Sunday, May 29, 2011

Pete Namlook and Dr Atmo - Silence

Pete Namlook is the Frank Zappa of ambient music. Not that he has children called Moon Unit or Dweezil, but the fact that over his career he has released a ridiculous amount of music. As of 2005, he'd released over 135 full length albums since the early 90's, mostly choosing to collaborate with others. As it stands, he's easily one of the most prolific artists in the history of music.

Silence is one of his earlier releases, a collaboration with Dr Atmo, who I'll admit I've never even heard of, but he is apparently a German DJ that's released a few world ambient albums for Namlook's famous Fax label. I was extremely ecstatic to be able to find this release for cheap in a second hand vinyl store, as Fax vinyls are usually only released in limited numbers.

The first song Omid/Hope sweeps along its repetitive strings slowly, with a high pitched synth bursting through every so often, along with a distorted voice. It's quite sad, and gives me the impression of being stranded out at sea. Garden of Dreams is likewise slightly depressing, and just drifts on synths until a faint piano line and unobtrusive drums interrupt at the half way point of the song.

Santur starts of very much like the previous song, before it explodes (for an ambient song anyways) into an advanced upbeat 'new age' song, with jungle drums, weird moaning and an off tune guitar. My description of it sounds bad, but the song is at least interesting. Trip sounds like... a trip? It's like riding on some kind of rainbow train (I'm confused as well), as the background sounds continually morph and shift.

As it ends, so does the album, with three of the songs (Santur excluded) over a whopping 20 minutes. I can't really recommended Silence too much, because other than Omid/Hope, it's rather pedestrian. Good background music, but then again, most ambient is.

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