1/ Time Wave (Musso) 7.27
2/ Low Space Moniter (Musso) 6.16
3/ Time Span Zero (Musso) 7.16
4/ Space After (Musso) 9.23
5/ Over the Next Rise (Musso) 5.36
6/ Dream To Dream (Musso) 5.08
7/ Cascading Down Illusion (Musso) 8.52
8/ Outerzone (Space After) (Musso) 4.11
9/ Under Flow (Musso) 5.02
Recorded at Greenpoint Studio, Brooklyn, New York
Produced, engineered and mixed by Robert Musso
Bill Laswell: bass; Robert Musso: guitars, samplers, beats, processing.
1994 - FAX +49-69/450464 (Germany), PS 08/49 (CD)
1996 - Ambient World (Germany), AW 013 (CD)
1996 - Ambient World (Germany), AW 013V (12")
Note: The vinyl contains only tracks 2,3,5 and 9.
This is the type of music I'd take with me cruising... if I had a car and a
car stereo. The album consists mostly of ~110BPM lowridin' space tracks
mostly accompanied by the effortless Bass of Bill Laswell. For those who have
heard "Time Span Zero" off the Cookbook or the Genetic Drift compilation, the
rest of the album isn't necessarily as spaced out. The guitar basslines seem
to lend to the tracks a sort of grounded, sturdy feel. But don't be put off
by that, Downstream Illusion is a keeper, and there's plenty of drifty
spacelines and subtle cyclic tweaks throughout to keep you occupied. "Time
Wave" starts the album off with a skybound eastern riff that promises to
please, listen after listen. The Bass comes in and it all rolls nicely for
about 5 minutes. Robert Musso, the creator of Transonic, chooses his sounds
with a percussive wisdom matched by few. Track 2 has some layered meditative
vocals involved. Another firm bassline accompanies. Same percussive
masterliness. Track 3, "Time Span Zero," lacks the bass guitar, but you don't
miss it. All these subtle water-trickling sounds seem to be coming off the
drums somehow, and one wonders how Musso achieved it. The melody in this
track is great, and even sounds like it may be sourced from a geeetar, but
it's so mutated and beautiful it doesn't matter. Definitely something to be
cranked for neighboring vehicals at the traffic lights. Track 4, "Space
After," is an evolving blend of various eastern percussive instruments and
assorted drum sequences. More neat drum solos and miscellaneous sequence-
mixing trickery. Track 5, "Over the Next Rise," doesn't seem to boast the
sequential density of the previous tracks, and the guitar riff-tweakage seems
more at home in something like Miami Vice Revisited then for a space-dub
album, but at this point Musso's already got ya and he feels like foolin'
around for a few minutes before he continues to expand your headspace. It
breaks up the mood and gives you time to breathe. Track 6, "Dream to Dream,"
is the second track without the Bass, and is excellent. A slow, drifting
groove consisting of wooden-sounding percussion is the backdrop for another
Good Melody in the same vein as "Time Span Zero," but it is perhaps a bit more
sad in mood. Just in the nick of time, track 7, "Cascading Down Illusion"
invades your temporal lobes and gets you happy again. Subtle intentional
timing nuances in a familiar looping sound (also on Dead Slow) elicit images
of fanlike waterfalls at an outer-galactic vacationing hot spot. Next track,
"Outerzone (Space After)," is the shortest on the album at just over 4
minutes, and contains that quasi-Miami sound in a different context. The
final track "Under Flow," is an avalanching barrage of rhythmic noises that
finish off a pleasurable album.
Incidently, the Transonic releases seem to be riddled with wierd text
glitches. First of all, the original Fax release was gold with black
lettering instead of black with gold, making it exceptionally nice to look at.
Also, the actual disc for the second Transonic release, Virtual Current, had
Downstream Illusion written on it. On top of that, the second Transonic was
subject to that bright yellow ink job that a handful of other sublabel discs
received (like Redeye). On Downstream Illusion, the track titles "Time Wave"
and "Time Span Zero" are most certainly references to Terence McKenna's I
Ching based novelty research. 2012 is the alledged year we cross the
boundaries of space, time and Being. Perhaps then we'll all be hearing
Transonic in our heads as we fold space during our intergalactic jaunts....