US - Texas - Full Moon 82 - 06/14/03
One of the advantages of the internet that I imagine is never truly exploited is collaborating
musically. My experience of home internet connections is such that as soon as you start doing
anything important or meaningful, you can guarantee that you get messed around by the phone line.
Collaborating musically via post, on the other hand, seems like a great idea: you send your
creative fruits and then wait in delicious anticipation to hear the direction your collaborator
has taken the sound.
This is the basis of this intermittently brilliant CD, a collaboration between David Cooper
Orton in the UK, and James Sidlo in the USA. An anonymous soup of e-bowed guitars, synths, bass
and background atmospherics, it can drift by for minutes with very little happening, and then
interesting melodies will emerge, glistening brightly on the surface.
Despite the fact that the two musicians met on an internet site called Loopers Delight, there's
very little here that sounds obviously hierarchical in composition, like most looped music does;
you can't mentally pick out and inspect all the different elements within the music. The sounds
complement and meld with one another, which can produce some lovely results. Although some of the
instruments sometimes sound overly ponderous - the 'prog rock' timbre of some of the e-bowed guitars
can get a bit grating - most of the sounds are handled with finesse. And the first time a drum
beat kicks in around halfway through the album it's a genuine surprise, the sequencing of the
songs accentuating the effect of the beats when they arrive.
This is the best review CD that I've received out of the blue rather than bought, and I'd like
to thank David and James for sending me their music - a very enjoyable, mellow listen. I have to
confess that it hasn't set my world alight, partly as a result of my recent aversion to ambient,
instrumental albums. But I foresee being pleasantly surprised by it again at some point in the
near future, when I want something warm, immersive and passively engaging.
Copyright © 2003 Tim Clarke