Monday, October 16, 2017

Vector Lovers - Capsule For One

Soma Quality Recordings: 2005

If I had spotted it in an A&B Sound, or an HMV, or even a (*snicker*) Best Buy, absolutely I'd have bought Capsule For One no matter the cost. Okay, reasonably so – such a CD selling for over thirty Canadian bones is too steep no matter how much I adore an artist. Seeing it at the 'regular price' of twenty-five on Amazon always put this on the back-burner though, longer, longer, longer, until it became a rarity on the standard market, price jacked to stupid amounts of money. Why it never occurred to scope out Soma Recordings own webshop, I can't explain. I just assumed they'd do business through Amazon like so many others, but nope, independent and remarkably affordable. I swear this isn't meant as a plug for Soma, just an overlong ramble-excuse on why I skipped out on Vector Lovers' sophomore album for so long. A very lame excuse, I cannot deny.

Now that I have taken in Capsule For One, enjoyed its various toy-box electro melodies, bobbled my head to its various tech-house grooves, skitter-skatterd my brain to its sporadic IDM beatcraft, and double-taked to actual sung lyrics in Melodies & Memory (not even by a robot! Maybe a kawii cyborg tho'), one question remains: would I have liked this when it was new?

Don't get me wrong – if nothing else, Capsule For One would have been a grower, an album that I'd come to appreciate even if it didn't blow my mind right out the gate. I can't understate the degree to which Vector Lovers' did though. An album that featured music and ideas I'd never heard before. Themes that appealed to both my casual enjoyment of sci-fi anime and lonely, lovelorn walks through big cities. Electro and house blended in ways I always imagined they should be, not as they currently were (dammit, 2005).

Capsule For One touches on these too, but not with the same poignancy as its predecessor, Martin Wheeler making room for braindance electro instead. Overall, it's a more aggressive album, getting on that hectic Detroit pace than the easy cruise of neo-Tokyo. When those minty spritely melodies crop up, it doesn't deter the propulsive momentum of tracks like Arrival, Metropolis, Substrata, Microton (that bassline!), Nostalgia 4 The Future, Boulevard and To The Stars. Even the chill moments seem uneasy with their surroundings, less nostalgic for times past and more apprehensive for the future we venture into.

Vector Lovers can still craft a tune that pulls the ol' heartstrings though, City Lights, Empty Building, Falling Rain, Melodies & Memory and Neon Sky Rain carrying similar tones and sounds as found on his debut. They come off a little lost among the tougher electro and techno, however, like characters intended for a different series. They're fine in providing chill downtime, necessary refuges in an ambivalent cityscape. I'm just missing that amazing album narrative from Vector Lovers, is all. Spoiled for choice as always.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Autumn Of Communion - Broken Apart By Echoes

...txt: 2016/2017

The Broken Apart series marked a change of direction for the boys behind Autumn Of Communion (Lee Norris and Mick Chillage, if you're just joining us). After a fruitful run of self-titled albums, the duo consolidated them into a memory stick box-set (mini-box!) as a summation of that period of work. Not that they were done working together, new material still being released at a steady pace after. Can't say I've heard much of it yet, but ooh, what I wouldn't give to nab a CD copy of Polydeuces. Say, 15% above regular retail?

Still, even if the creative embers between the two remained nice and toasty, there had to be an itch to try something unique. What else was there though? They'd both released music on CD and digital, had taken the move into box-sets, and everyone goes the vinyl or tape route as a collectible option (as if ...txt CDs weren't 'collectible' enough). Maybe try their hand at an ultra-deluxe DVD 5.1 recording, or go stupidly obscure with 8-tracks? Instead, they opted for the neglected CD3, otherwise known as the mini-disc. I'm surprised there's even still a market for them, but the computer I built this year still has the familiar indent in its disc tray, so I guess there is.

Thus it came to pass that the next major Autumn Of Communion project would focus on utilizing this format. Two sets would be produced, consisting of five individual tracks running the full twenty-two minute length of five mini-discs, contained within a box-set apiece. Naturally, I totally missed the boat on Broken Apart By Sunlight and Broken Apart By Moonlight, but hey, Lee & Mick had a few leftover tracks that ended up on one of ...txt's Nagual mega-compilation memory sticks. That wouldn't do for AoC completists though, an even extremely limited amount of Nagual sticks produced. So, the two tracks were released separately as Broken Apart By Echoes, first as a digital download, then on CD with an additional track. *whew* I think that finally brings us up to speed on this project. How many words left do I offer myself for the actual music then? Oh dear...

Broken Apart By Echoes Pt. 1 does the grand, wall-of-sound synth ambient drone thing, gently fading off in the back third into something a tad less opulent sounding. There's also a twitchy, oscillating transistor tone running throughout most of the track. Pt. 2 is a calmer, soothing piece of ambience compared to the former track, a little astro-chatter sprinkled in here and there among the gentle tones and blissy melodies. Pressure your planetarium DJ to play this one at some point. Pt. 3 brings the dubby ambient techno beats for half its runtime, then moving onto more conventional space ambient stylee for a lengthy lead-out. Think I like this one best, just because there's more going on in it than the other two. All are solid offerings though, as can be expected from Autumn Of Communion at this point.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Cyril Secq & Orla Wren - Branches

Dronarivm: 2016

Can't say I've ever taken in an album of classical guitar music. Have I even dabbled? The closest I can think of is Michael Brook, but his Cobalt Blue was more an ambient thing, his guitar work another layer of timbre (especially that sweet 'Infinite Guitar' layer!). I must have a couple stray examples of the stuff lurking in this pile of music o' mine, yet the fact I can't instantly recall any doesn't bode well for its prospects. Like, is Jam & Spoon's Hispanos In Space really the best I can think of?

