SEA 02 | Ultrasound | [encomium]
Pronunciation : en'kO-mE-&m
Function : noun
Inflected Form(s) : plural -mi·ums or en·co·mia/-mE-&/
Etymology : Latin, from Greek enkOmion, from en in + kOmos revel, celebration
Date : 1589
: glowing and warmly enthusiastic praise.
ENCOMIUM implies enthusiasm and warmth in praising a person or a thing.
new cd-r is a glowing tribute
to the multidimensional perception of time.
Kirk Laktas (formerly of Stars Of The Lid) and Rfovetz
use live computer-based sampling of their patented guitar and bass drones
to carry the listener into a state of suspended animated aural perception.
Recorded between 1996-1998, the release also includes the music
from a dance perdormance/sound installation by Rfovetz in Den Haag,
- Rfovetz, August 2001.
core are Rfovetz & Kirk Laktas.
Together they outline a rippling tapestry of subliminal & hypnagogic
one of the most beautiful haunting drone music to be heard today...
In this they share more than common ground with STARS OF THE LID
of whom Kirk Laktas has been a former member...
The material featured on .encomium. has been recorded at various
moments between 1996 & 1998...specifically collected for MYSTERY
all pieces have carefully been chosen to form a flowing construction...
Overall, the resulting "Ocean of sound" is warm, shrouding,
shaping up a language of new perceptions...
.encomium. unfolds at the pace of quiet glistening waves,
spreading their "dewdrop-particles" into the listener's mind,
making him reach a state of subdued dazzle...
A drop falls with a slight resonant echo as in a ceremonial of infinite
reflections & overlapping circles, paving the way for a sharper
a drop becomes the ocean, ocean becomes the drop
01.2 enigmatic curves of the dutch night
01.3 past life experience
01.4 maybe I will know by sound and taste
01.6 vertical cravings
01.7 convexing concave
01.8 Lisa, play
01.9 ne pour meme
WEEKLY 313|Frans de Waard
may be known from their LP's and CD's,
including their recent blast in tribute of Popol Vuh (see VITAL WEEKLY
That split LP was a leap forward, but here, on this limited CDR release,
they hark back to a couple of recordings made between 1996 and 1998.
The nine separate pieces are put together as one long track of some
45 minutes of sublime dark atmospheric guitar music.
Slowly, majestic evolving sound which sound similar to their earlier
work (the first three LPs).
A rich tapestry of sounds, that at times sound bare similarity with
Stars Of The Lid (of which band member Kirk Laktas was once a member),
but has enough originality (and beauty) of it's own.
Desolate soundings towards the end (sorry, I didn't bother to figure
which is what here, I just let it go by) of a guitar plinking solo against
a giant wash of drones.
Music as deserted as Texas is (the state where these boys hail from).
Endless road music. A perfect soundtrack to watch the stars at night.
YOUR EARS|Nicolas Chevreux
is the new album by Ultrasound, an americano-dutch band who has
already quite an extensive discography behind them,as well as a tour
in Europe in 2001.
Featuring one of the founder of the Kranky act Stars Of The Lid,
Ultrasound plays calm, subtle and utterly relaxing atmospheric
music made of drones, extremely distant samples and, at least toward
the end of this CDR, scarce post rock guitars.
is an extremely calm recording, that won't help you to wake up on rainy
Starting with repetitive drones, changing slowly to silence-like soundscapes
and finishing with nostalgic guitars (that might have been better placed
at the beginning to the CDR, by the way), this is an encompassing journey
that you have to listen to in a row (but you don't have the choice,
anyways, since the whole thing is only one long track).
Mind numbing and very mesmerizing, "Encomium"
works by getting your attention little by little, then drowning your
ears in subtle movements of drones and tones, bringing changes very
Seldom has a release so well deserved the term "ambient".
Benefiting from a very nice production and made of sounds that don't
remind much of anything else, "Encomium"
is however something I couldn't listen over and over without falling
Beautiful and not boring, it is however incredibly relaxing and hypnotizing.
This is an album that I would recommend, but only to the people who
feel able to actually focus on the sounds, or they will get drowned
in the atmospheres and might pass some of the nice textures this album
is made of.
: nicely composed abstractions
get a B
triangulating between Austin, the Netherlands and utterly unknowable
otherworlds, encomium (a ltd edition cd-r from
Belgium's Mystery Sea label) encompasses nine (titled, but unmarked)
movements within one 45,5- minute long dronescape.
Woofer-shivering low tones hover, thrum and undulate slowly through
the entryway, eventually thinning to reveal somewhat glitchier regions
of faintly gristly soundooze, then gauzey tendrils of cyclic haze waft
in respiratory gusts.
