Sunday, January 16, 2011

Phaenon – His Master's Voice : Dark Ambient / Drone

Reviewed by Gird_09

Let me first say how much I enjoy the cover for this one. At first glance I figured it was an attempt at imitating Dave McKean, but I don't think it is. While the technique might be somewhere along the same lines, the theme is so much more fragile. Where McKean is all about dreams (or nightmares) this is about paper flimsy vulnerability. I can appreciate that.

As for the music I am piqued by the very first sound. The first sound is important to me, as you may have noticed. The use of a choir-like electronic sound at a low bit rate tickles my curiosity, and draws me in. The music is minimalist without being too monotonous, due to the inclusion of random soundscapes.

The cover informs me that the music is inspired by Stanislav Lem's book of the same name, and allthough my only encounter with Lem has been Tarkovsky's (sub par) adaptation of Solaris this fact really helps sell the recording to me. Lem is a good reference and if the novel is anywhere near as strikingly ponderous as this album it's an impressive book indeed. The music is mostly comprised of long stretches of naked, icy devastation and there is an ominous feeling of watching the stars – while they are watching you back.

The album consists of four pieces, of notable duration, but they are so good I'm not going to go into my usual rant about releases being too long. There are exceptions you see, and this is one of them. I fact, I wouldn't mind more. The sounds utilized, the sobriety of the arrangements, the purity of the production and the vitality involved all come together to create something truly worth chilling out to. Preferably during r'n'r in a desolate cold war bunker somewhere in Poland... And it's expertly seamless. Going from one track to the next is effortless and smooth.

It's a good album, and if you don't believe me, follow the myspace link further down and check out previews. (Yes, you lazy-instant-gratification bum, you can scroll down two inches on the screen to get to the sweets... You need the workout anyway.)

I think I have to read that book though...

USA, CD album Malignant records, 2010

1 His Master's voice – part 1 – Neutrino Radiation [24:11]
2 Dark Energy – Silentium Universi [12:57]
3 Soul Virus – Interstellar Semantics [13:34]
4 His Master's Voice – part 2 – Ignoramus [24:11]

No comments:

Post a Comment