every application of electronic texture, as well as his meticulous attention to detail in layering all the elements present on every track. Mosaic is another winner from this under-appreciated artist.
Beautifully Inspired Musical Montage
Dick Metcalf, Contemporary Fusions Review
MOSAIC: If we use the dictionary definition, what David has created here is “a picture (and a very beautiful one, at that) made of small, usually colored pieces of inlaid stone, glass”... as you listen to the marvelous interweaves he uses to create “Afterain“, you’ll realize that all you need do is substitute “colored pieces of musical tones” for his most enchanting work here!
Those who read my reviews regularly know that I’m really visually inclined, so I would (most STRONGLY) recommend that you take a look/listen to the beautiful video that David’s friend Aquariel Charm made to highlight his wonderful compositions...and of course, while you’re on the video page, be sure to subscribe to David’s YouTube channel!
It’s been quite a while since I reviewed David’s work... issue # 95, to be exact... he got high marks from me then, but as I listen to the deep string movements on the 5:51 “Child of the Universe“, my appreciation for his talent at layering all the instruments, vocal works and nature sounds into his compositions grows to stellar proportions...
…this is (truly) one of the best New Age inspirational pieces I’ve heard (yet) in 2018, and I can say (without qualification) that it merits an award.
The harp sounds, as well as the snippets of “nature sounds” and solid vocal work, that are woven so intricately through “Elysian Dawn” is more than just attractive... it will literally hold you spellbound... I just loved this song, and have no doubt you will as well.
The piece that best reveals the sparkling pictures David is painting for your mind, though, is the shimmering and sparkling “Sakura“... this song is perfect for meditating on how to bring your own life to full blossom and maturity... in fact, now that I’ve listened to it for the third time, I can safely predict that this song WILL get an award this year.
I give David a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, with an “EQ” (energy quotient)
rating of 4.99 for this spectacular set of musical visions.
David Wahler, Mosaic, Independent Released
Written by RJ Lannan, reviewer, Zone Music Reporter
Rating: Very Good+
When you put it all together, it sounds like this.
Mosaic, David Wahler’s latest offering is a soothing ambient adventure. David’s keyboard is to music what a typewriter is to words. He creates these lush scenarios with every composition. This particular album has a dreamlike consistency throughout. Mosaic contains eleven tracks of daydream creating atmospheres. There are a lot of definitions for mosaic, but the one that I think applies has to do with something resembling a picture or decoration in a composition, especially in being made up of diverse elements. Wahler’s keyboards, inorganic voices, Synth washes and quavers are the elements that make up the melodies which allow the heart and mind to reach past the physical.
The first cut is the title tune, Mosaic. With the sounds of a gentle lute, ethereal voice, and an unforgettable fanciful melody, it is the song that ties the themes together.
The music sparkles and shines and as in almost every track, has a floating quality to it.
You can imagine your universe coming together.
I can see the sun glistening on residual raindrops outside the window on the English olive bush. It is the perfect setting for David’s song, Afterain. The flute is pensive, delicate, and delightful on this downtempo piece with just a murmur of voice in the background.
My favorite on the album turned out to be a tune called Child of the Universe. The music is expansive, radiant, and joyful. If anything the refrain was colorful in the sense that muted colors morphed into each other, one more brilliant than the next.
August Cloud has a weightlessness to it. It is that floating feeling again as if you don’t have a care in the world. The drifting reverie suggests warm, sunny days where the clouds don’t care where they go as long as they are part of your imagination.
With a touch of oriental nuance the song Sakura come into play. Sakura is the Japanese word for cherry blossom. Imagine a vast sea of pink under a blue sky. How soothing that is to the spirit. It makes me yearn for spring during this harsh winter day.
Fou D’Amour or Fool for Love is one of the more complex compositions on Mosaic. It is an undulating ballad of muted percussion, glimmering flourishes, and a horn driven lead that is catchy and upbeat. This is way beyond candy and flowers. This is breathe every breath, gage every minute, and think every thought about the one you love. It’s complicated.
The final cut called Why? is a mysterious piece with moderate voice and a flowing melody. It has an anachronistic texture to it. Think sixties movie music. The xylophone sounding number not only has that shimmering quality to it, but also the sound is peaceful.
David Wahler musically demonstrates that “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”
Using bold celestial colors, diaphanous textures, and atmospheric soundscapes, his music invokes a mystical world where dreams are more than mere possibilities. If you want something relaxing and pensive, you can’t go wrong with Mosaic. Highly recommended.
Mosaic by David Wahler
Written by Steve Sheppard, One World Music
From the vaults of time I gaze back over the decades, and come across New Age music greats, like Medwyn Goodall, Phil Thornton, Nigel Shaw and of course Kevin Kendle; yes the latter half of the last century and the first part of the 21st, were the golden years of the New Age music genre for us in Great Britain, now some 20 years later and the internet connecting the entire world in ways we would never have imagined, how I wished I had of known about David Wahler then.