At the thirty-minute mark, gently swirling spaciness extends as far
as the ear can see, with mirage-like occurrences in the vapors.
Almost- flatlined soundcurrents adorned by faint guitar-twang impulses
crescendo into the final moments of this enticing display of shapeshifting.
Recommended to fans of long-form immersion.
For some reason this disc is presented as one long track,
45 minutes, though there are 10 (?) individual tracks listed in the
inlay. This causes problems, it is always better to have indexes to
make pieces easier to follow. Unlike Hamesh which was
also recently reviewed here, Encomium has no singing, rather
concentrating on the more atmospheric side of the bands work - which
judging by the other works on Mystery Sea that is what this Belgian
label is going for.
rises from a slow drift, backed by a light rain, an open environment
with bells chiming and other stray sounds populating the spaces. The
sounds of a field are heard, wild space as bees buzz across flowers
and drone rises as a thick bass presence. A layered sound, on the base
heavy and solid in its drift, higher than that there is a casual swirl,
interwoven with the core. Smoothly understated harmonic, with a rising
edge that comes up with time ; encompassing on the whole, mounting in
an increasing swirl.
Taking the lull to be the move on to the next section, we return once
more to a sedate environment, running water as a healthy trickle. Through
the back of which we can hear the first strands of sound. As this rises
by bare increments we can hear a low voice in the mix, a woman talking,
her advice - "don't fuck it up" - and you can't argue with
that. This is the trigger for a sweeping rise, driven harmonic spiral
of sound. Taking on a certain vibrant warmth at its core, before stripping
to a more focussed stream and rise once more. Opening up more to describe
a scape horizon in smooth waves, reflective in their motions.
Towards the 20 minute point of the disc we can start to hear other details
coming into the flow, brief strokes and passing details, but present
none the less. A couple of minutes later there is a sustained dark stroke,
an echoing detail, perhaps the sound of a train through a tunnel, something
similar at least - with the general atmosphere taking its cue from this
influence to some degree. but the effect is absorbed as easily and the
drones blossom in waves from there, lighter string work a gentle flurry
that enhances the deeper, rounded waves.
Sighing in an almost choral harmonic adds to the flow, the effect of
the plucked strings increasing as we reach for another fade point past
25 minutes. The deep breath of rounded dark ambient tones wells up,
backed by a certain hazed description. Waves low oscillations of sleep
effect. Deepening with a core drone coming up; maintaining the respiratory
rhythms. Higher strip comes in past 28 minutes, wavering before gaining
ground, triggering multiple layers, echoes from that point. Moving from
wallowing wash to spaced out streak over the next few minutes of sound.
Fading off to a low point before working its way back up once more.
Sudden expansion at the 35 minutes mark, more embodied by the process.
Deepening again in dark ambient waves, with strings touched periodically
to extract note impressions. Drone dipping toward 38 minutes then turning
with a different tone and guitar marked vibe. The guitar notes in careful
contrast, precise and distinctly finite, while the drone sustains as
a sonic body. Intonation of string vibe plays a steady coherent line,
sighing reverberant chords. The two sides of this construction melding
with a central vibrancy, intensifying sensation in the process. a little
cymbal drift carries slow motion crash line across swollen melodic interface,
drone caught up as melodic warmth - carrying us to a last conclusion.
is the second release for the recently formed CDR label Mystery Sea.
Ultrasound is at its core the duo of rfovetz
and Kirk Laktas, and here they are joined by Denise
Laktas, Nathalie Hill and Tiana Hux.
I must confess that the first time I listened to this disc I fell asleep,
and the second time I listened to it I almost feel asleep, and the third,
well, I was wide awake the whole time.
At first I was a little embarrassed to admit such a thing, but I think
in the end it offers a nice comment on this music.
Encomium presents a long piece, over 45 minutes in length.
It breaks up into sections or movements, but I think we can safely say
that there's a unity in all parts.
Ultrasound create long, drifting ambience : slow, open drones and drifting
soundscapes that are incredibly effective at calming the listener into
a state of dreamy tranquility.
You could forget about this music and simply drift away, or as I discovered,
you could turn a close ear to it and discover an intriguing set of sounds,
from long drones, the strumming of guitar, crackles, or voices buried
deep in the mix.
It might not be the most adventurous ambient music you've heard, and
I might situate this piece somewhere in between, say the peaceful ambience
of M Griffin of the Hypnos label and the intoxicating dronescapes of
Mirror, but it's certainly deserving of a few late night rotations.
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