Top Bar
Musique Machine Logo Home ButtonReviews ButtonArticles ButtonBand Specials ButtonAbout Us Button
SearchGo Down
Search for  
With search mode in section(s)
And sort the results by
show articles written by  
 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

Lawrence English & Stephen Vitiello - Fable [Dragons Eye Recordings - 2014]

Lawrence English and Stephen Vitiello have both been involved in making avant garde, deep listening and ambient music for more than a decade, English being the founder of the Room40 label (often compared to 12k or Touch).  They released an album of field recording derived art ambience entitled "Fable" on Dragon's Eye Recordings in 2014.

The first 3 tracks are a blurry, muted swirl of processed xylophones, chimes, and bells, nostalgic scenes in the mind's eye movie, fleeting images in pastel shades, half-formed thoughts.  The feeling is a hazy Gamelan-derived sedation, a partial awareness colored with the thick humidity of tropical air,  producing a restful effect, but certainly representative of the mystery as well, an opaque sheet of fog, of steam...  Meditative, singular in its dwelling upon this shimmering palette of mid/high register metallic sounds, a flotsam of loops morphing and swelling into new densities and distributions of frequencies, drifting at generally consistent speed, a liquid current flowing reliably down established channels.  Many sounds are reduced through intensive filtering to muffled resonances and harmonics, revealing and distilling their dominant overtones into a curious quasi-tonality.

I've heard other artists strive for this kind of vintage, windswept, faded polaroid feeling in their music, such as Biosphere with the "Dropsonde" album.  Imagine the look of christmas lights through mostly squinted eyes.  It is comparable to the washed out sound of this recording.  A crackling tape saturation creeps into many moments, revealing the use of analog equipment.

The album opens up into a new world of textures halfway through with "Forecast the Dawn".  The soundspace becomes a three dimensional machine laboratory or scrapyard with electric light buzzing, robotic chittering, scraping, and rattling and acqueous undercurrents of resonance.  I wouldn't be able to pinpoint the exact origin of these sounds, but they are a delight to the mind.  Cold, vaguely threatening mechanistic processes are paired with surprisingly beautiful melodic wisps and tinges in a mesmerizing luminescent field.

"Tender Unison", the final piece, is a sentimental, heart-warming murmering of faint guitars and pianos, a warm ocean of reverberation, intermingled with a bed chirping bugs and wildlife, the traditional sonic signature of nighttime.  It sounds much like Alio Die, one of my favorite artists and one of those to break ambient out of the formulas established by Berlin school music and Brian Eno.

"Fable" is a satisfying inkblot of consonant resonances, a tasteful and pleasantly listenable iteration of freeform art ambient music, never sparse or sluggishly paced.  It's a concise recording, roughly 33 minutes in total.  It is meant for active listening, and I find it quite easy to play through as a whole.  The album is full of ear pleasing sounds, and each of the roughly 4 minute movements is complimentary to the others.

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

Josh Landry
Latest Reviews

Lawrence English & Stephen Vitiel...
Lawrence English and Stephen Vitiello have both been involved in making avant garde, deep listening and ambient music for more than a decade, English being t...
011222   Colossloth - Promethean Meat
011222   Maschinenzimmer 412 - Macht D...
011222   Orders To Kill - Orders To Ki...
011222   Jesper Nordin - Vicinities
011222   Satan’s Little Helper - Satan...
011222   The Son Of The Devil - The S...
301122   Black Candles - Black Candles...
291122   .Nightmare Symphony - Nightma...
281122   There Was A Fish In The Perco...
281122   Planet Shithead/Dosis Letalis...
Latest Articles

Hastings of Malawi - Deliriously ...
Formed in the early 1980s, after the member's sonic dabbling’s on the early Nurse With Wound records, Hastings Of Malawi took a decidedly busy and deta...
231122   Hastings of Malawi - Deliriou...
011122   Raffaele Pezzella - Pursuing ...
111022   Fouke - Bigfoot walled noise
150922   Joe Sherlock - The King of mo...
230822   Sdug Bsngal - Some Scars Run ...
020822   The Night Porter & Slowgurn p...
200622   The Worse Album In The World ...
240522   Noir On Powerhouse Films - Fr...
260422   Schloss Tegal - Back To The ...
230322   The Residents - Fifty Years ...
Go Up
(c) Musique Machine 2001 -2017. Celebrating 16 years of true independence!! Mail Us at questions=at=musiquemachine=dot=comBottom