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Return to Near North

by The Gateless Gate

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  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Extremely limited CD edition of the remastered new version... clear tray with my nature photography on all panels. A nice souvenir to accompany the music.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Return to Near North via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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  • Full Digital Discography

    Get all 52 Allister Thompson - The Gateless Gate releases available on Bandcamp and save 30%.

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality downloads of Nowhere Is the Dreamer: Songs from a Gen X Canadian Youth, An Allister Thompson Compilation, Primordia, Southern Songs, Hinterlands, River of Tears, SOB II: The Red Squirrel, Earthtron, and 44 more. , and , .

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Ode to Joy J 07:31
Ottawa River 03:47
Composed by Teri-Lynn Janveau
Misery Bay 05:07
Ken's Eagle 03:47
Underbrush 04:23
Aurora 09:34
Borealis 10:52
Summer Hum 05:42


This is a remixed, remastered, and partially rerecorded/enhanced new edition of The Gateless Gate's 2014 album, one of my most popular. It is a collaboration with Teri-Lynn-Janveau, whose minimal but richly harmonic piano compositions provide a nice counterbalance to my busier, more psychedelic and post-rock efforts. This new version provides a clearer, cleaner listening experience and represents the way I always intended the album to sound.

We recorded this album in Toronto, but we now live in the actual near north, and I'm happy to say I still feel these pieces of music do effectively evoke the beauty of the landscapes that surround us.

The album contains two new bonus tracks:
"Resilience and Reconciliation (Ambient Mix)"
"Summer Hum" ( a new version of my older piece, "Spring Hum")

Here's the original blurb:
"Near North is a musical journey across the boreal wilderness of central and northern Ontario, Canada, encountering its rugged Canadian Shield beauty, the flora and fauna and the people we love who inhabit this land."

REVIEWS (2014)

"Thoroughly functional as a meditative, rich complement to whatever journey you’re on at the moment, Near North also reveals—and quietly revels—in a wealth of details and immersion... There’s a celestial vibe that runs through many of the cuts that lend a universal scope that goes beyond mapped out boundaries to embrace the sense of a pilgrimage."

"Thompson has noted Florian Fricke’s Popol Vuh as a major influence, and I would say that their sensibilities are very close. Like Fricke, Thompson seems to move seamlessly between the idioms of psychedelic folk and ambient meditation music. Moreover, as with Popol Vuh, there is a Romantic spirit of nostalgia and reverence for nature underlying The Gateless Gate... Janveau’s contributions on piano illustrate the sense of lostness and silence of some places, Thompson’s on guitar convey the sense of wonder and quiet majesty to others. Near North gives a very complete and compelling narrative of its setting. There are so many memorable details on this album..."

(in Italian)
"Near North has the power of a photo ..."

"Along a range of environmental and nature sound snippets, an emotive red line is always present in the dreamy, minimal-shaped, but also quite shadowy-flavored and at times even hypnotizing realms. The slumbering sense of melancholia running underneath it all, and especially surfacing on the intimate "For Avril", lends it a special edge of romance and intimacy.

Most of all, "Near North" (an invitation to submerge into calming natural spheres and its rays of splendor) demands closer and focused listening."

Sudden Art Music Magazine
"They compose gentle, romantic sounds, impressionist atmospheres that are able to come directly to the heart. Listening to this album, i came back to the emotions i had with a work like Lycia's "The Burnng Circle And Then Dust", but the 'Projekt sound' fills every moment of "Near North" ("Ottawa River" could be a track from Black Tape For A Blue Girl)."

“If one wants to forget about normal day life and just stroll take a quiet stroll on the banks of Lake Superior, then “Near North” will neatly accommodate you … It perfectly sets a certain mood …”


released December 1, 2018

Allister Thompson: guitar, voice, bass, keyboards, percussion
Teri-Lynn Janveau: piano, voice

-track 1 by Allister Thompson (at Restoule Provincial Park)
-track 4 by Allister Thompson (at Misery Bay Provincial Park)
-track 6 by Freesound.org user thorvandahl
freesound.org/people/thorvandahl/sounds/184222 (creative commons attribution license)
-track 12 by Allister Thompson (at Misery Bay Provincial Park)
-track 14 by Freesound.org user midndom
freesound.org/people/micndom/sounds/27340 (creative commons attribution noncommercial license)

Cover sketch by Joy Janveau
Original design by Emma Dolan


all rights reserved



Allister Thompson - The Gateless Gate North Bay, Ontario

This is the place to find the psychedelic, progressive, ambient, and folk/rock music of Allister Thompson released under his own name and as The Gateless Gate, Sons of Birches, Twilight Fields, and Khan Tengri.

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