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

2019-01-31
Keyboardist Ingo Bischof R.I.P. – Keyboard player Ingo Bischof, best known as the longtime keyboard player of German band Kraan, passed away on January 29th, 2019. Bischof was born January 2, 1951 in Berlin-Kreuzberg and joined Kraan in 1975. » Read more

2019-01-11
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

2019-01-02
Chicago-Based Surabhi Ensemble Tours the World in January – Surabhi Ensemble was formed more than a decade ago in Chicago with the aim of bringing together musicians from varying traditions to make music. Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays veena, assembled a cast that includes Arabic oud, Spanish guitar, and percussion from Africa and India. This month, the group will be sharing their sounds with concert-goers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa. » Read more

2018-12-23
Seaprog Festival Seeks Donations – Seaprog is a small festival in Seattle that highlights creative music from many genres with artists from around the world. It's also a US non-profit organization. They're seeking donations to help keep the ball rolling. Starting in 2013, the organization has been growing, and has featured such artists as Free Salamander Exhibit, Jack o' the Clock, Nik Turner, Cabezas de Cera, Miriodor, Thinking Plague, and many more. » Read more

2018-11-16
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Nukli - The Time Factory – Nukli are a psych-rock band who have a fairly long history peppered with only a few, rare releases. Having spent a good part of the 80s gigging in England on the festival scene with the likes of the...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues