1/ Whirlpool (Slow Spiral of Clouds) (Musso) 25.37
2/ Wheel of Heaven (Musso) 24.56
Recorded at Greenpoint Studio, Brooklyn, New York
Produced, engineered and mixed by Robert Musso
Robert Musso: guitars, samplers, processing; Bill Laswell (2): bass.
1994 - FAX +49-69/450464 (Germany), PS 08/67 (CD)
This is a disc to sit down and relax to. There are no quick surprises or
sudden changes from moment to moment. Just press play and "kick back for a
few" type of recording. The original Transonic CD was a great mixture of
influences, from spacey to ethnic, while remaining unmistakably dubbed out.
This time around we get 2 25-minute pieces, >Whirlpool (Slow Spiral of
Clouds)< and >Wheel of Heaven<. A section of >Whirlpool< was included on the
Ambient Cookbook/Fax Compilation, which might only mislead one into thinking
the track is beatless. On the contrary, both songs drift in and out of beats
and through nebulous tonal atmospheres. Track 1 features a pleasant repeating
pattern of guitar notes which seems to imitate an MC Escher staircase, somehow
defying common logic but doing so without drawing attention to itself (for
some visual aid go here: weber.u.washington.edu/~kassad/escher/Asc+Des.gif).
Also present are the cloudy waves of sound which makes the listener feel like
they're swimming around in obscurity, breaking up clusters of rhythm. Both
songs are solid, though if I had to pick one I'd go with >Wheel<. It starts
out a little murky and mysterious for a while, almost gloomy, and then the
rhythm works its way in. The guitar in this track took some warming-up time
for me, but I've learned to accept and appreciate its conservative role in the
song. Transonic stays minimal without sounding undernourished or sparse. Each
element in a Transonic song holds enough weight so that if you were to remove
that element there would be a drastic change in overall sound and structure.
The elements themselves deserve attention, as sounds seem tweaked until "just
right." Nothing groundshaking on this release (except the Bass), but
definitely something more for fans of the first release "Downstream Illusion"
and dubster/triphopper enthusiasts.