“Wonderful ambient music” – Ólafur Arnalds
“The first two tracks on Zone of Cold (61’46”) really call attention to themselves. Using the dynamic range across a sustaining chord these pieces each build a unique tension of loudness, then near silence, and abstractly asks the listener to contemplate the depth and complexity of the sounds themselves. Simon Lomax is the composer of this transformational music. Known previous to Zone of Cold for his work as Maitreya, this album manifests all of his previous project’s strengths, now under his own name. The listener’s enjoyment of Zone of Cold begins and ends with a gloom so brilliantly conveyed by its pace and performance. A time-stopping work of preconceived forms and strategies Lomax succeeds in conjuring the arboreal and fatal illumination of winter light. Digressive sighs of synthesized tones portray an atmosphere of bitter cold as the ten tracks drift aimlessly into new territory – a sprawling coldness its only message. Crystalline notes enshrouded in reverb shimmer on a background of blurred sonic imagery. In places the brooding drama lifts – in an aural montage of venting steam and keening synth lines, while elsewhere the feel is more that of frozen brittleness. Floating on clouds of sound and ideas can take the listener quite far, maybe further still were we asleep while wrestling with Zone of Cold – in the pure interplay of timbre, divorced from form.”
– Chuck van Zyl/STAR’S END
“Back when I was 15, Maitreya’s .74 album played a prominent part in the evolution of my own listening behaviour. I’m sure I’m not alone in acknowledging the change in perspective that accompanies the entry into meditative and reflective music…Because of all this, I’ve been eagerly anticipating Zone Of Cold. It’s not only my own nostalgia that resurrects those feelings of entering something mysterious and alien – Simon Lomax’s first record in 9 years abandons the vague melodic structures that flecked.74 with a homely musical recurrence, and instead loses itself down winding paths of fog and snowstorm. No longer do drones curl neatly back in on themselves for the sake of repetition and motif – while his blurry electronics still dominate, Lomax himself feels decidedly more absent in determining their direction, allowing them to bleed over into dissonant clashes and ring out with a rich, almost organic feedback…There’s a sense that Zone Of Cold sheds Lomax’s more musical affiliations to conjure place and environment in more vivid detail – places that move in response to their own ecological collisions rather than in accordance to any predetermined compositional narrative. It’s a most welcome move.”
– ATTN Magazine
“The sixth Council of Nine release “Zone of Cold” is a one-hour deep and emotive atmosphere made up of ten individual pieces. It presents an inner world in balance, softly blooming and glowing as its veil is gradually lifted, and in the end is passed on to a gentle breeze…All in all, the 61-minute “Zone of Cold” is a well-accomplished ambient/space instalment entering a new dimension of surreal whiteness. It is best experienced and cherished with quality headphones”.
– Bert Strolenberg – Ambient Immersion