And yeah, all those prog-rock dudes for sure lay out some complicated, classically inspired segments in their works. They're still doing it within the confines of prog-rock though, with fellow band members contributing to the overall songcraft. No, I'm talking solo, acoustic, non-folksy, improvisational technical works. With such greats as... um, okay, I don't know anyone in this field. Even bringing up Wiki-Lists draws a complete blank on yours truly. Julian Bream? Xuefei Yang? Craig Ogden? John Williams? (no, not that John Williams) Yeah, I know shit all here. But hey, even doing this cursory research into the subject has jacked a solid info-dump into my brainpan, so there's that.

Which finally brings us to Branches from Cyril Secq and Orla Wren. The former formed the experimental French folk group Astrïd, while the latter often pairs up with acoustic string musicians to make clicky fuzzy abstract ambient folk-pop. I'm assuming the two were at least aware of each others work, as somewhere along the way, Orla roped Cyril into providing guitar work for his 2013 album Book Of The Folded Forest. Mind, several musicians contributed to that one, as is often the case with many Orla Wren albums, but the creative synergy must have held stronger between the two, going into a collaborative project together. Cyril will provide the strings, and Orla will provide the treatments.

No, really, that's about all there is to Branches. Mr. Secq's finger plucking is spacious and unfussy, the very definition of music as like a meandering stream of conscious flow. Or exploring the branching paths on the limb of a tree, as it were. Of the eight tracks, Troisième Branche uses violin strokes rather than acoustic strumming, while Sixième Branche and Huitième Branche mixes the two together. Regarding the types of guitar Cyril uses, 'fraid I can't help you there. As said, I'm woefully under-educated in the intricacies of classical acoustic music. It does all sound quite pleasant though.

As for Orla Wren, it seems as though he's taken a step back in this partnership, his minimalist sounds consisting of static burbles, clicking pops, sprinkling tonks, airy feedback, weird echoes, and the sort of random electronic noises you'd expect of musique concrete. You know, pretentious art! Heh, no, I'm ribbing - Branches doesn't come off nearly as stuffy. It is extremely avante garde though, clearly intended for intellectual sorts more interested in studying minutiae than a little easy-listening enjoyment.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Ajna & Dronny Darko - Black Monolith

Reverse Alignment: 2017

I never intended to get into dark ambient. It was, at best, the type of genre that I happened across if an established act I enjoyed dabbled in it (Delerium, Juno Reactor, Bill Laswell). Still, I found it interesting, some cursory research into prominent albums intriguing me for sampling, but never would I have considered immersing myself into the scene. Then along came a happenstance crossing with Simon Heath, discovery of Cryo Chamber, and you all know the rest of the story. After two years of strictly following this one label though, I've grown itchy to hear if there's more out there I can vibe on. Is there ever a lot out there to sift through though, a scary intimidating domain one can easily get lost in, giving up in despair from the futility of it all. I need some guiding hands, artists within the Cryo Chamber fold who contribute elsewhere. Ah, Dronny Darko, he'll do.

I've gone over Mr. Darko's history well enough, so let's touch upon his partner for this particular project, Ajna. A bit of a busy-body the past half-decade, he's released nearly twenty digital EPs, a few albums, and has material on labels such a Petroglyph Music, Kalpamantra, and... Treetrunk Records? Heh, unusual name. Do they by chance specialize in 'roots' music? Haha, haha, ha- oh, it's experimental ambient (described as fractal/generative... g'uh?), phonography, and field recordings. Okay then. I can expect Mr. Ajna to be one of sorts of dark ambient composers then, with lots of spacious, empty drone, with subtleties drawing you deep within your sub-conscious. Sounds like a right proper pairing with Dronny Darko then.

Indeed so, the two collaborating a couple time prior to the release of Black Monolith. In fact, CD1 of this double-discer consolidates a couple of their singles released on Petroglyph Music, the three track EP Facing The Void, and the single track EP 1000 Years Of Cryosleep. At over forty-three minutes of empty desolation, broken up by intermittent discordant sounds and forlorn tones, the latter definitely feels like you're locked away in forced, perpetual slumber.

I'm not sure whether this was all intended as a prelude, but as those singles created a mini-narrative to hang off (essentially falling into a black hole, surviving the trip through cryosleep), it's nifty that Ajna and Darko followed it up, with Reverse Alignment presenting it as a two-CD feature. As expected, disc two of Black Monolith is what we find on the other side of this one-thousand year trip to the unknown. Seven tracks, each a perfect eight minutes in length (oh, Oleg), offer mysterious drone, claustrophobic sci-fi sound effects, and that general sense of unease one gets when exploring realms unfamiliar and unknowable.

Yeah, it's all rather 2001: Beyond The Infinite - what can you expect of an album titled Black Monolith? That sequence remains ripe ground for creative sorts, and while Ajna and Darko are treading concepts well explored, their complementary styles provide another worthwhile entry in this field.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Bicep - Bicep

Ninja Tune: 2017

I wasn't hip to Bicep's brand of vintage deep house from the beginning. Like many folks, my ear caught wind of them with the 2012 single Vision Of Love. If you were down with their tough, bumpin' sound from even their Throne Of Blood days though, give yourself a gold hipster star, because following Vision Of Love, it seemed everyone was hyping these Belfast lads up. And for good cause, Bicep making house that sounded retro, but felt as firm as modern production could take it, like the fully-flexed form of Lou Ferrigno's upper arm. Music that appeals to both the olds and the new heads!

That came out a half-decade ago though, and while Misters Ferguson and McBriar kept a steady clip of singles in that time, the anticipation for a proper LP ran hot. Could they translate their sturdy dancefloor tools into a home-listening experience? Might they have other musical tricks up their sleeve yet unexplored? Could they surprise us at all?

