Music Reviews

“thermal_seofon”

Thermal + Freezer + CUE

Time Out of Mind

Boxman

Thermal + Seofon

A Monument of Chance

Thousand

All of the artists on these two CDs take a different view of space. Many artists focus on the bleak vastness of space. The isolationists appropriated celestial imagery, and rendered it into a suffocating void. Lustmord’s outer space was an altogether uncomfortable place to be with monsters, killer asteroids, and black holes galore. The Boxman family has a much more romantic view of outer space; their heavens are filled with glittering spaceships, charming aliens, and radiant stars.

Time Out of Mind features 3 tracks. One is Thermal solo, another is a Freezer solo, and the third is a collaboration between Thermal and CUE (Charles Uzzel-Edwards.) CUE is a FAX label affiliate. One can see that label’s aesthetic is all over both of these CDs. The 20+ minutes allotted to each artist gives them plenty of time to slowly unfold their respective visions. Thermal’s “Tone Ref” introduces the CD, and sets the tone for the rest of it. Winding guitar lines, sublime ambient bleepiness, and rolling drums weave and duck across each other, leaving star-wrought trails. Freezer’s “Ether Leak” is an altogether different beast. It is decidedly more abstract, and begins with high-pitched harmonics. They evolve and grow into low-end throbbing, which eventually become silver cloud ambient clouds. The beats surface around 7 minutes into the track, and propel the song to its conclusion. “71- Owl Service” by Freezer + CUE is anchored by a droning bass pulse, and accentuated with synth pads, and lots of samples. Despite the various hands involved with it, Time Out of Mind is a cohesive and constantly interesting work.

A Monument of Chance treads similar ground to Time Out of Mind , but the specific route it takes is more densely vegetated. On this release, Thermal and Seofon chart dense ambient fogs, thick and misty jungles, and (of course) the farther reaches of outer space. There are 4 tracks here, each lasting approximately 15 minutes, and having a unique character unto themselves. Two were culled from live concerts (“A Toy Ascending the Tidal Current Mixture” and “Another Tank Farm by Trolley”), and the other two (“Ouster Swarm” and “Application of Buddhist Classics”) are studio tracks. Strands of Muslimguaze-esque sift through the mix, while sublime layers of synthy texture float above. The term “Space Funk” adorns the CD, and I think it fits both of these albums nicely.


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