around 8 months, Pete and Tetsu decide to take on round 2 of this
series. The second time around, there's more of a concentration on
how deep they can get into the fractal sequences, with helical staircases
of melody and large revolving plates of sound filling every aural
niche. Remaining strong from the time of its release in the summer
of '94, this one picks up where the debut left off, and continues
to amaze and sedate with each listen. The pieces are clearly more
richly layered and planned this time, while the overall tone moves
a shade darker. The 2 hour-long tracks turn and drift endlessly without
forsaking the pleasures of detailed sequences. Despite countless listens,
headphones reveal intricately designed patterns and hypnotic loops
in the background. The sequences can get intense, but somehow this
doesn't interfere with falling asleep. Night owls should try this
album instead of taking melatonin. I can't even estimate the number
of times I've put this album on low volume right before going to bed.
This type of music seems to have a natural affinity for slumber, although
I've also listened to it countless times at higher levels during waking
hours. Many times, while crossing that ambiguous border between sleep
and consciousness, I've caught myself actually "listening" in my sleep.
This must be some technologically induced hybrid of mild lucid dreaming
and a headphonaut excursion. Sometimes when coming back out of it
after only 20 minutes or so of listening, I feel like I've just slept
for about 4 hours! Try it and see what happens.
all that said, 2350 Broadway II is still one of my favorite beatless
albums from Fax. And with 2 full CDs, you're certainly going to get
your money's worth. The first disc, Invisible Landscape, takes it's
title from one of the most technical of Terrence McKenna's books on
the Time Wave and the Eschaton. The second disc, Art of Dream, implies
that you let the vibes lead you into dreamland.
Another thought: dolphins sleep with one hemisphere of their brain
at a time while the other remains "awake" to navigate and help with
swimming. This is known as "subconscious breathing." The brain hemispheres
switch off, alternating so that each side gets rest without rendering
the animal completely motionless or unawares. This is a lot like the
music here, except the brain hemispheres are interreacting synths
and keyboards, and the alternations occur when Namlook and Inoue slightly
shift the mood every now and then. There's definitely a sense of multiple
intelligences at work here. This is music made for exploring innerspace.
1: "The Invisible Landscape
first disc starts out with that low metallic wash you might recognize
from Psychonavigation's "Psychic and UFO Revelations..." But the
similarities stop there, really. The introduction phrases build
into a thicket of synthetic mixtures. A feeling of buoyancy is
induced by the gradual flux of waves from high to low frequencies,
and back again.
opening takes on a much more enveloping effect, and they tell
us their landscape is invisible?? Well, it can't be seen, but
it's readily available for scrutiny with 3rd ears.
By the time you reach this point, each direction you choose to
listen in seems to tell its own story, and yet the difference
instruments and arrangements also mingle nicely. The drift is
sustained for several minutes.
the end the of this section, the atmosphere has changed almost
entirely, but you haven't noticed because of the very gradual
shifts used. The tone remains chilled out.
around the 21' minute mark, the fractal melody patterns fade in
and out, leaving traces of echo, this continues for about 7-8
minutes. A solo accompanies these structures for a few moments
at a faint volume level.
turning points blend into each other, making reference to any
one particular spot difficult. When we finally reach the halfway
point of the disc, the various elements of the piece are molded
into a gently fluttering cadence.
gliding synth tones join the mesh.
section should definitely knock you out (unless you've been drinking
too much coffee). The metallic wash that started the disc off
also steps in here now and then.
final stages bring more fluid layers to the front, while the darkness
recedes. A second sweep of fractalish melody fades in finishing
the disc. For the adventurers eager to immediately extend their
internal explorations, you can start disc 2 when the final track
index (#14) shows up on the LCD for disc 1. A mixer may be necessary.
Make sure both volumes are about equal, and the mix is now on
autopilot. Sit back and listen while the Invisible Landscape recedes
and the Art of Dream emerges....
2: "Art of Dream"
begin with a dark, introspective glow. At 2:45 into it, computerized
harmonic screeches bubble to the surface and oscillate gracefully,
creating giant buttresses of sound.
time is wasted, the Story begins. A cluster of enveloping synth
clouds the area, and a solo rises from the rush of sound. What
perfect music! Truly a great combination of emotional melody shining
through rich synthetic layers.
We plunge back into the depths of the dark glow, while the solo
continues to spin new melodies. A polished fluctuation recurs
in the left channel every 10 seconds or so, deep and bassy.
feeling continues. 3:15 into this section, things get really spacey.
Some twinkling synth textures foreshadow your investigation of
unfamiliar territory. The interleaved tones morph and stretch,
and a new area appears, turning your zone into an extremely colorful
and uplifting one. The simple irregular patterns here overflow
and cover the area.
continue to ripple and change before you ears, condensing and
swirling. Hints of soft, delayed piano are sprinkled in key. Optimistic
sloping oscillations and a remergence of those sounds from section
#2. For the next 15 minutes or so, the forces trade off while
the solo melodies continue to sing. Before reaching #9, the dark
glow fades in briefly, permeating the collage of flowing electronics.
cycles continue. By track #11, the deepest and innermost cavelike
partition is revealed, weaved into the dark glow of #1, this lasts
for several minutes. The bobbing tones grow quiet for a few moments...
Sleep, headphonaut, sleep. The depths will hold you while glimpses
of wiggling light rays make their way down here to the bottom.
More glistening harmonies stream down, but you won't remember
them because by now, your own mind is lost to the whims of those
elusive REM sleep processes.