Well, they sure surprised me when it was announced their debut album was coming out on Ninja Tune. The famed label has been branching out of their traditional downtempo scene for a while now, but I never expected them to take on a house act this purist. When was the last time they even released a record sounding like Bicep? Have they ever?

And if that didn't throw me for a loop, then hearing the actual music on Bicep's self-titled album sure did. Apparently the duo had been leaning away from sweaty Jersey clubs towards a more Balearic feel since their Just EP in 2015. I hadn't actually kept close tabs on their recent output though, so hearing such shimmering, echoing synths in opener Orca, coupled with ethnic woodwinds out of progressive house's early '90s playbook, and you'll forgive me for my double-take in this development. Hell, triple-take, considering this is coming out on Ninja Tune!

And the progressive house vibes keep getting sprinkled throughout this album. Spring and Rain both build solid, chugging rhythms, while dropping floating vocals and gated synths leads that'll have you reaching for lasers. Aura sounds more contemporary with its prog-house vibe, but maintains the charm of the retro stuff. Oh my, isn't calling progressive house 'retro' something of an oxymoron?

Elsewhere, the Balearic feels are coupled with shuffly 2-step garage rhythms (Glue, Opal, Vale... holy cow, does the vocal remind me of Snap!'s Rame), while Bicep show they fear no downtempo moments either (Ayaya, Ayr). They even work in a couple leftfield pieces, Drift an ambient work with arps providing a lead. In all, a good variety of tunes nicely spaced out makes Bicep a solid LP playback. Mind, if hearing such light, breezy synths as heard from Ibiza's glory years is a turn-off, I wouldn't blame you for bypassing Bicep. For me, I love hearing their tough, taut beatcraft paired with gurning melodies, because of course I would. Have you seen how much trance I have?

Monday, October 9, 2017

Si Matthews - Aurora

...txt: 2017

After years floating in the periphery, Si Matthews' mythical Tales Of Ten Worlds finally came to light in 2015. Alright, 'mythical' is laying it on a little thick, but it was a good album for fans of '90s ambient techno, the sort of release folks from back when would constantly name-drop as 'must have'. As it'd been gestating in cryostasis before seeing daylight, however, Mr. Matthews had plenty of time to tweak it to perfection upon release. What would he do for a follow-up though? One doesn't drop a debut album that makes it onto 'Best Ambient Of 2015' lists without some expectations in the sophomore effort. Maybe not so much in this particular scene, where commercial aspirations are comical, but a little preconceived hype never hurt no one.

Okay, it does, in that it ofttimes leaves one wanting in first impressions. Two years after Tales Of Ten Worlds, we finally got Aurora on ...txt. Given the work rate of some of Si's peers, that's quite the gap between albums, with nary a contributed compilation track elsewhere in between. Yeah, not everyone can be like Lee Norris or Mick Chillage with their fifty albums per year (roughly), but I suppose not everyone can dedicate their whole life to constantly releasing music either. It don't pay the bills so good as years past.

Still, with all that time between albums, Mr. Matthews no doubt had plenty in his reserves, tweaking and pruning material for a magnum opus on par with- wait, Aurora is only five tracks long? They're long tracks, the shortest around ten and a half minutes, the longest over eighteen minutes, but that still feels rather slight given the time between LPs. I was expecting more, and I can't imagine me being the only one.

What we do get is five distinct pieces of spacey, dreamy ambient techno that gradually evolve as they play out, never losing the plot along the way. Opener A New Star In The Night Sky is the soft, chill sort that has me thinking of stargazing on a Balearic beachfront. A Portal works a simmering, bleepy vibe as it cruises along comet tails. Aurora itself does the ambient/New Age thing that has me thinking classic Iasos. Celestial Orientation has Apollo-era ambient techno in mind, with dubby, bleepy rhythms from the book of vintage Biosphere, though never going so cold. Twin Pines brings things back to modern sensibilities in its use of soft pads and velvety timbre, wrapping you in a comfy, snuggly blanket of sonic bliss.

As for the airs of petty self-entitlement in this review, I'm just laying my personal bias right in front. It took me a bit to get into Aurora, for a whole litany of stupid reasons not the fault of Si Matthews. Now that I've actually given it the time it deserves, I do enjoy it, but man, was it ever hard letting go of those initial biases. Don't let them control you too!

Sunday, October 8, 2017

The Oak Ridge Boys - At Their Best

United Artist Records/EMI-Manhattan Records: 1968

Greetings, Past-Peoples, it is I again, 2073 Sykonee, brought back to your time by Sykonee Prime to review music by The Oak Ridge Boys. I know, I know, this doesn't make a lick of sense. I must be nearly a hundred years old - aged and decrepit, like a rusty tin of sardines. Not really, no. Hearty genetic stock notwithstanding, a benefit of the radiation fallout was unexpectedly extending lifespans in several lucky souls. I may be in my Nineties, but I don't look or feel a day over Sixty-Seven.

'Tis true, the Atomic Brotherhood provides mighty fine benefits for those within their influence, not least of which exposing us to music I'd overlooked in my youth. Yes, it's nice that Nuclear Ramjet and Atomic Babies finally got their due, but I never knew about obscure acts like Oppenheimer Analysis, or tech-house labels like Heisenberg. Our musical consumption may be limited to that which honours the Atomic Age, but it's a wide range nonetheless.

Few dominate our tastes like The Oak Ridge Boys though, because few have as massive a discography. The original incarnation of the group, as The Oak Ridge Quartet, started out in the Nauty-Foreties, their first singles pressed by Capitol Records in 1946. Over time, the line-up changed, as did the name of the group from 'Quartet' to 'Boys' early in the Nauty-Sixties (t'was hip to be 'Boys'). Though they sangs the gospel, it was to the tastes of Red Belt America, eventually going country-full once their latter-era line-up was concreted. When they recorded this particular album though, the group was in transition, Willie Wynn and Herman Harper the vets, Duane Allen and William Gordon the fresh chickens of the coup. And boy was Mr. Gordon ever fresh as this point, prim and proper with nary a whisker of beard found on his chin. Hard to imagine him in any other form.

