The Promises of Silence, Twilight Earth
by DB Spalding, Harbinger Hour

TWILIGHT EARTH is another in a recent surplus of excellent ambient music. Masters like Vidna Obmana, Steve Roach, Paul Schütze, O Yuki Conjugate and Jorge Reyes all contribute dark, brooding pieces, and there are some young turks digging in the silence as well: Temps Perdu?, Voice of Eye, Alio Die and Human Flesh. The mood is quiet and dark, demonstrating that space-music can be anything but serene and dreamy. O Yuki Conjugate's cut "Insect-Talk (Dry)" is particularly eerie, like an ancient tribal sacrifice that echoes into our future. Though some of these selections may be intimidating for dilettantes, there's plenty on this disc to please any contemporary music fan.

TWILIGHT EARTH joins Projekt's earlier joint compilation THE PROMISES OF SILENCE in the quest for darker ambient music. Definitely not for the faint hearted. Promises brings together thirteen tracks of ambient and environmental music that could be subtitled "Journey To The Center Of Our Consciousness". Tracks by Hybryds, Ora, Alio Die, Robert Rich, Art of Primitive Sound and others are less music than they are aural etchings of an internal landscape. Other tracks by Steve Roach, Jeff Greinke, Black Tape For a Blue Girl and Temps Perdu? keep the collection grounded to reality, albeit a surreal one. This album doesn't just create a relaxing, space-enhancing backdrop of sound, it can take you on a sojourn to a dark, troubling place... and bring you home again. Like other recent Projekt products, the packaging is a tasteful outgrowth of the music.

Listening to these two CDs, it's clear how far ambient music has come from its beginnings over twenty years ago. Ambient music and later "space-music" (a term coined and made popular by Stephen Hill) once consisted of waves of slowly evolving sound, punctuated by minimalist touches: a piano note here, a gong there. Ambient music can now consist of a panoply of background noises from which emerges a melody, or perhaps a foreboding plateau of droning synths, supported by a stirring tattoo of archaic rhythms, the throbbing pulsebeats of a forgotten world. THE PROMISES OF SILENCE demonstrates the former, lowering the listener from calming atmospheres to stranger environs, and surfacing slowly. TWILIGHT EARTH keeps us under, touring a dark vista that lies just beneath our comforting illusion, keeping pace to a distant cadence. Although this music is highly effective played at low volume, the musicians' artistry has more impact when turned up high. These long-play releases (over two hours, back to back) offer a promise of the future of ambient music. The performers are caught in the act of setting a new standard, and hinting at the innovations to come.

The Promises of Silence

CD  $15.00 
ON SALE, $5.00 
The Promises of Silence
Various Artists
1993 Projekt PRO41 (CD)
Reviewed by Harbinger Hour

An excellent multi-artist collection compiled by Alio Die from 1993, this organic soundscape project includes Dwight Ashley and Tim Story, Temps Perdu?, vidnaObmana, Jeff Greinke, Black Tape For a Blue Girl, Steve Roach, Art of Primitive Sound, Alio Die, Robert Rich and others.
1. Hybryds: Aizen Myoo 6:10 
2. Djen Ajakan Shean: Mountain Wind 6:26 
3. Steve Roach: The Unbroken PromiseMP37:50 
4. Vidna Obmana: Glass Splendour 6:50 
5. Jeff Greinke: Winter Light 7:02 
6. Art of Primitive Sound: Subterranean Worlds 2:10 
7. Ora: Sadalsuud 8:50 
8. Alio Die: The Hidden Spring 4:25 
9. Robert Rich: Black Skies 5:10 
10. Saffron Wood: Deep Water 9:40 
11. black tape for a blue girl: A Good Omen 5:00 
12. Temps Perdu?: Ouroboros 4:13 
13. Dwight Ashley, Tim Story: Baby Thing 5:50 

Twilight Earth

CD out of stock
Twilight Earth
Various Artists
1994 Timebase LC 5432 (CD)
Reviewed by Harbinger Hour

This cross-section of the best and brightest stars on the ethnographical plateau is not only one of the most representative of the genre, it's one of the few collections worth owning. O Yuki Conjugate leads things off in a ghostly fashion with the ominous "Insect-Talk (Dry)" six minutes of eerie percussives, hushed chants, ganking bass and nocturnal electronics. Vidna Obmana's "The Embrace in Motion" shows how influential his recent mindmelds with Steve Roach have been as he explores the same morass of electronic primordialism to chilling effect, while Roach himself chimes in with "Before the Sacrifice", featuring tribal, penetrating hand-struck percussions and canyon-deep chords of synth that envelop you totally. Jorge Reyes dabbles in yet more of his singular acoustic prehispanics, while the mysterious Belgian troupe known as Hybryds explores infinitely frightening realms on "Orca". Temps Perdu? continue to amaze with "Rano Raraku" which suggests murky abyssal depths but has cosmic overtones as well. And there's further remarkable contributions from the likes of Jeff Greinke, Alio Die, Paul Schütze (deep-space electronics mixed with Hassell-like ethereal beats), Voice of Eye, Dino Oon & Konrad Kraft and Human Flesh." -- Darren Bergstein, i/e Magazine
1. O Yuki Conjugate: Insect Talk (Dry) 6:11 
2. Vidna Obmana: The Embrace In MotionMP35:48 
3. Steve Roach: Before the SacrificeMP36:51 
4. Jorge Reyes: Espejo Humeante 5:34 
5. Hybryds: Orca (Remix) 4:42 
6. Temps Perdu?: Rano Raraku 5:43 
7. Dino Oon, Konrad Kraft: The Garden of Friction II 5:23 
8. Voice of Eye: Vas Tremens 5:52 
9. Jeff Greinke: Ancestral Horizon 6:03 
10. Alio Die: The Flight of Real Image 6:26 
11. Paul Schütze: All That Was Solid... 6:37 
12. Human Flesh: Paysage Marin Avec Oiseau (Et Babeau Moteur) 3:04 
13. Tuu: One Thousand Years (Vasel Shevehenko version) 7:07 

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