A few things regarding the lost art of cd covers… I don’t know why labels and artists don’t insist on something meaningful and artistic when they go about their covers as of late. This is luckily not the case with this beautiful floral design on the cover. Now that I think about it, the flowers and their colors fit exactly the music inside. With this double release there is much music to review, let's start:
The first cd is a re-release of Prima Materia under Aleph Zero Records and as part of this value pack. "leaving babylon" is my favorite on the album… something about the vocal samples that reminds me of the old Shpongle – Devine Moments of Truth vocal lines; it has a special in my heart. I find as the music continues it is hard to start describing each track as an individual, rather they are working together toward a purpose of some sort… a destination unknown... "prophetic sines" is a track with much vocal work that is both tribal and dubby at the same time. The track keeps quite minimal instruments wise and a mysterious atmosphere to this one. "triangle (retriangulated) is my 2nd favorite on the cd. The melody completely hooked me and I found myself floating to distant lands on the notes, sailing into the horizon. The vinyl crackle is a nice touch here too, keeping it organic through all this silicon. "rubicon" it much more upbeat then its previous counterparts, a loungy beat and delayed short synths bouncing in each ear a melody. Tribal percussions, smooth creamy pads and an escalating climb into the future vocal samples. "prayers for rain (dub mix)" is up next and again ventures into dub… there are some parts here that really remind me of 1960's free flowing psychedelic rock, with keyboards offbeat but in tune with a purpose and coming back each time they get too far away to "anchor" us back to a base. This is a wonderful track, very creative ideas here. In "white magnesia" the lounge comes back and a slow trippy beat is ruling this track. I think Evan takes here the 60's concepts again and applies them to modern type synthesis. "7th phase dub" is a track that keeps on changing… not settling down one moment, the guitar part is very inspiring. Up next is "burning waters" a track with a clever break beat and great percussion work. Fast and swirly I found myself shaking my head to the beat. "mezzamorphic" is another percussive track, to this one I didn’t really connect… I thought it was not as good as the rest of them. The action picks up again with "desperate ends"; the synths used by Evan are high tech sounding and somehow still organic feeling. The atmosphere is interesting here, somewhat mysterious somewhat inviting. The album closes with "cliffdiving" a short piano and pad track that closes up the album in a melancholy manner… I visualize a long plunge into an abyss here.
Elementary Particles, the 2nd installment here and the current new release of the couple is another being altogether from its first brother Prima Material. This album sounds much more refined and precise. The instruments used here are different as well. We start with "elementary particles (re-edit)" a track that has dub percussions and small effect games I enjoyed. It is a good intro track as I see this album being one long piece of work and not really 7 tracks. "alchemie dub" is one of my favorites here. The mix between vocoded samples and Indian samples is incredible… the main synth is creamy and smooth as well. In "cosmologic" the beat picks up a bit and a spacey feeling of dub and heavy delays sustained for long periods… the synths again are doing a great job: one creamy and one sharp playing a contra game of some sort. Things slow down for "koinonea". A techy dub track, with some old 303 lines? The vocals are absolutely tortured here, I like this track but I felt it didn’t end up where I though it was going to go… rather just ended. J.Viewz of Violet Vision remixed "prayers for rain" from the previous album. This is a great track, one of the best on the album for certain. A great break beat and Jonathan took the free form psychedelics of the original and gave it, as it sounds to me, a Pink Floyd meet the 21st century feel, great work with the vocals at end there and the escalation. The next track is "oleander" one of the most beautiful yet toxic flora with incredible flowers. The track itself is very atmospheric and in my opinion involves elements from each of its predecessors on the album. The final track is "worthy" a vocal track that has heavy feelings and a message, it is very personal. In conclusion, the 2nd album's depth is far greater then the first, yet the earlier album offers a nevertheless ample depth of emotions, sounds and atmosphere. This double cd took me on a journey to a dreamland, something that ambient cd's not often do. It is clever and simple, complex and clean, blissful and gloomy; all throughout dripping with psychedelia that isn’t often found.