In the grand ol' Opry scheme of things, At Their Best isn't the most remarkable of releases under the Oak Ridge Boys banner – they have tons and tons of gospel recordings highlighting their harmony talents. What makes this one unique from the others is that it came out on United Artists Records, more known for releasing soundtracks of the time (Jim Bond movies, It's A Mad, Mad, Maddy, Mad-Mad World, The Greatest Story Done Told). It was a one-off deal for The Boys, more comfortable releasing records with strict gospel outlet Heart Warming. I guess someone must have liked their full-range vocals to give them a little larger exposure.

Not much to remark upon the music on my end. It's gospel, mangles! Lots of songs about loving Jesus, loving the Lord, loving your home with Jesus and the Lord within. All charming and quaint where I come from, but The Boys of Oak Ridge sound quite pleasant singing these hymns with organs, pianos, soft drums, and electric guitar in support. I'll believe it that it's them at their best, for the time.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Aythar - Astronautica

Carpe Sonum Records: 2016

Aythar is Tamás Károly Tamás, who- wait, his name without the middle is “Tamás Tamás”! Holy cow, that stupid joke in the Super Mario Brothers movie actually has validity! You know, where the Mario Brothers are in the cop office giving a testimony, and so not Italian Bob Hoskins says his name is “Mario Mario”, while John Leguizamo is Luigi Mario. Because they're the MARIO Brothers, get it, so Mario's full name must be Mario Mario! Cripes, was that movie balls. At least the theatre line-up was almost non-existent, a novel experience after Jurrasic Park was busting all the blocks at the time. Good God is this ever a horribly long, dumb tangent. I promise I'll never do this again ...until I do do this again. (hee, hee, 'doo-doo')

Where was I? Ah, right, Aythar. The alias itself first properly emerged around 2010, but Mr. Tamás has made music for much longer than that. Go to his Bandcamp, you'll find “rudimentary and amateur” productions from as far back as the early '90s. When he finally went more public with his works, it was still by independent means, self-releasing five albums in the span of a half-decade. Still, his ear for Berlin-School ambient and space techno was too good to keep under wraps forever, thus now finding himself on two of the most prominent labels promoting the stuff in Carpe Sonum Records and ...txt. This here Astronautica is his debut album with the former print, and his first physical release period. Well, if you discount old tape stuff never meant for commercial release, but if Aythar somehow becomes as adored as Boards Of Canada, you bet those items will fetch stupid amounts of money!

As the tasty retro cover art implies, Astronautica has its sights squarely on space music, the opening titular cut featuring Apollo 11 radio chatter. Yeah, we've heard these recordings many, many, many times in electronic music, but I never tire of 'em, always drawing me out into the cosmos with those intrepid cosmonauts. What I've also heard before are those opening synth pads, almost a direct lift from the old Pete Namlook track of Pulsar as Pulsation. Because if you're gonna' impress the Fax+ community, it's always best to crib from an obscure track, amirite?

Actually, it's a very tasteful crib, Mr. Tamás making it clear it's intended as an homage. I'll buy that. Aythar even provides a dancefloor version as the original Pulsation EP did, though clearly his Deep-Tech Remix is much sturdier than the hard trance of Transpulsation.

And the rest? Mystical Clouds does the beatless ambient-techno thing. Alien Worlds Part 1 goes widescreen ambient that could make AstroPilot gush, while Part 2 goes more blippy-bloopy as a Detroit techno guy would. Reactor and Space In My Heart stretch further back to the Berlin-School era, while Moon Landing returns to dubbier, Fax+ era ambient with more astro-chatter. All in all, definitely scope out Astronautica if your old-school itch needs a strong, satisfying scratch.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Architects Of Existence - Architects Of Existence

Carpe Sonum Records: 2017

Mick Chillage manages a heck of a work rate lately, with an impressive clip of albums released. True, a lot of it is the sort of noodly ambient that's rightly criticized as minimalist musical wanking, but me, I'm perfectly fine with a little ol' mental masturbation, so long as the tone and timbre used sparks something in my cerebellum. And Mr. Chillage's style done does that indeed, but even he must fall back on collaborative help, pairing up with Lee Norris on many occasions as Autumn Of Communion. One is okay, but if Mick has aspirations of becoming a dominate force in the world of ambient (probably not, but let's play the thought experiment), he needs to up his collaboration game. Like, how many pair-ups has Mr. Norris undertaken the past decade?

So Chillage again done did got himself another musician to work with, though from a rather obscure source. His partner in crime for this Architects of Existence project (geez, is that ever a Fax+y name) is Eric “The” Taylor, who hails from Rochester, New York, and has barely any presence within Lord Discogs' archives. He did contribute to the incomparable Die Welt Ist Klang box-set (track 82, on CD8, if you're curious), and is part of a group called The Fragile Fate, who made their debut on the Carpe Sonum sub-label, Carpe Sonum Novum, favouring music that doesn't fit the typical Carpe Sonum ambient mould (downtempo dub, experimental techno). The Fragile Fate lean more krautrock, with Mr. “The” Taylor supplying the guitar work. Ooh, might Architects Of Existence be of a similar vibe then, with spaced out string fuzz complementing weird Moog manipulations? No, no it is not.

Architects of Existence consists of four tracks, the shortest a 'mere' eleven minutes of length, the longest nearly reaching the thirty minute mark. To be honest, the first time I put the CD on, I thought the whole thing was one long track, each Part merely an index demarcation. But no, there are differences with each track, though you likely won't notice them if you aren't paying much attention.

