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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

Go to the Ian Cho website  Ian Cho - The Waking Woods [Tovian Records - 2006]

Regardless of all globalisation, to find an Australian artist set foot on European ground, figuratively speaking, is a relatively rare occasion. A 20 year old Australian guy has been working on his concept of how the woods would sing for three years and the result is in my CD-player right now.

The whole cd: the music, the artwork and the included video form a tuneful marriage. Listening to the music, which is somewhat abstract, based on reverb and echoing repetition and rich with atmosphere, it's quite easy to connect to the provided visuals. The computergenerated imagery of the flying fish in the woods has the same combination of organic and electronic that you find in the music. Sounds and visions from a friendly world with cute bubbly sounds. No disruptive harsh beats or other bad things. It does take me back more than ten years though, without being able to point out what it is exactly, the music seems to be dating from an era when bands on the Warp-imprint and for instance Future Sound Of London freed themselves from the shackles of dancemusic. The good thing is that this sounds as playful as the ventures of those days, but at the same time it's safer than those early experiments.

Although most of the time it makes sense, the repetition sometimes gets a bit too much: like there's not enough activity to keep you on your toes, which could be interpreted as laziness from a cynical point of view (like German composer Stockhausen, who felt the contemporary electronic scene that was making waves in popular music wasn't putting enough effort in their art). Still, The Waking Woods is somewhat mysterious, so not completely safe, but overall the friendly, dreamy tone prevails. All in all, what we have here is a charming debut, making you curious of where Ian will go next.

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

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