Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Yen Pox : Blood Music – Dark Ambient

Reviewed by Gird_09

The music on this double album was originally released back in the nineties, and is released with bonus material now. It contains a remastered version of the original "blood music", as well as several tracks that were either unreleased or released on other recordings. Everything in a really tasteful eight panel digipack of high quality and design.

Blood music is a dark ambient classic, and it's easy to hear why. The landscaped music is dark and cram packed with atmospheric oddments and scraps of discarded civilization, with a heavy emphasis on the ambient aspects. There is nothing intrusive about the album, and the moods are the consistent focus throughout.

The music is mostly composed of long stretches of multi layered sounds with shit loads of reverb and a nearly tactile surface. Instruments are used in a sparing minimalist way to accentuate the atmospheres rather than drawing attention to more musical elements. As such portions of the music isn't music in the traditional sense, but an emulation of an astral field recording of melancholy – and a very succesful one at that.

The tracks are nearly impossible to separate with regards to composition and arrangement and make up a single (holistic) experience. That is a major bonus to me. As the album is slowly dying as a medium for artists I notice more and more that musicians are incapable of composing anything besides collections of single tracks. Albums should be about artistic consistency and themes, and this one is. Accomplishing a true album is often what separates the artists from the dilettantes – atleast to me. The bonus tracks are of course different from the original album, but that doesn't reduce the feeling of consistency discernably. Some of them are dirtier sounding and noisier, but in way does this decrease the focus on mood.

Of the two discs number two is for the most part great deal edgier than the first disc, and the way I see it also the most interesting of the two. It's more primitive and rough sounding, which sets it apart from most dark ambient these days - as well as disc one. In a way this makes it darker, and certainly much less soothing. The reason is of course that the material is older than the tracks on disc one.

There are few things that detract from my listening experience however. First of all it's too bloody long. There isn't much happening here, and that can be a little boring over two full discs. Unless you're a collector it's simply too much. Secondly it's not necessarily the most original of albums. The execution is impeccable, but I do miss more personality here. As background music it's excellent, but it's not music that stays with you after it's over. However that's probably not the point either. If you want a great background album while you're working or reading, or just relaxing: get it. It's perfect, and there's not really much more to say about that. Otherwise it's not going to knock you out of your socks.

USA, 2010, 2xCD album, Malignant Records,

Disc 1
1 Infinite Domain [13:28]
2 Twilight Eternal [10:21]
3 Purgatorio [8:55]
4 Descent [13:01]
5 Illuminate [10:51]
6 Absolute Zero [12:52]
7 Beneath the Sun [8:37]

Disc 2
1 Dervish [13:45}
2 Suction [13:19]
3 Head Shot [15:14]
4 Thin | Empty [6:21]
5 Virus [6:34]
6 Hollow Earth [7:03]
7 Summerskin [10:02]

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