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 Review archive:  # a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

White Rainbow - Prism of Eternal Now [Kranky - 2007]

White Rainbow is Adam Forkner, a multi-instrumentalist out of Portland, Oregon. He has kept pretty busy playing music, to say the least. He was a member of Yume Bitsu, Surface of Eceon and World. He's done solo work under the name [[VVRSSNN]], meaning "version" and of course, most recently, White Rainbow. His first release under that name was ZOME, recorded with members of Landing in 2005. 2006 saw the release of BOX, a 5CD plus DVD collection, which you can still pick up at some distro's despite being limited to 500 copies. Prism of Eternal Now is the third White Rainbow CD/CDR album this year. It would seem difficult for an artist to maintain a high level of quality with such a prolific output. I'll admit to being new to White Rainbow's music, so I'm listening to Forkner's music without any preconceptions or expectations.

Prism of Eternal Now is sufficiently varied that it can't be summed up as any type of genre exercise. It skips across Krautrock stylings, with tracks that sound influenced by such diverse acts as Can, Guru Guru and Tangerine Dream. The drifting, ambient pieces remind of the icy elegance of Brian Eno, and some of the loop oriented pieces smack of Terry Riley. One of the tracks is named For Terry, although oddly enough the specific piece doesn't sound like Riley.

The great thing about the album is that although these influences are present, the album doesn't present carbon copies of the aforementioned artists. Forkner's individuality and creativity shows through. Though influences are present, its as if they come across subconsciously, because nothing sounds forced. The songs aren't one trick pieces either. Forkner's mixing of styles often within the same song makes this a fun trip.

The album starts off with a bang. Pulses is a deeply psychedelic loop and fuzz guitar track, which is beautifully produced. The circular loops overlap in a warm, labyrinthine pattern which creates a net over which dense, multi-tracked guitars blaze. It's a good illustration of what's to come, because, though the album mellows out considerably for most of its running time, it delivers surprises along the way. The only fault, however minor, is that Forkner varies things enough that it takes a bit to re-acclimate to the twists and turns.

Prism of the Eternal Now has an almost relentlessly optimistic, upbeat tone. While tons of artists have been inspired by the same muses, the darker elements of Krautrock and drone are almost invariably displayed. Of course sometimes the dark, twisted side warrants investigation, and some great music has been gleaned from such an attitude. But it's refreshing to see these influences explored from a different, wide eyed, technicolor angle, as Prism of the Eternal Now demonstrates.

Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5

Erwin Michelfelder
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