"Basilica Origins (Deluxe)" cover

Album released 2016 on Blink in the Endless


Heathen Harvest

Review of original Important Records CD version of 'Basilica'

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

Ambient expertise is clearly appreciated here, doing so in a very minimalist way but allowing the atmospheres to wrap the listener and inducing well balanced moods and contemplative states. Sky landscapes, icy storms of guitar lush accords that conduce to some glacial stillness, a sensation of eternity and distal collocation. Sometimes simplicity is the best to achieve a durable impression. The most basic set consists of an organ set as a background and a guitar improvising over it, accompanied by psychedelic, dreamy drones that add this foggy texture and strangeness to the acoustic display. The music evocation is strongly emotional with a well balanced construction. All elements included work together in perfect harmony without any leave hole in their synchronization. The album is divided in two sets. First set was the primal project which is a series of remixes made by diverse ambient experts. Names such as acclaimed master of zen ambient Keith Berry, Neil Campbell from Astral social club, Gregg Kowalsky & Robert Horton collaborate to completely recreate the original live recordings & reheasals that Rameses III performed at the Red rose club in London on March 2nd 2006.

Originally the album was intended to be a single disk (the remix one) but then authors decided it would be great to include the original recordings in order to contextualize the original venue and the way it was recorded. All five pieces that constitute the live recordings were recorded directly to stereo without overdubs, so you hear them as they originally were. This set of recordings is simply awesome as it gives a great insight on the real sound and performance quality. As a matter of fact without this disk you will not have a clue on how different and singular each episodic remix is from the original source not to mention each of the four songs that constitute the disk.

Each author approached differently. For example, Keith Berry creates a steady cascade of aquatic atmospheres where dormant drones stroll by. Functional details add the necessary variation and delicacy. Meanwhile Neil Campbell complete a whole different conception with a more pushing approach. Distorting and adding a dissonance to the guitar and transforming it in a subdued pitched like scream where a drone pulse palpitates.

Anyway, extreme different versions and connotations emerge from each author, as well as a clear distance is perceived by the listener when compared with the original versions. The clash between post rock-shoegazer and ambient is quite amusing. Nevertheless this distinction is more appreciable in the second disk from the set, where the guitar excursions are more audible, still preserving the organic feeling. The ambient set increases the lush daydream sensation akin with the genre which makes it suitable for a nice proactive relaxing moment. It is intense music, able to bring body relaxation but keeping mental activeness. This is music made by masters of ambient, people who is able to transcend the frontiers of music by bringing epiphanies of sound.

Jack The Ripper
Monday 1 September 2008

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