Part 1 features the type of ambient I expect of Mick Chillage, long calm soothing pad work that puts your mind floating in space or suspended in ice caverns, passages of subtle burbling synths coming and going. Part 2 is a minimalist drone piece, very little happening aside from atonal pads and subtle field recordings sounding like you're inside some computer lab. Part 3 gets more old-school, pulsing synths dripping in reverb prominently featured in the first half, with a lengthy lead-out of spaced-out effects and soft space pads. Part 4 is more drone, wind chimes joining midway through, followed by distant field recordings, and a very long atonal lead-out. It's all su-u-u-u-per subtle craftsmanship, and very much not for everyone. Hell, it even tests my patience for minimalist ambient music. It does leave me curious where Mick and Eric might take this project though, if they do any more.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Grey Area - And Then The Clouds

Waveform Records: 2005

I've claimed Waveform Records had a brilliant run in the early portions of the '00s, the first half-decade seeing several releases from fresh faces releasing great debut albums. Right, there were a couple 'meh' offerings too, and a few who never amounted to much else of note afterwards, but the fact the label was giving so many unknown names their chances was remarkable indeed. It makes everything from that period worth at least a check-out, and I've been woefully neglectful of doing so. On the other hand, can you blame me for skipping out on this one for so long now? Compared to the usual unique cover art on many of Waveform's releases, this one is so very plain and drab indeed. Looks more like something you'd expect from the sterile dub techno camps, though given the name of the artist is Grey Area, and a title of And Then The Clouds, what else could you do with it?

I should also mention Grey Area wasn't exactly a new act, nor is this album a debut. Rather, it's a collection of previous works, with a couple new/unreleased tunes added to fill things out. Grey Area itself first emerged in 1997 with an eponymous LP on Psy-Harmonics, the Australian psy trance label you might remember me name-dropping on one of those United State Of Ambience CDs from Moonshine Music. The man behind the pseudonym is Alex Salter, who's done TV music for an even longer period of time.

As Grey Area, he put out three albums, the last one in 2002. I guess after Waveform scoped out some 'down under' acts like Pitch Black, they also came across this Grey Area fella', and found his style of dubby downtempo jived with their own. He wasn't making any new music under the alias though, so here's a 'best of' CD instead. Included are five tracks from his third LP Penumbra, two from his second album Absolute, one from his first album, and two fresh cuts titled Sadness Dub and Avon Dub.

Funny enough, Sadness Dub as an opener basically is a dub techno tune, almost confirming my assumption of what sort of music was on here. But nay, Grey Area sticks to a steady, dubby downtempo vibe. It's rather similar to the style Sounds From The Ground employ, though a little more psychedelic and crusty than their jams. He even gets his nu-jazz beat on with Modular Drift, while Pure & Simple wouldn't sound out of place in a smokey cafe. Elsewhere, Mr. Salter does the ambient dub thing (Avon Dub, Penumbra), or dabbles with sound experiments (Iona, Amphibia, that slooshing water in Ersatz Filament... ergh, makes me have bathroom thoughts).

I can't say And Then The Clouds is one of Waveform's classics, but as a companion album from a time when we saw Sub Conscious, Ape To Angel, Luminal, Prima Materia, Blood Is Shining and Omnimotion, it definitely holds its own in such company.

