Spear in the City, Bodies of Water’s fourth album, has been a long time coming. Six years have passed since the self-described gospel group’s last album, but the new record shows no signs of rust even though the band’s married co-leaders David and Meredith Metcalf have been dabbling in other styles of music in the interim.
A surprise from this good fellow "RH-" from Poland, known more as a designer and artwork artist. This music can be described as ambient/electro with a minimalist approach, simple yet very effective. Cold minimal ambiental music, sometimes calm and sleepy, other times more moving and buzzing, also some electro influences and trippy drums here and there with keys chilling like the ocean's cold waves at dawn.
Bobvan is a Belgian composer who has been following his own rather eclectic path: he founded Des Airs (one of the first bands on Crammed) , Sacher Muzak ("Gorba The Chief", a club and video hit in the USSR…) and "Twin Freaks", released an ambient/dance album in 91 ("LoonyChip Classics"), and is now turning his attention to new and radical forms of "Electronic Listening Music" with "Water Dragon" , a very dense and acoustically rich album, at the same time abstract and narrative. Bobvan has travelled back in time to study the techniques developed by the exponents of Musique Concrète in the 50's. His work tries to bring answers to questions such as: why should the sound of hyperspace be repetitive / left-brain style / tempo-driven / quantized? Why should it ignore tension, danger, fear, sorrow, silence?
All tracks on CD1 written & produced by Jake Stephenson (his aliases: Alien Mutation, Shamanic Tribes on Acid, Dr. Psychedelic and more) except track 8 with Matt Hillier. All tracks on CD2 written & produced by Dave Hendry (his aliases: O-Head, Transequence, Voyage of the Future Race and more). All tracks on CD4 written & produced by Alan McDermott, Matt Embleton.
Notes on disc 3: "Tribute To Gaia and Morning Song (Part 2) taken from the forthcoming album My Contribution To The World Confusion on Organic Records. All tracks copyright Organic Records." The DJ mix discs use a 'soft-fade' technique.
To speak about this extensive set of music allegorically, "Space 'n' Bass" is like an aquarium full of beautiful and varied tropical fish, each interesting in it's own way, whether breathtakingly colorful, exotically compelling or curiously fascinating. And by the very nature of the mediums, both the fish in the imaginary aquarium and the music in these CDs achieve relaxing and beautiful movement via endless repetition and effectively enjoyed for limited time periods only. This is not to say that "Space 'n' Bass" is boring; it boasts an impressive array of ambient electronica offering ample doses of acid jazz, jungle, world-beat and beat-box percussive underpinnings, a nice balance of analog, digital and sampled textures, a smattering of other instruments, infectious bass patterns and surprising aural constructions…
Virgin's fourth Ambient volume is the first of all-new material from contemporary artists, and it provides the most highlights of any in the series. Tracks from a score of crucial new-ambient producers, including Aphex Twin, Seefeel, O'Rang, EAR, Main, Final, Lull, Labradford, Techno Animal, Scorn and Paul Schütze. Seeing as each track is available only on this collection, it became the hardest-to-find of the entire series soon after its release.