from Vital e-magazine from the Staalplaat office [Number 186 - Week 32/2001]
written by Frans de Waard
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SEOFON - ZERO POINT (CD by The Foundry)
DEAN SANTOMIERI - THE BOY BENEATH THE SEA (CD by The Foundry)
eM - ALL THE STARS BURNING BRIGHT (CD by The Foundry)
MOLLUSK - TRACKS AND DEFINITIONS (CD by The Foundry)
Hypnos is a known label for their ambient music in all its forms and The Foundry approaches ambient from a more experimental angle. The two labels now joined forces and unlashes four new productions which crosses these boubdaries, of course if ever they existed.
The first one is by Seofon in collaboration with Vidna Obmana and Steve Roach. The source material on this CD were recordings by Ambient Temple Of Imagination/Mystery School, which were processed by the three. After that stage, the results went to another group of recyclers, this being Stephen Kent, Thermal, Robert Rich and Not Breathing. It takes the simple remix away and is replaced by a more complex form of recycling (and the blurb acknowledges this to Vidna Obmana's work with Asmus Tietchens, which is not entirely true however). Looking at these names, it might be no difficult to guess what this sounds like. Deep washes of synths, sound synthesizes and processing, coupled occassionally with pseudo ethnic percussion. Not really hypnotic for me, but pleasent music while reading the newspaper on a cloudy sunday morning.
Reading newspapers is not easy while listening to Dean Santomieri's 'The Boy Beneath The Sea'. This is a fourty minute work of reading texts and music. The music is played by Bruce Anderson, of MX 80 fame on the chronotone guitar), David Kwan on sampler and processing and Karen Stackpole on percussion. The music is here primarily to support the text and do not play a big role. As far I heard the texts were full of fantasy and mystery. While executed quite nicely, not entirely my thing.
Behind eM we find Micheal Bentley, whose previous work was reviewed before here. In his latest work he moves from his more sonic experimentalism to ambient. References to stars and of course the infinite space between, might be enough to open up the whole palette of synths washes with an occassional more experimental touch (that might be a satellite passing probably), so it luckily doesn't leap in a new age black hole. Lesser in diversity then the Seofon album, but still a worthwhile listening experience.
The last new one is by Malcolm Bly, who goes by the monikker of Mollusk, which is an undersea living creature. This is his first CD. Originally he produced only Mp3s but created them at a low resolution, so they were easy to download. On this CD only two of the original low res versions are there, the rest is upgraded. From the four releases the Mollusk one is the most experimental with high end tones and frequencies, occassional stereo rhythm pulses and, probably unavoidable washes. Especially the six part piece 'The Evolution Of The Snail's Brain' explore all of these ingredients to a great extend. As far as experimentalism goes, this is my favourite of the four. (FdW)