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Things I've Talked About

...txt 10 Records 16 Bit Lolita's 1963 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2 Play Records 2 Unlimited 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 20xx Update 2562 302 Acid 36 3six Recordings 4AD 6 x 6 Records 75 Ark 7L & Esoteric 808 State A Perfect Circle A Positive Life A-Wave A&M Records A&R Records Abasi Above and Beyond abstract Ace Tracks Playlists Ace Ventura acid acid house acid jazz acid techno acoustic Adam Freeland Adham Shaikh ADNY Adrian Younge adult contemporary Aegri Somnia Aes Dana Afrika Bambaataa Afro-house Afterhours Agoria Ajana Records Ajna AK1200 Akshan album Aldrin Alex Theory Alio Die Alphabet Zoo Alphaxone Altar Records Alter Ego alternative rock Alucidnation Ambelion ambient ambient dub ambient techno Ambient World Ambientium Ametsub Amon Tobin Amplexus Anabolic Frolic Andrea Parker Andrew Heath Androcell anecdotes Aniplex Anjunabeats Another Fine Day Antendex anthem house Anthony Rother Anti-Social Network Aphasia Records Aphex Twin Apócrýphos Apollo Apple Records April Records Aqua Aquascape Aquila Arcade Architects Of Existence arena rock Arista Armada Armin van Buuren Arpatle Arts & Crafts ASC Ashtech Asian Dub Foundation Astral Waves Astralwerks AstroPilot Asura Asylum Records ATCO Records Atlantic Atlantis atmospheric jungle Atomic Hooligan Atrium Carceri Attic Audion AuroraX Autistici Autumn Of Communion Aveparthe Avicii Axiom Axtone Records Aythar B.G. The Prince Of Rap Babygrande Balance Balanced Records Balearic ballad Banco de Gaia Bandulu battle-rap Beastie Boys Beat Buzz Records Beats & Pieces bebop Beck Bedouin Soundclash Beechwood Music Benny Benassi Berlin-School Beto Narme bhangra Bicep big beat Big Boi Big L Big Life Bill Hamel Bill Laswell BIlly Idol BineMusic BioMetal Biosphere BKS Black Hole Recordings black rebel motorcycle club Black Swan Sounds Blanco Y Negro Blasterjaxx Blend Blood Music Blow Up Blue Öyster Cult blues Bluescreen BMG Boards Of Canada Bob Dylan Bob Marley Bobina Bone Thugs-N-Harmony Boney M Bong Load Records Booka Shade Botchit & Scarper Boxed Boys Noize Boysnoize Records braindance Brandt Brauer Frick breakcore breaks Brian Eno Brian Wilson Brick Records Brodinski broken beat Brooklyn Music Ltd Bryan Adams BT Buffalo Springfield Bulk Recordings Burial Burned CDs Bush Busta Rhymes Calibre calypso Capitol Records Capsula Captured Digital Carbon Based Lifeforms Carl B Carl Craig Carol C Caroline Records Carpe Sonum Records CD-Maximum Ceephax Acid Crew Celestial Dragon Records Cell Celtic Cheb i Sabbah Cheeky Records chemical breaks Chihei Hatakeyama chill-out chiptune Chris Duckenfield Chris Fortier Chris Korda Chris Sheppard Christopher Lawrence Chromeo Chronos Chrysalis Ciaran Byrne cinematic soundscapes Circular Cirrus Cities Last Broadcast CJ Stone Claptone classic house classic rock classical Claude Young Clear Label Records Cleopatra Cloud 9 Club Cutz Cocoon Recordings Coldcut Coldplay Colette collagist Columbia Com.Pact Records comedy Compilation Comrie Smith Connect.Ohm conscious Control Music Cor Fijneman Cosmic Gate Cosmic Replicant Cosmos Studios Council Of Nine Counter Records country country rock Covert Operations Recordings Craig Padilla Crazy Horse Cream Creamfields Crockett's Theme Crosby Stills And Nash Crosstown Rebels crunk Cryo Chamber Cryobiosis Cube Guys Culture Beat cut'n'paste Cyan Music Cyber Productions CyberOctave Cyril Secq Czarface D-Bridge D-Fuse Dacru Records Daddy G Daft Punk Damian Lazarus Damon Albarn Dan The Automator Dance 2 Trance Dance Pool dancehall Daniel Heatcliff Daniel Wanrooy Dao Da Noize dark ambient dark psy darkside darkstep darkwave Darren McClure Databloem David Bickley David Guetta David Morley DDR Deadmau5 Death Row Records Deejay Goldfinger Deep Dish Deep Forest deep house Deeply Rooted House Deepwater Black Def Jam Recordings Del Tha Funkee Homosapien Delerium Deltron 3030 Depeche Mode Der Dritte Raum Derek Carr Detroit DFA DGC diametric. Dieselboy Different DigiCube Dillinja dirty house Dirty South Dirty Vegas disco Disco Gecko disco house disco punk Discover (label) Disky Disques Dreyfus Distant System Distinct'ive Breaks Disturbance DJ 3000 DJ Brian DJ Craze DJ Dan DJ Dean DJ Gonzalo DJ Heather DJ John Kelley DJ Merlin DJ Mix DJ Moe Sticky DJ Observer DJ Premier DJ Q-Bert DJ Shadow DJ-Kicks Djen Ajakan Shean DJMag DMC DMC Records Doc Scott Dogon Dogwhistle Dopplereffekt Dossier downtempo dowtempo Dr. Atmo Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show Dragon Quest dream house DreamWorks Records Drexciya drill 'n' bass Dronarivm drone Dronny Darko drum 'n' bass drunken review dub Dub Pistols dub techno Dub Trees Dubfire dubstep DuMonde Dune Dusted Dynatron E-Mantra E-Z Rollers Eardream Music Earth Earth Nation Earthling Eastcoast EastWest Eat Static EBM Echodub Ed Rush & Optical Editions EG EDM World Weekly News Ektoplazm electro Electro House Electro Sun electro-funk electro-pop electroclash Electronic Dance Essentials Electrovoya Elektra Elektrolux em:t EMC update EMI Eminem Emmerichk Emperor Norton enCAPSULAte Engine Recordings Enigma Enmarta Epic epic trance Erik Vee Erol Alkan Escape Esoteric Reactive ethereal Etnoscope euro dance Eurythmics Eve Records Everlast Ewan Pearson experimental Eye Q Records F Communications Fabric Fade Records Faithless Fallen fanfic Fatboy Slim Fax +49-69/450464 Fear Factory Fedde Le Grand Fehrplay