Exposé Online banner

Stephen Phillips — Cycles 4
(Dark Duck DDR 134, 2002, CD)

by Phil Derby, Published 2002-09-01

Cycles 4 Cover art

There is ambient, and then there is ambient. This is true ambient, for fans of completely tuneless, minimalist drones and occasional other sounds electronic. For example, after a couple of minutes, muted reverberant drones are met by the slow bleep-bleep-bleep sounds of sonar on a submarine. They resurface occasionally at unpredictable intervals throughout the single hour-long track that comprises the entire disc. Something resembling discrete notes moves through from time to time, giving the listener a little bit to grab onto. Though this is extremely minimalist, there are distinct musical movements. However, depending on your state of mind while listening, you may not be consciously aware of it. Though this may be sonic wallpaper for some, for others it could very well be pure elixir. I think that meditation enthusiasts will be in heaven, or any other place or state of their choosing. It is mostly shades of dark, but there are lighter passages that are quite beautiful as well. Occasionally, a more rapid pulse appears, but disappears quickly, leaving mostly the feeling of deep space, devoid of companionship but also bereft of distractions from the world left behind. A total trance trip, built for one. Come back safely.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 25, 2002 releases

Related artist(s): Stephen Philips

Latest news

2018-04-05
OBEY Convention XI Set for May 24-28 in Halifax – As the 2018 festival season rapidly approaches, we’d like you to be aware of a real treasure of diverse and creative music that’s going to take place in Halifax, Nova Scotia, next month. The OBEY Convention is on its 11th outing, and features a wide range of artists from around the world. From avant-industrial noise to experimental takes on Classical Chinese music, from chamber jazz to doom metal, from ambient soundscapes to Canadian First Nations drumming, you’d be hard pressed to find a festival with more variety in sound anywhere in the world. » Read more

2018-04-04
Close to the Rain Festival in Bergen Announces Lineup – Now in its second year, the Close to the Rain Festival of progressive music is scheduled to take place in Bergen, Norway, on June 7 - 9. They've got an amazing slate of bands lined up, including such powerhouses as Anekdoten, Major Parkinson, Arabs in Aspic, Tusmørke, and many more. » Read more

2018-03-01
Seaprog 2018 Artist Announcements Raise Festival's Profile – Seattle's Seaprog festival has been going since 2013, and the 2018 edition features a slate of artists that's sure to bring more attention to the event. Cheer-Accident, Bubblemath, and Free Salamander Exhibit are in the first round announcement of performers. In keeping with their tradition of focusing on regional artists, they will also present a number of artists from Washington and Oregon. [Edit: Just added: Inner Ear Brigade] » Read more

2018-02-26
Adelbert von Deyen RIP – Word reaches us that German electronic musician Adelbert von Deyen has died. His recorded legacy reaches back to 1978, when Sky Records released Sternzeit. Von Deyen, who was born October 25, 1953 in Süderbrarup, was also known as a painter and graphic artist. » Read more

2018-02-18
Didier Lockwood RIP – Word reaches us today of the death of one of France's great jazz musicians, violinist Didier Lockwood. His playing bridged many worlds, from traditional jazz to fusion to progressive rock, and his talent can be heard on recordings by Magma, Clearlight, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, and many more. Lockwood was 62. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Steve Howe - The Haunted Melody – The Yes/Asia guitarist realizes a lifelong ambition by creating the perfect jazz setting with son, Dylan Howe on drums and Ross Stanley on Hammond B3. The arrangements across the stellar recording...  (2009) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues