Saturday, September 13, 2008

Mystified - Baseline & Coldstream - c30

Mystified sent me another couple of CDrs, one of which was from a new label Amp Tower, based on a blogspot. The first release was by Coldstream, and Mystified's is the second (a release of 50). Once sold out the releases are to be made available through (how I got the first release - follow links at the blog/site).

We listen to music through our musical history - so here is part of mine. I bought King Crimson, In the Court of,
from a friend at school and sort of liked it. Then my sister bought me Larks' Tongues in Aspic which amazed me and won me over (that period KC is it for me - also note a connection with Tom Phillips). That same sister was a fan of Bowie, and then one day in the car and over the radio came Always crashing in the same car, from Low. Again, another epiphany about what music could be. Soon after someone played me Taking Tiger Mountain (by strategy) and I bought a copy of Another Green World and a musical trinity was set up for me. Sometimes I play 6 degrees of separation to connect various artists in my record collection to that Eno/Bowie/Fripp heart. Hence the many references to Fripp and Eno here especially. So where does it fit here?

Well, this Mystified album reminded me of what is one of Eno's many atmospherically perfect songs - The Belldog
Most of the day/we were at the machinery/
in the dark sheds/that the seasons ignore

(words thanks to More Dark Than Shark). And the majority of this album Baseline could be a site recording from those machinery sheds.
(OK - it's a long bow to draw, but my mind works in Mysterious was.) We start with some Man machine drones active ringing tones, some softly buzzing and some deeper vibrations: metal with softer undersides. Waves of whooshing from machines that a throbbing deeper underground in Hertz two oh, before rumbling hiss of Diesel powered equipment. We are moving with Uncertainty listening to soft winds through the tunnels and come across a buzzing, more active Baseline, high tonal-voices woven in. Strange winds simply as titled, rumbling of a distant train, and in some ways ends this phase of the album.

It becomes more active with Mystified's remix of Piskadear, pulsing rings and more variation and sounds in the drone, before a complete switch is thrown in Always beginning where we have beaty fast rhythm loops, guitar ambiences and a sense of activity. Back to drifting with the long, shifting ringing descents of Polar out, reminiscent of Eno's Apollo, some of which are ear-ringing. A reprise remixed by Coldstream ends the album with a rawer version, more edge and echo on the loops. Another excellent ambient outing from Mystified.

C-30 by Coldstream is a collection of varied ambience: Learn is composed of lovely long ringing tones, layered, with passing crackles, hints of distant events and gentle percussion. After that, Search is harsher, dark shimmering tones with a deep echoing throb that suggests piano. Taken builds slowly from soft industrial tones to a more active harsh and almost aggressive ambience of forward tones, pulsing, crackling and then gradually fading away before a short burst of reverbed guitar and heavy crackling interference in Fia that disappears as insects calling. There are plenty of ideas in here, with changes in tone and texture, to keep listening for the 30 minutes. A worthwhile download.


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