Feist Fektive Records Felix da Housecat Fennesz Ferry Corsten FFRR field recordings Filter filters Final Fantasy Five AM Fjäder Flashover Recordings Floating Points Flowers For Bodysnatchers Flowjob Fluke Flying Lotus folk footwork Force Intel Fountain Music Four Tet FPU Frank Bretschneider Frankie Bones Frankie Knuckles Fred Everything freestyle French house Front Line Assembly Fugees full-on Fun Factory funk future garage Future Sound Of London g-funk gabber Gabriel Le Mar Galaktlan Galati Gang Starr gangsta garage Gas Gasoline Alley Records Gee Street Geffen Records Gel-Sol Genesis Gerald Donald Get Physical Music ghetto Ghostface Killah glam Gliese 581C glitch Global Underground Globular goa trance God Body Disconnect Gorillaz gospel Gost goth Grammy Awards Grey Area grime Groove Armada Groove Corporation Grooverider grunge Guru GZA Haddaway Halgrath happy hardcore hard house hard rock hard trance hardcore Hardfloor hardstyle Harmless Harmonic 33 Harold Budd Harthouse Harthouse Mannheim Hawtin Hearts Of Space Hed Kandi Hell Hercules And Love Affair Hernán Cattáneo Hi-Bias Records Hic Sunt Leones Hiero Emperium Hieroglyphics High Contrast Higher Intelligence Agency hip-hop hip-house hipno Hooj Choons Hope Records horrorcore Hospital Records Hot Chip Hotflush Recordings house Huey Lewis & The News Human Blue Hybrid Hybrid Leisureland Hyperdub Hypertrophy hypnotic records I Awake I.F.O.R. I.R.S. Records Iboga Records Ice Cube Ice H2o Records ICE MC IDM illbient Imperial Dancefloor Imploded View In Charge In Trance We Trust Incoming Incubus indie rock Industrial Infected Mushroom Infinite Guitar influence records Infonet Inner Ocean Records Insane Clown Posse Inspectah Deck Instinct Ambient Instra-Mental Inter-Modo Interchill Records Internal International Deejays Gigolo Interscope Records Intimate Productions Intuition Recordings ISBA Music Entertainment Ishkur Island Records Italians Do It Better italo disco italo house Jack Moss Jafu Jam and Spoon Jam El Mar James Horner James Murray James Zabiela Jamie Jones Jamie Myerson Jamie Principle Javelin Ltd. Jay Haze Jay Tripwire Jaydee jazz jazz dance jazzstep Jean-Michel Jarre Jefferson Airplane Jerry Goldsmith Jesper Dahlbäck Jiri.Ceiver Jive Jive Electro Jliat Jlin Joel Mull Joey Beltram John '00' Fleming John Digweed John Graham John Kelly John O'Callaghan Johnny Cash Johnny Jewel Jonny L Jori Hulkkonen Jørn Stenzel Josh Wink Journeys By DJ™ LLC Joyful Noise Recordings Juan Atkins juke Jump Cut Jumpin' & Pumpin' jungle Junior Boy's Own Junkie XL Juno Reactor Jurassic 5 Kay Wilder KDJ Ken Ishii Kenji Kawai Kenny Glasgow Keoki Keosz Kerri Chandler Kevin Braheny Kevorkian Records Khooman Khruangbin Kid Koala Kiko Kinetic Records King Cannibal King Midas Sound King Tubby Kitaro Klang Elektronik Klaus Schulze Koch Records Koichi Sugiyama Kolhoosi 13 Komakino Kompakt Kon Kan Kool Keith Kozo Kraftwelt Kraftwerk Krafty Kuts krautrock Krill.Minima Kris O'Neil Kriztal Kruder and Dorfmeister Krusseldorf KuckKuck Kurupt L.S.G. Lab 4 Ladytron Lafleche Lange Large Records Lars Leonhard Laserlight Digital LateNightTales Latin Laurent Garnier LCD Soundsystem Leama and Moor Lee 'Scratch' Perry Lee Norris Leftfield Legacy Leon Bolier LFO Linear Labs Lingua Lustra liquid funk Liquid Sound Design Liquid Stranger Live live album Loco Dice Lodsb London acid crew London Classics London Elektricity London Records 90 Ltd London-Sire Records Loop Guru Loreena McKennitt Lorenzo Masotto Lorenzo Montanà Lost Language Loud Records Loverboy Luaka Bop Luciano Luke Slater Lustmord M_nus M.A.N.D.Y. M.I.K.E. Madonna Magda Mali Mammoth Records Marc Simz Marcel Dettmann Marco Carola Marco V Mark Farina Mark Norman Mark Pritchard Markus Schulz Marshmello Martin Cooper Martin Nonstatic Märtini Brös Marvin Gaye Maschine Massive Attack Masta Killa Matthew Dear Max Graham maximal Maxx MCA Records McProg Meanwhile Meat Loaf Meditronica Memex Menno de Jong Mercury Mesmobeat metal Method Man Metroplex Metropolis Miami Bass Miami Dub Machine Michael Brook Michael Jackson Michael Mayer Mick Chillage micro-house microfunk Microscopics MIG Miguel Migs Mike Saint-Jules Mike Shiver Miktek Mille Plateaux Millennium Records Mind Distortion System Mind Over MIDI mini-CDs minimal minimal tech-house Ministry Of Sound miscellaneous Misja Helsloot Miss Kittin Miss Moneypenny's Mixmag Mo Wax Mo-Do MO-DU Moby Model 500 modern classical Moist Music Moodymann Moonshine Moss Garden Motech Moving Shadow Mujaji Murmur Music link Music Man Records musique concrete Mutant Sound System Mute Muzik Magazine My Best Friend Mystica Tribe N-Trance Nacht Plank Nadia Ali Nas Nature Sounds Naughty By Nature Nebula Neil Young Neotropic nerdcore Nervous Records Nettwerk Neurobiotic Records New Age New Jack Swing new wave Nic Fanciulli Nick Höppner Night Time Stories Nimanty Nine Inch Nails Ninja Tune Nirvana No Mask Effect Nobuo Uematsu Nomad Nonesuch Nonplus Records Nookie Nordic Trax Norman Feller Northumbria Nothing Records NovaMute NRG Ntone nu-jazz nu-skool Nuclear Blast Entertainment Nulll Nurse With Wound NXP Octagen Offshoot Offshoot Records Ol' Dirty Bastard old school rave Ole Højer Hansen Olga Musik Olien Oliver Lieb Olsen Omni Trio Omnimotion Omnisonus One Little Indian Oophoi Oosh Open Canvas Opus III orchestral Original TranceCritic review Orla Wren Ornament Ostgut Ton Ott Ouragan OutKast Outpost Records Overdream Pantera Pantha Du Prince Paolo Mojo Parlaphone Paul