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This reissue of the transatlantic collaboration between Tulsa, OK's Brad Rose (aka The North Sea) and London trio, Rameses III (originally released last October on the Finnish Lattajjaa imprint) adds a bonus remix track (courtesy Type chief, John Twells, aka Xela) to the original CD-R's two side-long tracks. Opener 'Death of the Ankou' (a legendary spirit variously described as the personification of death or the collector of the souls of the dead) occupies the same head space as krautrockers Popol Vuh and Tangerine Dream, with its collage of multi-layered electronics and guitar drones. The prominent strains of violin-like guitars drags the track around the muck and mire of your subconscious mind, stumbling across fragments of discarded musical furniture left behind by the likes of Snorecore specialists Stars of the Lid, Aarktica, Windy & Carl, and early Flying Saucer Attack and Azusa Plane. It's as subtle as lying in a sensory deprivation tank and as glacial as a cloud swallowing the noonday sun. Tinkling bells suggest chimes flickering in a summer breeze and soft woodwinds add an oriental flavour to our dusky revelrie.

The second track (side B if you will) is even more reflective and relaxing. 'Night Blossoms written in Sanskrit' bears the New Age-y stamp (in a good way) of the work of mystical electronic composer, Aeoliah, with Rose's softly-strummed guitar weaving in and out of Rameses' speaker hum drones. The nearly religious imagery of Popol Vuh also occasionally peers in the window. The release concludes with Xela's remix, which combines the cinematic ambience of the originals into something completely different via glitchy electronics, disembodied vocals, crackling percussives and other disorienting manipulations that, in my opinion, transforms the pensive nature of the original work into a more aggressive, dissonant creation that's as removed from the original's mood as, say, the disgracefully destructive mood at Woodstock '99 was from its 30-year-old progenitor, or today's hi-tech, high-commerce Galstonbury blasts are from the hippie hangout that emerged 35 years ago. But, perhaps that's the price of doing business in today's music scene. I would have preferred a straight reissue, but it seems that part of the negotiation required Xela to be literally "hands on". The fact that this release is now available to a wider audience almost makes up for that. (And as the last track, you can always turn the CD off after the strains of track two waft out of the room.)

Jeff Penczak


"Night Of The Ankou" cover

Album released Tuesday 18 October 2005 on CDR by the 267 lattajjaa label.

mp3 - "Death Of The Ankou"

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