AirSculpture / TranceAtlantic

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AirSculpture / TranceAtlantic

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These recordings were taken from the band’s US ‘Tour’ in 2004. The first disc features Parts 1 to 3 of ‘Walk The Locust’ from their ‘Gatherings’ concert. After a welcome from concert organizer Chuck Van Zyl the most beautiful melancholy piano playing comes wafting, echoing through the air showing that Adrian is a pretty damned good keyboard player as well as programmer. Those fingers can actually move as well as twiddle knobs. Soft synth touches float underneath giving added texture. As the last piano notes fade into the distance a complex sequence sends notes darting this way and that creating quite a mesmerizing melody. It increases in volume very gradually as the underlying pads swell and little melotron melodies nestle amongst the pulsations. A rhythm makes an entrance. It is rather delicate but just as intricate as the sequence. By the half way mark lead lines are becoming more frequent but are in support of the hypnotic sequence rather than manic solos. At around twenty minutes in the sequence departs to be replaced by a chugging rhythm only to return in a different form. More lovely ethereal melodies float above the note runs. With nine minutes to go we descend to a lovely soft sonic tapestry, finishing as we started with beautiful piano. At twenty-five minutes duration the second part is another long trip beginning with nightmarish swamp like noises. Little sonic droplets mix with disturbing uneasy high register electronic effects. It is an incredible mixture of sounds that reaches quite a cacophony- AirSculpture at their most abstract. A flutey synth lead line does eventually make an entrance giving that bit of softness to proceedings. We descend to near silence out of which a shimmering cymbal emerges before being suddenly shaken back to wakefulness as a train thunders past! There is a surprise going on every minute. The train is replaced by deep dark drones as if we have been dragged down to the very pits of Hell. A wonderful ‘Rubycon’ type sequence blasts forth soon followed by another excellent rapid high register one. Things become even more intense as a growling lead surges up from the middle of the mix. The original sequences depart and a softer one replaces them, calming things down once more until the original brace return- mellotron completing the picture beautifully. The Third Part, at only four minutes long, is very short compared to the two previous epics but it wastes no time getting straight into rather manic sequences. We again finish with the piano. The Second Disc features the three-part title track. It was taken from the late night live radio concert they did after the gig. And it is almost a continuation of where they left that concert off, with delicate piano. When we are nicely calmed and relaxed a sequence starts to emerge, a really nice gently pulsating echoing one. This is allowed to run for some time, hypnotising us before a second moves into formation with the first. By the seventeenth minute we have transcended to an abstract swirling section, ideal for the late night setting of the performance. Things become increasingly cosmic and ‘out there’. Some really amazing sounds are used- can’t imagine many of these being pre-sets! The piano returns again right at the end. ‘Part two’ begins with tinkling electronic effect and a shimmering pulse. It is as if we are in some spaceship listening to the gentle sounds of equipment around us. Things become more ethereal as we progress. A sequence enters in the seventh minute bringing us firmly back to Earth. It begins as a high register one but slowly and very cleverly morphs to rumbling bass full of menace. Another splashing percussive sequence is brought into play and the excitement level momentarily increases but as the pulsations seep into your very consciousness they become more calming and soothing, steadying the heart once more. The final part starts with a very deep sequence, more of a rumble really, very low in the mix. It gradually rises in prominence but even so can be felt as much as heard. This really is doom laden ominous stuff and one hell of a test on the speakers’ frequency range! A brighter sequence is brought into play in the fourth minute acting as the perfect foil to the first, fairly skipping over the top. It is almost as if ‘The Darkness’ takes this as a challenge however and the backing swells in threatening response. What a superb but also uneasy way to finish! Despite the word ‘trance’ in the title there is nothing remotely dancey about this album but rather (as well as the obvious pun) it refers to the effect the music will probably have on you. Even though there are some great sequences and rhythms here this isn’t, for the most part, AirSculpture in sledgehammer mode. Rather they are being truer to their name, creating wonderful spellbinding structures – works of art in their own right, out of pure air. (DL) ;\ ‘\’