Moelands Paul Oakenfold Paul van Dyk Perfect Stranger Perfecto Perturbator Pet Shop Boys Petar Dundov Pete Namlook Pete Tong Peter Benisch Peter Gabriel Peter Tosh Phonothek Photek Phutureprimitive Phynn PIAS Recordings Pink Floyd PJ Harvey Planet Dog Planet Earth Recordings Planet Mu Planetary Consciousness Plastic City Plastikman Platipus Plump DJs PM Dawn Poker Flat Recordings politics Polydor Polytel pop Popular Records Porya Hatami post-dubstep Prince Prins Thomas Priority Records prog prog psy prog-psy Progression progressive breaks progressive house progressive rock progressive trance Prolifica Proper Records Prototype Recordings protoU Pryda psy chill psy dub Psy Spy Records psy trance psychedelia Psychick Warriors Ov Gaia Psychonavigation Psychonavigation Records Psycoholic Psykosonik Public Enemy punk punk rock Pureuphoria Records Purl Push PWL International Quadrophonia Quality Quango Quinlan Road R & S Records R'n'B R&B Rabbit In The Moon Radio Slave Radioactive Radioactive Man Radiohead Raekwon Ralph Lawson RAM Records Randal Collier-Ford Random Review Rank 1 rant RareNoise Records Rascalz Raster-Noton Ratatat Raum Records RCA React Red Jerry Refracted reggae remixes Renaissance Rephlex Reprise Records Resist Music Restless Records RetroSynther Reverse Alignment Rhino Records Rhys Fulber Ricardo Villalobos Riley Reinhold Rising High Records RnB Roadrunner Records Robert Hood Robert Miles Robert Oleysyck Roc Raida rock rock opera rockabilly rocktronica Roger Sanchez ROIR Rollo Rough Trade Rub-N-Tug Rumour Records Running Back Ruthless Records RZA S.E.T.I. Sabled Sun Salt Tank Salted Music Salvation Music Samim sampling Sanctuary Records Sander van Doorn Sandoz Sarah McLachlan Sash Sasha Scandinavian Records Scann-Tec sci-fi Scott Hardkiss Scott Stubbs Scuba Seán Quinn Segue Sense Sentimony Records Sequential Seraphim Rytm Setrise Seven Davis Jr. Shaded Explorations Shaded Explorer Shadow Records Sharam Shawn Francis shoegaze Si Matthews SideOneDummy Records Signature Records SiJ Silent Season silly gimmicks Silver Age Simon Berry Simon Heath Simon Posford Simple Records Sinden single Sire Records Company Six Degrees Sixeleven Records ska Skin To Skin Slinky Music Sly and Robbie Smalltown Supersound SME Visual Works Inc. Snap Sneijder Snoop Dogg Solar Fields Solaris Recordings Solarstone Solieb Soliquid Solstice Music Europe Soma Quality Recordings Songbird Sony Music Entertainment soul Soul Temple Entertainment Souls Of Mischief Sound Of Ceres Soundgarden Sounds From The Ground soundtrack southern rap southern rock space ambient Space Dimension Controller Space Manoeuvres space synth Spank Rock Special D speed garage Speedy J Spicelab Spiritech spoken word Spotify Suggestions Spotted Peccary SPX Digital Squarepusher Squaresoft Stanton Warriors Star Trek Stardust Statrax Stay Up Forever Stephanie B Stephen Kroos Steve Angello Steve Miller Band Steve Porter Stijn van Cauter Stone Temple Pilots Stonebridge Stormloop Stray Gators Street Fighter Stuart McLean Studio K7 Stylophonic Sub Focus Sublime Sublime Porte Netlabel Substance Sun Station Sunbeam Sunday Best Recordings Superstition surf rock Sven Väth Swayzak swing Switch Sylk 130 Symmetry Sync24 Synergy Synkro synth pop synthwave System 7 Tactic Records Tall Paul Tammy Wynette Tangerine Dream Tau Ceti Tayo tech-house tech-step tech-trance Technical Itch techno technobass Technoboy Tectonic Terminal Antwerp Terra Ferma Terry Lee Brown Jr Textere Oris The Beach Boys The Beatles The Black Dog The Brian Jonestown Massacre The Bug The Chemical Brothers The Clash The Council The Cranberries The Crystal Method The Digital Blonde The Dust Brothers The Glimmers The Green Kingdom The Grey Area The Hacker The Human League The Irresistible Force The KLF The Misted Muppet The Movement The Music Cartel The Null Corporation The Oak Ridge Boys The Offspring The Orb The Police The Prodigy The Shamen The Sharp Boys The Sonic Voyagers The Squires The Tea Party The Tragically Hip The Velvet Underground The Wailers The White Stripes themes Thievery Corporation Third Contact Thrive Records Tiefschwarz Tiësto Tiga Tiger & Woods Time Warp Timecode Tobias Todd Terje Tom Middleton Tomita Tommy Boy Ton T.B. Tone Depth Tony Anderson Sound Orchestra Tool Topaz Tosca Toto Touch Tourette Records trance Trancelucent Tranquillo Records Trans'Pact Transformers Transient Records trap Trax Records Trend Trentemøller Tresor tribal Tricky Triloka Records trip-hop Trishula Records Troum Tuff Gong Tunnel Records Turbo Recordings turntablism TUU TVT Records Twisted Records Type O Negative U-God U2 Überzone Ugasanie UK acid house UK Garage Ultimae Ultra Records Umbra Underworld Union Jack United Dairies United DJs Of America Universal Music UOVI Upstream Records Urban Icon Records V2 Vagrant Records Valiska Valley Of The Sun Vangelis Vap Vector Lovers Venetian Snares Venonza Records Vermont Vernon Verve Records VGM Vice Records Victor Calderone Vince DiCola Vinyl Cafe Productions Virgin Virtual Vault Virus Recordings Visionquest Vitalic vocal trance Wagram Music Warp Records Warren G Water Music Dance Wave Recordings Waveform Records Wax Trax Records WEA Weekly Mini-Review Werk Discs Werkstatt Recordings White Swan Records William Orbit Willie Nelson world beat world music writing reflections Wu-Tang Clan Wyatt Keusch XL Recordings Yello Yes Youth Youtube YoYo Records Yul Records Zenith ZerO One Zomby Zoo Entertainment ZTT Zyron ZYX Music µ-Ziq