Phonehead
---------------------------------
Phonehead (release 1997)
Fax records / LC 62 69/ PS 8 / 86
cover artwork: PEK
A:    
7 Homes & 8 Spyrits Part 1 18:56 lo-fi | hi-fi
VCM 100F 10:22  
Ocean 9:44 lo-fi | hi-fi
B:    
Level . Voice 11:08 lo-fi | hi-fi
VCF CS 20 5:04  
7 Homes & 8 Spyrits Part 2 9:13  
C:    
Omega est Alpha 14:47 lo-fi | hi-fi
Hommage à Satie 3:13 lo-fi | hi-fi
cover artwork re-release 2001
review: eddY / 2350org
Do not be cautious about this album, because of a few less-than-brilliant releases from FAX lately. This is a pleasant and interesting CD to listen to. The style is a little like Pino and Wildjamin (Xangadix's latter tracks) for chilled trance that plods along nicely, along with some lush, organic synths and chords. The feel and mood is fresh and oceanic, while remaining quite electronic. The sounds are beautiful; chilled synth chords (reminisent of early Jarre, in places, and of Tetsu Inoue in others).The first track is a nice solid opening - 7Homes & Spyrits Part 1 - good soft ambient/techno, which cools down into VCM 100F - Tetsu Inoue-type sounds with chilled rhythms and soft synth passages. Ocean is an even more chilled (to begin with), organic affair - processed, echoey narrative voice with soft dubby beats kicking in later. Level, Voice is mellow and yet has great presence - synth, piano and slow trancey rhythms. VCF CS20 tones things down - a beatless soft ambient passage with a narrative voice talking synth-techno-babble (this track reminds me of the track Albedo 0.39 by Vangelis). 7Homes & 8Spyrits Part 2 is a trancey piece with watery-electronic effects and a general synthy Jarre-ish feel. Omega and Alpha is the best piece in the album; soft minimal trance, organic effects, excellent chords (brilliant narrative feel with ambient piano pieces) and synth (backing synths are very like Jarre - Oxygene/Equinoxe). In fact, I would say the synth is comparable to (and as good as) Klaus Schultz or Jarre in the 70's, although the rhythms are modern. The last track is Hommage a Satie which is a nice short piano piece much like Cosmic Baby's track Thinking About Myself.
The tracks have a soft and narrative feel with no weak spots. As a whole, it's a very good album that has a soft trancey organic feel, with nice synth (and a pinch of piano in just the right spots) and ideas that could easily have turned out cheesy but are, in fact, pretty damn good in the end.
A strong release from FAX.
eddY / 2350org
review: Roy SeGuine
Track 1: (7Homes & 8Spirits Part I) Haunting marimba rhythm lines in 7/4. This opening track is reminiscent of Percolations:Part1 by the band Gong from the album Gazeuse! but of course in an electronica style.
Track 2: (VCM 100F) A nice low end rhythm (whose meter changes subtly every fifth bar) underlies a journey into breadth as a bass drum lightly thumps. The atmosphere overlay consists of synth chords and musical saw like codes peppered with occasional cicada sounds.
Track 3: (Ocean) "You look out over the ocean.... at whatever's around... and your mind clears... puts you in your place. The wind, it moans at ya... it moans past your ears... sorta like God talkin' to ya. I'm not crazy, it's like God talking to ya." The dub kicks in as your mind clears (as the voice clears)
Track 4: (Level, Voice) Nan-nee, nan-nee, nan-nee chants over Pink Floyd like chords - wish you were here. The chords become more staccato after about 4 minutes and the latin like percussion becomes more visible. This melts away into space for a couple of minutes and then the chants come back into focus again to pick up where the journey left off.
Track 5: (VCF CS20) Electronic quail and sparrows warble and chirp behind a beautiful soundscape. We get a lesson in voltage controlled filters - the heart of the synthesizer.
Track 6: (7Homes & 8Spirits Part II) Sequencer, chords, and a funky~dancy reprise of track 1.
Track 7: (Omega est Alpha) Phaedra like atmospheres carry you from the end to the beginning. After about 3 1/2 minutes, simple piano and bass open the way for UFO watching. The piece builds with some tasteful beats and percussive keyboard, recedes, and then begins another TD voyage until the UFO lands.
Track 8: (Hommage a Satie) Reverent piano for a French 19th century composer.
Roy SeGuine
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