Wahler has a skill that is so redolent of those halcyon days of the new age music scene, and he fills the void that I have found recently, with a perfection of ambience that will ease the soul and calm the senses.
From the very first track on the album you will find yourself transported to a place of musical peace and delight and the sumptuous title track Mosaic is such a wonderful place to start, with his magical keyboards, synths and some ethereal vocalizations, Wahler produces the perfect opener.
You will find elements of Kendle and Goodall here, yes, but Wahler stands out as his own man on this stunning new release; just take a listen to the sensual, Afterain. The keyboards almost take us right back to the late 90’s and that very slight use of natural sounds is simply ideal, this is a track that contains much magic within and one that also contains plenty of musical colour as well.
On A Promise to Keep, a narrative of an incredibly gentle nature can be found, one that took me back to the works of David Sun in energy and style. The soothing piano here is so tranquil and the repeating motif on keyboard is the gentle musical hand on the tiller, this is truly a piece of melodic love as you would ever wish to find.
It used to be hard to find really great New Age music recently, but in the last few years that scene has been slowly changing; now with Mosaic by David Wahler, the revival is in full flow. The reflective and deeply moving Child of the Universe is a prime example; this would turn out to be my favorite from an album that is spilling over with utter quality. The tempo is soothing and gentle, there is an inspirational energy about this track that raises the hairs on your arms, and of course it is true, regardless of everything, we are all children of the universe.
Taking a moment to reflect on the last tracks genius in motion, we now move to August Cloud and whilst listening to this I remembered a conversation I had with New Age star Phil Thornton, while talking about his track Casting Pearls, what he said to me that day is so very relevant to this piece in my opinion. Phil described his song as simply watching the white pearls of the Cumulus clouds drift past on a summers day, and that seems to sum up exactly for me the feeling I have when I listen to August Cloud from Mosaic.
I have to be honest here, I must have listened to this album 5 or 6 times in the past week in preparation for the review you are now reading and each time I did, I heard more, and each nuance expressed for me why this release is, and will be, one of the headline New Age albums of the century so far.
Listen to the floating imagery that the composition Elysian Dawn creates, listen to the simply sun kissed vocalizations and natural sounds that manifest with ease, in this Eden like realm of utter beauty.
Heading Home is quite poignant as we are moving towards the end of the album, but Wahler has composed something not only yearning, but reflective and quite beautiful here. There is a slow but very sure sense of movement, one that seems to be so filled with love. One can feel through this track that a moment of reconciliation is nearing, and a sense of oneness will soon be achieved.
As we move deeper into the splendor that is Mosaic, we come across a simply charming piece called Sakura, which I believe is Japanese for cherry blossom. The soft and delicate performance here on keyboards is sublime and one that builds with such a creative gentleness, it’s simply blissful to musically observe the process as it occurs quite naturally, and at over six and a half minutes, this is the longest track off the album and to be truthful, if the artist had made it an hour long, he would still have held my attention, this is magnificent in all ways.
Now for something spacious and magical, as we arrive at the portal of the next track entitled Lone Sky Night. The New Age ethic in this one is strong, and Wahler’s skill set at drawing a narrative musically that completely relates to the subject matter of the title is sheer genius. One through this piece could imagine the stars slowly coming out over a landscape like Stonehenge. A track wonderfully performed with a sense of a vastness in the music that is simply incalculable.
We now arrive at the open window of the penultimate offering entitled Fou D’Amour which translates to Crazy in Love, which is what I am lucky enough to be in. One may draw a comparison with the early works of Kendle here, but that is done so out of respect for the amazing quality of the track. Wahler’s arrangement of this piece is superb; he creates lightness with the keyboards and combines a lush energy of utter happiness with each and every note played.
Sadly we move to the last offering of the album, I say sadly as I wish this experience would never end, but here we come across the final musical gift from the musician and it is called Why. You will find a carefully trodden performance at the beginning of this piece, as Wahler offers a sense of trepidation into the weave. One feels like they are walking through a mist filled oasis, the crafted nature of this track is completely clever as Why, is the only question that can never be answered, this ones up to you folks.
Mosaic by David Wahler is one of the finest examples of traditional New Age music this century with ease.
The quality of production and perfect use of natural sounds is delightful and the rich tapestries of soothing keyboards have manifested a true winner of an album. We may draw many comparisons with other artists and albums from the past, but for my money, David Wahler and Mosaic will be an album that will obtain legendary status within the genre and finally give him the respect he deserves within this new global musical community that he should have.