15 October 2006

Monostation - Alchemy 6: Phosphor - Limit Switch - 3" CD

I thought it was about time that I reviewed a Monostation station release as this is, in fact, their seventh release of 2006 and forms the sixth part of their ongoing ‘Alchemy’ series and the first release since their superb ‘Greyscale EP’ for London’s Smallfish imprint.

This London-based duo has been experimenting in the realms of processed sound for some time and the Alchemy series is a natural exploration of the resulting tracks.

Thus far the music has been predominantly based around the sounds of processed guitars, but with this release they’ve used a variety of tones to generate the incredible swathes of sound that make up this CD.

Phosphor itself is a slowly evolving and very beautiful track that ebbs and flows with an enchanting resonance that fills your mind quite beautifully.
There’s an exquisite noisiness to the background drone that drags you in whilst the flowing overlaid chord has a movement and delicacy all its own.

If you heard this on Kranky, you’d be blown away… let’s just put it that way.

The second track, ‘Firebird’, is generated using piano sounds and has a less obviously drone-based style, instead choosing to use a hypnotic chord motif that repeats and evolves throughout.

Dripping in reverb it puts me in mind of Seefeel way back in the day and you can almost tangibly hear the dub bassline that could sit underneath (good idea for a remix?).

When the searing synth strings make their way into the mix it instantly becomes a majestic piece of music that gives a nod to the Cocteau Twins but keeps it more minimal than they did and allows the sheer simplicity of the music to drift over you like a wave.

As an added bonus you can download two remix tracks based on these originals from their website – www.monostation.net

Monostation seem to be ploughing their own furrow at the moment and I, for one, am glad that they’re still single-mindedly delivering such beautiful and evocative music.

Long may it continue.


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