Sequence of the Negative Space Changes


There was a huge temptation to begin this review with that one anecdote about Lester Bangs’ exultant review of Lou Reed’s Metal Machine Music. You know the drill, Bangs makes squaaking noises and raves about how Reed’s atonal flow makes his pet hermit crab very very happy. The parallel is quite valid, but I don’t want to insult a truly exciting outfit like Tomorrowland by comparing them to a flabby has-been like Lou Reed. Still, like Metal Machine Music, Sequence of the Negative Space Changes is definitely music to serenade animals to a joyful sleep. I am thinking specifically of dozing kittens, their noses twitching, as a track like “Sunspot” gently evolves. I find myself using Oval, Frontier’s 4, and Eno’s Music For Airports as code books in an attempt to decipher Tomorrowland’s wondrous signals. I am thus far unsuccessful. Yet I still find myself in tears (of joy) every time I hear “Dustbot.”

Each track seems to capture the purest essence of its chosen title: the gaseous bubbling of “Venus,” “Saturn’s” glimmering revolutions, or the uplift of “Oxygen.” Kranky uses the term “robots singing to themselves,” but I find this record to be so much more organic. It’s the soundtrack for an unfinished film with no words and all primary colors. As the machines whirr and click to life and fluorescent lights buzz overhead, millions of unicellular organisms feed and divide and just… exist in a perfect peace. The universe suddenly seems so simple. Kranky Records, P.O. Box 578743, Chicago, IL 60657

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