issued in a quantity of 500 in September of 1993, this first album
proves to be a solid foundation on which much would be built. In fact
this album, above so many prized others (including Ambiant Otaku,
Shades of Orion, and Sequential), was voted on the Ambient email list
to be reissued on Namlook's Ambient World label a couple years back
to satisfy the many Internet Faxheads yearning to own it. Apparently,
the claims made on the mailing list overemphasized just how many people
planned to buy the reissue and Namlook ended up with a pile of extras.
. Because of this overabundance, fans are still able to find all 3
volumes of the 2350 Broadway albums for sale, although spotting 2350
Broadway II is becoming increasingly difficult these days.
Much like the seemingly crazed fans who would practically sacrifice
body parts to secure their own copies of rare albums, the musicians
that make them must often go to great lengths to find the special
instruments used to produce the desired sounds. One of main sound
sources for this first album was a an EMS Synthi. These are legendary
pieces of equipment that many musicians claim have no equal. Here
the vintage Synthi is placed in a
modern electronic studio context and its inner workings are explored
and its seamless textures revealed. The machine produces a glistening
stream of sound which our duo uses generally
as the background for their pieces. Of course, 2350 Broadway is hardly
anything more but background, but somehow these guys keep the textures
interesting enough to just sit and listen to them. Each sound surface
is rich and full of fine detail that readily keeps my attention.
Vision of Pulse - What a way to start it out. A gargantuan wind
tunnel and loop of chimes launches you immediately into spacious
uncharted territory. Feel the cool aural breeze gently usher you into
a chamber of endless proportions. After a few minutes, the chime pattern
begins to change, the loop sequence is altered by a few added notes.
Meanwhile, distant sound waves ripple high above the stratosphere.
I found that this track began to grow on me only after I gained familiarity,
through many listens, with how the piece proceeds. For me, the real
fun beings at around the 17-minute mark, those next 6 or 7 minutes
are pure gold. The mood shifts noticeable to a more serious, introspective
pose and a lead synth takes the spotlight. The notes are carefully
executed, each tone is crucial in the overall formation. Later, a
huge synth wave rises and breaks over your temporal lobes like some
analog tsunami, and the subsequent reverberant forces wash all in
its path out into an endless sea....
- Listening to this track on headphones can be compared to watching
a match of intergalactic ping-pong. The delays are panned hard to
the left and right. Most of the sounds you here in this track are
processed in this way. We begin with some plastic tapping toms sounds,
with a slowly rising layer of background synth. A hi-hat now, through
the same echo pattern. Gradually, other sounds are gated in, fragments
of speech, or just aliased squelchy noises sounding like language
segments. All bouncing the elements front, left, and right while the
backing sound slowly builds. It doesn't really get rambunctious until
about 14 minutes. The voices become more explicit, and many of the
sounds are swirling and tilting around. Finally more computer chirps
and a wind down begins at around 20 minutes. The bleeps become more
like an intentional malfunctioning loop, ending the piece.
- A bonus segment with more rounded computer
blips and a powerful recurring bass hum that willblow your speakers
if you aren't careful. Tokai works best for me at lower volumes, this
puts the hum at
a tolerable level and blends the bleeping sequences (which are similar
to those in the previous track Raga) with any other incidental sounds
occurring in the room.
2: Hands of Light - The song takes up the entire length of the disc
and is indexed every 10 minutes for the listener's convenience. This
is the only song with
beats in the entire trilogy, and it's a good one. Because it is
so long, I'll go through the various phases by track # and list the
appropriate times that they occur:
The first few minutes serve as an intro, with the opening
melodic theme emerging at the 5 minute mark.
jetstream tones steadily grow.
A few moments later the beat is set: a distant, thundering
rhythm appears that will continue weaving around for the
next 10 minutes or so. The beats stay contantly in motion
and the echoes bounce around a seemingly endless sphere-shaped
room. The bass drum projects a tactile series of compressions
and rarefactions from the center region while thumps reflect
off the invisible wall somewhere on the other side of you.
At 2:32 a groundshaking feedback erupts. For the next 10
minutes or so the rhythmic drift is sustained and then later
in segment 4 a drone takes over while remaining traces of
jetstream are swept away. Now it sounds as if we've gone
subterranean with the vibrations from the veins of natural
water lines. The drone builds with the occasional undulating
disturbance and becomes decorated with Dune-like synths
chords. Things get quiet toward the end.
now you definitely be off in REM-land if you've put this
on for sleep time. A new 3-tone theme appears
this point, Hands of Light becomes a kind of gentle mixture
of everything up to here, distant wisps of sounds bubble
up ever so quietly.