ScienceNV — Pacific Circumstances
((Not on label) no#, 2010, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2011-06-01
This is the second release by this San Francisco based quartet, their odd name coming from the fact that all four members are trained and working scientists, although that most certainly doesn't detract from their status as artists! The band's sound is solidly in the progressive rock camp, although they tend to operate a bit more in exploratory directions as opposed to standard song-based fare. There's a lot of variety here, both in the stylistically diverse compositions and in the band’s sonic palette, which includes two guitarists, two keyboardists, two percussionists and a bassist among the four players. And did I mention the vocals? There aren't any – this is an instrumental outing beginning to end, which might be a risky proposition for any group of musicians less skilled than these, but ScienceNV is more than up to the task. While the ten-minute "Conflicted" might sport some Crimsoid influences, and bits of other tracks may recall the approach of Happy the Man, the band remains on surprisingly original turf for most of these eight tracks, often stretching out into composite suites with interconnected ideas and shifting meter and modalities, even crossing into introspective or ambient territory at times. It might take more than a single listen for Pacific Circumstances to enter your consciousness, but repeated plays will reward.
Related artist(s): ScienceNV
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From the press release:
To Wake a Dream in Moving Water takes from Echo Us' past and spins it into a whole new direction, one closer to traditional acoustic Celtic music than ever before.
To Wake a Dream in Moving Water was composed and recorded during the first few months of 2017. Although Celtic influenced and comprised of a number of re-workings of Irish folk tunes and Breton aires, the album is still in large part new and original Echo Us music that fits right in the Echo Us ‘canon’. “Wake” is a natural progression from “A Priori Memoriae”, which was released to critical acclaim in Europe in 2014.
To Wake a Dream in Moving Water is Echo Us’ ‘Celtic’ album that was planned for a long time but never executed because of the work on the trilogy that came before it. The album title is a typical ‘Echo Us’ play on words which one can find their own meaning.
“It is also both evocative of the Oregon rain, which I am told is not too unlike the rain in Ireland.”(Matthews)
To Wake a Dream in Moving Water is also a comment on conception- which was unintentional when the lyric was written. Matthews surprised himself a few months after writing it, realizing that the song was actually about the nitty gritty, biological workings of what happens when a child is conceived. The folk song it derives from musically describes a courting ritual, one that even today we can all relate to in our own way.
“Come With Me Over the Mountain" in acapella was the musical inspiration for the song, and came into my consciousness after the lyrics were written a few months prior. “ (Matthews)
As with all Echo Us recordings, a number of seeming coincidences resulted in connections being drawn where prior there were none. Another experience of similar capacity was found in oboe samples from A Priori Memoriae that echoed the traditional “May Morning Dew’, also reworked for guitar on the new album.