Panteon - Travel Log 1

by Bill Golembeski Rating:8 Release Date:2018-01-19
Panteon - Travel Log 1
Panteon - Travel Log 1

This is a lovely bit of music. My only gripe is its EP brevity. But the four songs do bode well for a future album release.

Just so you know, Panteon is the nom de plume for Yvonne Ambree, an East German-born self-confessed world traveler, whose songs record her impressions of Prague, Colombia, Ireland, and New York. Of course, all of this Travel Log 1 music begins with her own introspective inner journey.

As Peter Gabriel sang in “Carpet Crawlers” from The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, “We’ve got to get in to get out.” Incidentally, George MacDonald said a similar thing in his great book Lilith. So yeah, this is that sort of record, a psychological journey that starts with the self, expands to other foreign lands, and then returns with a bit more wisdom.

This may well be in keeping with the current Millennial ethos, and that’s fine; but it’s also what a lot of us did way back in the 70’s. Joni Mitchell wrote a song called “Urge for Going.” And we went places. We slept on trains. We camped. We talked to people. We learned a bit about ourselves. So yeah, this record is a beautiful plea to understand everything that was so wonderfully expressed in George Harrison’s song “Within You Without You.”

Yvonne Ambree’s songs are beautiful sonic journeys.

One time in Ireland at the Listoonvarna Festival, my ears were numb from standing too close to the big concert festival speakers, and this Irish guy pointed at the beer in my hand and either said, “That’s a good Guinness,” or, possibly, “There’s a God within us.” To this day, I’m not really certain what the guy exactly said. Perhaps, in a weird way, it might well be the very same thing.

This record reminds me of that day, when through my own travels, I found a bit more about myself.

So, the music is sultry folk. The first song “January Keeper” is beautiful guitar music with an urgent vocal that cascades with a dreamy dimension that evokes a bit of early Kate Bush. Then “White Jaguar” ups the Kate Bush ante as the chorus ushers in a sound not dissimilar to the beauty of Lionheart’s “Warm Room” or “Kashka From Bagdad.” But Yvonne Ambree is very much her own person. She’s a singer who conjures her inner photographic images of exotic experiences in song.

Betwixt the initial songs are two “Interludes.” One is titled “Charlevoix” and the other is “San Victorino.” Together they both exist for less that one minute and are, perhaps, street musicians from the various travels. They don’t last long, but they enhance the “world journey” concept of the record. It will be interesting to see how these interesting bits figure into an album.

“Ballyvaughan” is a song written for western Ireland. It’s not exactly Celtic music, but it does possess the mist and deep age of an Irish icon like Clannad before they just made Enya music. And then there is the flugelhorn that elevates the song into a lovely sadness that is beyond the standard folk record.

“Hudson” concludes the EP. Its guitar is reminiscent of the Eastern tinged mystery of David Crosby’s “Guinevere.” But it’s the music of up-state New York, the Catskills and that sort of legend. And the vocals melt into space—both inner and outer space. This music gets in to get out, and it does indeed, get out to get in.”

You know, I was all ready to plug in to this music and begin a new book called The Fifties Child which is all about the music and sociological significance of Barclay James Harvest. But I had to put the book down because this music just drew me into its web. That’s saying quite a bit because I really like BJH. But I had to listen to the depth of this music. And it’s an old depth, and yeah, it’s a Deja vu brand new depth that really needs to be explored by all the people who simply need to travel the world and drink a Guinness, or for that matter, find a God that is, ultimately, in the grooves that spin, with deep mystery, within us all.

Overall Rating (1)

5 out of 5 stars
  • Rated 5 out of 5 stars

    Excellent review! I think it is strange that “EP” is an acronym for “Extended Play”. I guess this illustrates some of the forgotten history of the music industry (singles and 45s). EPs can be such a tease! EPs always feel so unfinished. They almost always leave me wanting more.