Brannan Lane — Answer the Sky
(Ambient Circle ACM-103, 2003, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2007-03-01It’s been a while since we’ve heard something new from Brannan Lane, maybe a year or more, which is a change from his 2+ release per year schedule from before; but Answer the Sky has certainly been worth the wait. Unlike some of his earlier floating / drone / atmospheric works we have reviewed, this one at many points veers toward the avant-garde, being built on heavily processed bells, mysterious percussive sounds, and fragments of industrial samples, as opposed to strictly electronics. Yet it all stays within that floating zone of comfort, a cushiony clouded landscape of understated sounds that seem to open a portal to a dream. The disc’s centerpiece is the eight-part 33 minute “Fade to Black”, which almost certainly has as its purpose to send the listener down that dark subconscious spiral, much like his earlier Sleep Cycle CD, only this one seems to do the job far more effectively. The extremely sparse nature of the track that follows will close the deal; “Sidewalks of Saturn” is built on industrial samples processed so heavily as to be unrecognizable from the ambient sounds that surround them. Finally “Pyramid of the Moon” introduces a heartbeat as it leads the listener through some kind of mysterious cavern where droning bells, gongs and other sounds filter in from the distance. Brilliant. Now it’s time to go to sleep.
Related artist(s): Brannan Lane
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more
You Can Be Part of an Ambient Electronic Project – The Gesture of History is a new electronic project put together by Sam Rosenthal of Black Tape for a Blue Girl, Steve Roach, and violist Sam Shadow. The music started as an instrumental track Rosenthal was working on for a Black Tape album, but took on a life of its own and demanded further enhancements. The majority of the funds raised will go to manufacturing costs for LP and CD editions, as well as other items as detailed on the Kickstarter page. » Read more
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more