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