Phaenon - His Master’s Voice [Malignant Records - 2010]“His Master’s Voice” is the second offering from Phaenon, Szymon Tankiewicz’s dark ambient/electronic project. Here we find stark ambient combined with lush atmospheric effects. The project was influenced by writer Stanis³aw Lem and his 1968 science fiction novel “His Master’s Voice”. The novels’ plot involves an extraterrestrial transmission and the efforts of scientists to decode and understand the other worldly communication.
It all starts with the first track, aptly titled “His Master’s Voice-Part I”. A stark repetitive loop of soft static and ambient scratchy hum converts to a ghostly crystallized shimmering sound. From there “Dark Energy” gives us cryptic and shadowy pitches that convey a deep and expansive sound. On “Soul Virus” vibrating tones lead us into an unfamiliar and ominous atmosphere with chilling effects. It all ends with “His Master’s Voice-Part 2”, bell-like tones evolve into shrill echoing sounds. The final result is confusion and indecision.
Without knowing the back story behind the evolution of this work, the music created is still suggestive of cosmic atmospheres. We find ourselves in a stark, yet ethereal place that feels foreign but familiar too. Admittedly this is a fantastical soundtrack that begs to be realized visually. For those who have enjoyed similar works by Mister Vapor and Phelios, this is another chapter of mans attempt to understand and contemplate the cosmos.Viktorya Kaufholz