Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Review: Long Pond - A Fog of Unrest (Couples, 2011)

Creative people tend to be creative in more than one area. For example, if one is a visual artist, they will usually make a good musician too. Tampa’s Anthony Record is no exception – his musical project Long Pond (which I’ve posted a while ago) worships the analog, sweeping ambience. A true retro futuristic dream.
In the times when the cassette is seemingly the default format for analog synth/drone/new New Age music a CD may seem to some as a faux pas. To make kosmische musik in the 2010s and NOT release on cassette? Get with the times, man! But Anthony Record knows what he is doing – a neatly packaged digipak houses a CD, which surpasses all cassettes in terms of quality (duh). So, paradoxically, by releasing on CD instead of cassette, Record gave a breath of fresh air in a scene where cassettes were introduced to give a breath of fresh air from CD’s.
While the first two tracks might feel like obscure Oneohtrix Point Never outtakes circa Ruined Lives, mostly thanks to the characteristic synth sound Lopatin re-discovered and revived a few years back (Roland Juno 60, maybe?), the impression fades toward the end of the second track, when a myriad of high-pitched, organ-like notes descends and stacks upon one another and builds a shimmering solo upon the delay-abused waving ambience. Standing in contrast to the majestic “Tectonic Plates”, which is the soundtrack for witnessing the terraforming process sped up a few million times, “The Entire Pacific Coast” is based on pretty much a single, massive, heavy drone which speeds up and slows down, sometimes to stop entirely, just to kickstart a split second later. One can just keep wondering whether the effect was achieved digitally or was it an actual tape experimenting. The closing track, “A Fog of Unrest” is much similar to “Tectonic Plates” minus the OPN sound. This one’s richer and deeply atmospheric – a slowly-unfolding, piercing synth melody shifts notes slightly, almost unnoticeably while a background droning ambience pulses and takes new shapes, never taking the listener’s attention from the surface sound.
Long Pond’s A Fog of Unrest appears to be Anthony’s first physical release, and it’s already an engaging ambient trip. Released on Florida label Couples Records in the number of 100 copies, it’s still available, so get while it lasts!

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