Exposé Online banner

Thomas Newman & Rick Cox — 35 Whirlpools Below Sound
(Cold Blue CB 0040, 2014, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2014-10-24

35 Whirlpools Below Sound Cover artComposers Newman and Cox create a world of fragmentary electro-acoustic vignettes that wander and drift between structured melodic work, textural explorations and floating ambient worlds, reflecting the film scoring background of both. There are 19 short distinct pieces here that work together as a complete aural journey through mysterious subconscious spaces. Familiar sounds, like scraping guitar strings, a multi-tracked chorus of random piano, a toy accordion, tuned percussion, some cello, violin and clarinet juxtapose with the unfamiliar – sampled and found sounds, electronic bits, and those that are processed to a point beyond recognition, but everything fits together nicely. One piece in particular, “Goldmine Nectarine,” hints of 19th century impressionist classical work, while several others are open form deep space explorations that hint of Stearns, Roach, and others, while others yet approach the work of minimalist composers like Terry Riley. There are no rough or hard edges here, no evidence of rock, jazz, or any other standard forms, but with that said, this is not soft and pretty either, existing in a world of its own. It’s best to listen to this and just let the magic work, without trying to dissect or analyze it too much; I’m sure that’s the way it was intended, to just immerse the listener into this new strange world of ever shifting sounds and textures, occasionally revealing something faintly recognizable, but without breaking the spell. This is one of those discs that one could easily play around the clock as a soundtrack for just about any activity, inactivity, or slumber. Excuse me while I hit the repeat button again…

Filed under: New releases, 2014 releases

Related artist(s): Rick Cox, Thomas Newman

Latest news

2018-07-31
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more

2018-07-09
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more

2018-07-01
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more

2018-06-25
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more

2018-06-13
Jon Hiseman RIP – One of the great drummers of the rock era has died. Jon Hiseman was a veteran of such ground-breaking groups as Colosseum (I and II), Tempest, John Mayal's Bleusbreakers, and was a founding member of the innovative large band United Jazz + Rock Ensemble. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

The Mother Hips - Kiss the Crystal Flake – The Mother Hips have been kicking around the Bay Area for at least a decade, having a half-dozen or so releases to date, though this is their first in a few years. Their stock in trade is great...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues