On Phase IX (62'25"), Lorenzo Montana plumbs his psyche for a new revelation... and out has come something that will challenge the definitions of what constitutes Ambient Music. A man of some sonic intelligence, Montana performs the nine tracks on Phase IX with passionate focus. The value of his compositions is not in the time that they last, but in the intensity with which they occur. Charged with Earthen energy, his softly tumbling backdrops support a shimmering solemnity. In a loose but urgent rhythmic rapport, the more energized works on this album present a hurtling, onrushing quality. As a bustling assemblage of entho-electro percussion and electronic textures struggle to lock into a conventional groove, we enter a slow burning meditation on the vital spirit. A storm system rolls in a softly rumbling backdrop, and the music's effect slows the motion of the world - so that we may notice that which surrounds us. Gently descending, Montana seems even more interesting when he explores the darkness. Thick drones engulf metallic rubbing and digital crackle, as a grand piano slowly and certainly plays out a somber nocturne. Chords billow bright, then darken, with a throbbing bass pushing sparkling arpeggio chords through echo and reverb. Technology matters, but musicality matters more. This musician has a gift, perhaps even a genius, for translating thought and emotion into sonic form. Each piece feels infused with a measure of mystery and secrecy. Taken together, everything on Phase IX tallies the outlook of the musician. We should celebrate real thinking where ever we find it, and ponder the future in the way this album does, while we still can.
- Chuck van Zyl/STAR'S END 6 June 2017