decayREVIEWS : Flourescent Gray “Ambiente” (3xCD , RecordLabelRecords, 2013)

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fluorescent Gray is one of the artists of RecordLabelRecords,an Oakland based imprint releasing intricate and dissonant works from the bay area and beyond-  from Thomas Dimuzio, Flouresent Gray ,Nommo Ogo and more. With a clean and fresh aesthetic, the attention to detail and themes of science fiction, mind alterations psychedelic based  minimalist textures in both  image and sounds RecordLabelRecords has seem to craft an aesthetic that for The most part, is all their own . These themes carry over nicely to the recorded works of Flourecent Grey. “Ambiente” is a three disk promo for what appears will actually be housed in a printed box with some small scale art prints as well. Spanning over three discs, and seven years,  “Ambiente”  is “all over the place” (in a good way)  from
“old school” minimal techno, to musique concrete, to dark drone to straight field recordings.
On Ambiente, Flourecent Gray explores a wide breath of sonic structures and conceptual possibilities through this tour de force of shuttering electronic environments;  Live “traditional” instrumentation, buzzing programmed synthesizers, distorted drones and sample based collage sections all have their own breath of life throughout this massive work.

Disk  one starts out the gate with slow breathing tones – a distant machine puttering along on its last legs grows closer and louder/  creating a nice ambient arch of rising shuttering, yet dissonant chords. The sound of  the sonic deconstruction  of cold, barren, shaking architecture.  slowly and subtly collapsing on itself, in perfect time
. the rhythmic structure starts to reveal itself and builds into a dense psychedelic
Array of choppy lazer like percussive beats, layered  synthesizers, and echoed, distorted vocals. Ambiente moves along subtly yet swiftly through more beat driven tracks of danceable yet complex electronic movements. At times
Noisy and at times sparse and theatrically minimal, Ambiente spans  a wide of pacing, intensity and dynamics- which can sometimes be a challenge with more beat driven electronic music – but Ambiente does a swell job of always keeping the listener guessing

. The overall slope of the peaks and troughs of “an album” in the traditional sense, are explored throughout the near three hour release, yet the work is so stretched out the listener really has to commit an intense listening session to gain the overall structural integrity of Ambiente as near three  hour work, rather than seprate works. To the artists credit, however Ambiente – does this very thing,  by giving life to a scope of sonic methods. Dark churning, chaotic, cacophonous stabs of sound   morph into minimal sections, raw single
Drones,
Or tones-more, barely audible scrapes of sound movement swell and collapse, then bleed into  field recordings, ESP, spy style recordings, single instrument “solos”, playful yet sincere  foley artist samples slowly morph into more shuttering tones, voice, synth voices, and raw tones blended with a  blissful care give breath back to an empty dark echo chamber. Glowing sounds pulse through the eyelids giving birth to new pings of decay – a slow machine waking up throughout the mix, while possessing a similarly cold theme of a distant consciousness being resurrected through sonic transmissions.

, Ambiente,  At times, “loses” the listener in the traditional sense, yet perhAps that was part of the intent . The listener at that point, must  engage  into the realm of background sounds – unknown voices. A distant blurred yell ? At this point i was “lost” but it made sense .and I was unaware of what I was listening to and then i would become drawn in again. Maybe considering the length of this release .that momentary detachment from the work as a whole  isn’t the worst effect/affect.   The push and pull of presence and absence in the overall structure creates a subtle tension which works well

Over the three disks many different moods, structures. Pacings Methods are used. Not afraid to be self referential within its stylistic choices, Ambiente references early forms of “ambient” music as well as carving out its own sonic territory which comes off neither as redundant nor contrived, but rather fresh and arching across different sonic territories. Sometimes u can tell if your listening to futuristic consciousness sound alterations or distant transmissions from the past, a vast and interesting release overall, will be checking some other Flourescent Gray recordings in the future, as well
as works from the label, RecordLabelRecords

written by: malo

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