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Rob Gould — Dome I & II
(Fruits de Mer strange fish twenty-six, 2022, 2CD)

by Henry Schneider, Published 2022-08-31

Dome I & II Cover art

Before there was an instrumental cover of Van der Graaf Generator’s Pawn Hearts and before there was a Fruits de Mer Records with a string of compilations, there was Dome. Conceived and recorded in 2007, Rob Gould’s massive undertaking, a mere 46 minute instrumental, was a live/studio project recorded in the Devonshire Dome in Buxton, England, now part of the University of Darby. Rob was given access to the building prior to its changeover from an empty former hospital. The live portion, recorded in the dome itself, expanded from its 20 minutes with the additional studio parts in the summer of 2007. Rob explains “the track was written concerning the super-structure of the human brain, a kind of inner-space musical journey, where the mini-me would go around fixing the cracks and holes, with an occasional darker gaze into the mouth of madness.” Initially I had some trepidation when faced with one long 46 minute track, knowing that the only other artist who could pull off something like this and maintain your attention was Klaus Schulze. Upon hearing the first few minutes, I was impressed with Dome, now remastered and titled Dome I, with multi-instrumentalist Gould constantly shifting moods, tempos, instruments, etc.; basically changing every one to two minutes. There are periods of eerie celestial music, subliminal voices, delicate electronics, and even a passage recalling Pink Floyd’s “Shine on You Crazy Diamond.” This musical tour de force leaves you breathless. And to celebrate its 15th anniversary, Rob created “Dome II” as a possible track for his band SectorNINE’s fifth album, and initially called “Son of Dome.” However, as all things Fruits de Mer tend to do, the track morphed and grew into a much more lengthy and introspective solo piece that is about a minute longer than “Dome I.” The result being the 2CD set Dome I and Dome II. Although recorded 15 years apart, there is a connection between these two massive pieces, in fact Gould’s original Dome Construction tapes from 2007, which he thought were lost, resurfaced in early 2022, and Gould swirled some of these ideas into “Dome II.” “Dome II” is more rock oriented, darker, more dissonant, and industrial sounding. But that only adds to the enjoyable listening experience. And there is still a Pink Floyd resemblance near the end, this time “Wish You Were Here.” Quite a magical release that will keep you engaged.

Filed under: New releases, 2022 releases

Related artist(s): Rob Gould

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