Saturday, August 28, 2010

BT- This Binary Universe (2006)


1. "All That Makes Us Human Continues" – 8:15 
2. "Dynamic Symmetry" – 11:23 
3. "The Internal Locus" – 10:27 
4. "1.618" – 11:34 
5. "See You on the Other Side" – 14:23 
6. "The Antikythera Mechanism" – 10:06 
7. "Good Morning Kaia" – 8:11

Before I introduce this album to you, I want to simply state that this is probably the best album from the electronic genre to be released during the first decade of the 21st century. Now let me tell you how it continues to make me feel every time I listen to it. Because that's what this blog is all about; feelings and emotions taken from sound.

Each track of this spacious album is filled with layers upon layers of sound that culminate into the most sensory experience I have ever felt through music. This Binary Universe was originally crafted to be heard in 5.1 surround sound. With that in mind, I am reminded how little my $50 Philips headphones do this album justice. Even so, I can not help but be torn down each time this cinematic piece of music can flawlessly perform its intended purpose each and every listen.

And when I say cinematic, I mean to state how seamlessly this album could transfer to a major motion picture soundtrack. The end result of this album is a picturesque depiction of a world like our own, yet strangely closer to perfection. It's almost like a mechanical fairy tale universe of some Walt Disney creation without all the inane characterization is birthed into existence during each track. What is felt can only be described as pure human emotion to be served in symphonic 8:11 to 14:23 sized bites.

This is one of the first albums that introduced me to modern electronic music. I highly recommend this album to anyone who would like to experience emotions solely through the sonic medium. One can not help but see the world in a different way after listening to This Binary Universe.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Agalloch - The White (2008)

1. "The Isle of Summer" – 3:58
2. "Birch Black" – 2:40
3. "Hollow Stone" – 4:15
4. "Pantheist" – 7:17
5. "Birch White" – 3:44
6. "Sowilo Rune" – 5:40
7. "Summerisle Reprise" – 4:55

 Agalloch is a near flawless band. With the release of The White, a departure from their trademark folk metal fused with black metal is witnessed with astounding results. What begins with a sampling of the 1973 film The Wicker Man then spreads into an ethereal neofolk fable concerning religion, culture, children, morality, hindsight, and foresight. 

I simply cannot overstate the beauty this seven track EP possesses. Ornate soundscapes depicting Spring revived countrysides transport the listener to a realm where pagan and Christian worldviews collide. There is a naturalist splendor to this album that speaks of trees, stones and seasons like divine gifts from an immortal or immortals to living mortals. 

Although this is surely the way Agalloch, a band that wears their pagan beliefs on their sleeves, wants the listener to see this music, a person neither a pagan or a Christian, like myself, can transcend the conflicting religious doctrines and simply admire, in awe, the breathtaking musical work The White undoubtedly is.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Yawning Man - Rock Formations (2006)

1. "Rock Formations" (5:21)
2. "Perpetual Oyster" (5:22)
3. "Stoney Lonesome" (6:02)
4. "Split Tooth Thunder" (2:58)
5. "Sonny Bono Memorial Freeway" (3:52)
6. "Airport Boulevard" (5:22)
7. "Advanced Darknuss" (2:33)
8. "She Scares Me" (4:09)
9. "Crater Lake" (3:37)
10. "Buffalo Chips" (4:27)

It was just over two years ago that I traveled to Hawaii in what was hopefully my first visit of many. My only regret is that I did not know of Yawning Man's 2006 album Rock Formations prior to my trip.

The layering of surfer/stoner rock sound produced on this LP envelop the listener in a visualization of the endless joy of a life lived on the beach.  Rock Formations is the soundtrack to riding teal colored waves just off a sun splashed beach.

There are no vocals on this album, just a basking of beach ambiance.  Virtually unknown outside of the stoner rock scene, Yawning Man is well worth a listen if any of this imagery irks the adventurous side inside that yearns for a weekend beach excursion or a life forever transported to the coast.