Friday, July 29, 2011

Review: Tidal - The Future of an Illusion (Sangoplasmo Records, 2011)

Tidal’s Jimmy Billigham of United Kingdom can be seen as one of the representatives of the minimal, raw approach to ambient/drone music. While there are musicians in the scene who go for the 80’s nostalgia, even with a certain flair of kitsch (Oneohtrix Point Never, Emeralds), or the ones who look into the future trying to blend new age revival with glitch or minimal techno beats (Carl Calm, A. Pushkin, Quartz Safari), Tidal goes with the most basic and simplest (and sometimes most effective!) way of solid drone set by the likes of Bee Mask.
Side A’s “Venusian Tales” begins with what appears to be an ancient (actually, it might be brand new, it is the subject matter and quality that gives it an aged, 60’s feel) recording of a man recalling his astral travels (describing what he saw – a magnificent alien civilization). A cosmic drone with a feel of relentlessness (although not a tiring type of relentlessness) rises from the muffled vocals and takes over the track for 20 minutes. There isn’t much change throughout the track – the sound it at the same time minimal and maximal, barely straying away from the majestic central drone, yet always extremely busy, a sonic equivalent of warm magma flowing into your ear.
Side B’s “Sundial” continues the scheme started on side A, burying the listeners in endless tides of soft, cosmic ambience with pulsing, rumbling bass with almost no change in pitch whatsoever – a sort of lush, lethargic rest music which characterized Fabio Orsi’s Winterreise (one of my favorite albums for falling asleep, ever). Tidal’s The Future of Illusion might become another one of my favorite albums for falling asleep, especially side B. Jimmy Billigham might not be breaking any new ground in his music (so far, but everything can change in the future!), but he does the job right and creates some righteous zones to float in.

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