"Basilica Origins (Deluxe)" cover

Album released 2016 on Blink in the Endless



Review of original Important Records CD version of 'Basilica'

Please note 'Basilica Origins (Deluxe) does not include the remixes referenced here

Blissful ice storm fragments tinkle and ping against each other as they descend on the night wind. Riding on currents from the North they follow their own logic and show you the face of the land as they pass. You stand on a high promontory arms outstretched and eyes wide opened to the wild, wild sky. The tattered sleeves of your robe catch gusts and billow with the promise of flight. A great chord arises from the landscape and settles into the atmosphere for an eternity. Like some Borealis of sound it hovers just above and just out of reach. This ectoplasm of sound expands and contracts in a never-ending octopoid undulation. Bending and swirling it grows to fill ever more space and time. Now from horizon to horizon it reaches; a vast and swirling dome. Your work is done here. You descend the mountain to bear witness to the people below.

Such is the power of Rameses III's new release, "Basilica" that you can imagine whole mythic scenarios such my ramble above. This is ambient music but it's not a background affair. It's tones and sweeps pull your mind along for a glistening and beautiful ride. "Basilica" is made up of two discs; one being a culling of live performances by the group at various clubs in London. The other (I suppose this is the "real" and proper release here) are remixes by friends such as Neil Campbell (of Astral Social Club fame), Robert Horton, Keith Berry and Gregg Kowalsky. The two discs actually bear very little resemblance to each other and that is a testament to how flexible the sources actually are. It is however a wonderful contrast to hear some sound elements in one stretched out and given new life on the other. It goes a long way towards explaining just how differently we all encounter music. These tracks are built from what these re-mixers heard. What would they sound like if you or I had done them? That is a part of the non-hierarchical aspect of ambient music. It has no leaden, lock-step rhythm to chart its course, hence it can go anywhere with each of these permutations being equally valid expressions of the whole. In that sense it mirrors our developing understanding of the universe. Everywhere is the center simultaneously. That is beautiful and liberating thought. It's not often that you get a chance to witness an elegant beauty that is also revolutionary and liberating. I feel that these non-source point sound pieces give us just that chance. The timeless and glacial aspects of the music are mirrored in the cover art's panorama of almost invisible, yet palpably powerful, winter waterfalls. This Basilica is one with room for all to worship.

Keith Boyd
Friday 28 March 2008

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