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

2018-09-29
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more

2018-09-25
Help the Psychic Equalizer Avoid Extinction – Last year we reviewed the debut album by Psychic Equalizer, a musical project of Hugo Selles. He's now working on the ambitious follow-up to that release, and is seeking funding from listeners around the world. » Read more

2018-09-05
Krautrock Documentary Seeks Funding – The next installment of the Progressive Warriors documentary series will focus on the vast body of music that falls under the banner of "krautrock." As most of our readers will know, previous films have tackled RIO and the Canterbury scene, as well as what we might call "mainstream" prog rock. » Read more

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


Previously in Exposé...

Rebekka - Phoenix – Phoenix was the first release by the German band Rebekka, whose brand of progressive music featured tablas and tamboura besides the standard guitar, flute, sax, keyboards, bass, and percussion. This...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues