With a discography containing more than 200 recordings and compilation appearances that spans three decades, countless labels, and various stylistic changes and directions, it can be difficult to know where to begin with Dirk Serries’ vidnaObmana alter ego. Thankfully, several compilations and collections serve to chronicle vidnaObmana’s gradual evolution from harsh industrial noise to exquisitely serene ethno-ambient music.
Into the Heart of the Eternal focuses on the latter with eight songs full of gentle synthesizer currents, deep, shimmering pools of sound, and faint tribal rhythms. All of the featured songs are lovely, and despite being culled from releases that represent a decade of vidnaObmana’s output, they all flow together for a nice, cohesive listen (the sound quality of some of the older songs notwithstanding).
Of special note, however, are: “Streamers of Stillness” (from 1996’s The River of Appearance) with its sparse piano melody ringing out from within subtly shifting atmospherics; “Over Clouds” (from 1991’s Refined on Gentle Clouds), its gently nostalgic tones making it one of the best “pure” ambient vidnaObmana compositions; and “Distant Awakening” (from 1992’s Shadowing in Sorrow), an eerie-yet-melancholy piece that finds Serries at his most refined and austere.
My one complaint with Into the Heart of the Eternal is that it only features one song from The River of Appearance, which is my favorite vidnaObmana release. But even with that trivial oversight, Into the Heart of the Eternal is a fantastic point of entry into the career of one of ambient music’s most distinctive and prolific voices.