In the Shortlist sections, I will mention some of the albums that I enjoyed listening to, but couldn’t find the time (or the right words) for a “full” review for. Still, I think they deserve your attention: use the links to find more info and hear previews.
Joe Evans – Ecliptic Plane
The liner notes to the tracks are almost scientifical, combining details from mathematics, astronomy, musical theory and sound design. Interesting information for those who want to know about this music’s background, but maybe somewhat overwhelming for the casual listener.
But then: this is not intended as ‘casual’ music!
“While this work deals with some of this familiar subject (space, and more specifically, the sun and planets), it does so with the emphasis on time and particularly by how it is marked by movement within the solar system. The tracks “Ecliptic Plane” and “Resonant TNOs” extensively use the data from the planets, their moons and other objects to create their rhythms and harmonies. In the case of “Resonant TNOs” the musical scale was derived directly from the frequency ratios of the orbits of the titular objects themselves.
Whilst “Approaching/Receding Sun” and “Oort Cloud” are essentially impressionistic in nature, they are the results of mathematical experiments that have links with their subjects through mood and metaphor.“
The result is a fascinating showcase of contemporary electronic music, some of which (especially the opening and closing track “Receding/Approaching Sun” ) would have perfectly fitted the “2001 – A Space Odyssey” soundtrack.
Orphax – Confused
This 30 minute EP took me some time to get used to, because I could not really decide what to think about the loud and rather intrusive opening drone: the sound of the first five-six minutes somehow reminded me of a sustained vuvuzela or bagpipe drone.
So yes, it got me confused indeed. As intended, obviously.
In these first minutes, Amsterdam-based musician Sietse van Erve defines his aural territory, but once the sound has pulled you in the track starts evolving slowly, getting deeper and more fascinating with every introduction of a new layer of sound, created improvising with “guitar, electric toothbrush, razor, vocals and audiomulch”.