Drifting in Silence — Fallto
(Labile Records LAB-1, 2007, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2008-10-01Let’s face it, even when you like ambient electronic music, sometimes you’re just not in the mood for it. But it might be cool to have something non-ambient that features some of the same textures and attention to sonic details. Derrick Stembridge’s Drifting in Silence project is a bit like that. If you removed the beats, the music behind could easily stand on its own as the kind of ambiance suggest by the name, but there is far too much energy here to qualify for meditation. It reminds me at times of early Future Sound of London stuff (before they went all psychedelic on us), say around Accelerator. There are passages of propulsive pseudo-dance inflected beats, but there are overarching echoes of phase-shifting synths and washes of deep ambiance floating behind. And while almost all the tracks feature rhythm backing, it’s generally not pounding dance beats but fickle stuttery grooves. Vocals (and vocorder-like sounds) are occasionally used, but not prominent. Most of the sounds are undoubtedly digital, but there’s a certain warmth within the crystalline echoes that reminds me of analog electronics, and even a few little touches borrowed from industrial music. All of which makes the name Drifting in Silence ironic at best, seriously misleading at worst. But that’s not a criticism – I quite enjoy this album, and find its mixture of rhythm and texture intriguing.
Related artist(s): Drifting in Silence
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more
Holger Czukay RIP – Holger Czukay, a musical experimentalist without boundaries who has been involved with expanding the sound palette of rock music since the late 60s, has died at the age of 79. After studying with Karlheinz Stockhausen in the early 60s, he became fascinated with the possibilities of rock music, and was a co-founder of the pioneering group Can. He leaves behind an impressive body of work both as musician and producer. » Read more
John Abercrombie RIP – Another of the greats of jazz guitar has left us. John Abercrombie plied his way through a beautiful series of albums on the ECM label as well as bringing his talent to bear on albums by many of jazz's greatest artists. From his early work in the group Dreams to Gateway and outstanding work with Billy Cobham, Jack DeJohnette, Kenny Wheeler, and many more to his own trios and quartets, he brought a unique instrumental voice to the world. » Read more