Friday, August 13, 2010

Phaenon - His Masters Voice (Malignant 2010)

My first listens to this album were done under heavy prescription sedatives and it was exactly I’d expect from the novel that it’s based off of by Stanislav Lem. An absolute science fiction experience is captured perfectly in these drifting and minimal, yet undeniably expressive tracks, so beware of the power that lies beneath the barren sounding surface of this album. If you are not careful it will abduct you, then again if you are careful it will still capture your mind and render you submissive to its alien prowess.

Okay, maybe it was the sedated and intoxicated mindset that enabled me to drift off to sleep to this and imagine a world of pure machinery, the opening track “Neutrino Radiation” is close to 20 minutes of humming, almost like what I’d imagine floating through space would sound like as everything slowly approaches and recedes from view and the solar winds blow across your skin. The actual coldness of space in most spots away from suns, reaching as low as near 0K or -273.15 °C, is equally manifested in the tone found on here and your skin should tingle a bit during the listening experience. As relaxing and drifting as this may sound as you listen through it, it is as mysterious and sinister as it appears not to be.

For at least the first two tracks His Masters Voice is celestial, minimal, and void of any emotion whatsoever, then with the third of the four tracks, “Interstellar Semantics”, there’s a minor shift to slight melody, although very slight and a hint of labelmate, Phelios, can be heard here as whooshes of analog synth brush your mind like an astral breeze as you are suspended and weightless and the volume increases dramatically as if you are actually approaching to land on a distant planet or star.

This ideal science fiction soundtrack comes to a colossal end with the magnum “Part 2-Ignoramus”, another twenty-some minute trip as was the opening only this time it’s more dramatic. In fact this is the most dramatic piece on the album and serves as the perfect end to this ambient narrative. When I think of space music I definitely envision something like what Phaenon has delivered here. For me I see the math and concepts come to life that describes the quantum world and all of it’s quirky and abstract ideas and it finally starts to make sense to me for a brief moment as it really isn’t supposed to if one truly understands it (?). Some say to get stoned, turn on some trippy space music like Tangerine dream or some trippy obscure prog act (which helps me out) and then try to fathom quantum physics, but perhaps they should just avoid the mind altering substances and turn up the volume on this one instead.

Yet again Malignant releases an incredible celestial experience that is as close as I can get to an out-of-body experience. Next to Phelios, Collapsar, Iszoloscope/AhCamaSotz Camanecroscope, and Oophi, this is will be one of my stand out sci-fi ambient releases and a definite somnium accompaniment. You even feel like you’re in a vacuum as you listen to it, it’s really undeniably awesome and just as thrilling when not under doctors ordered sedatives.

Defintely check this act out and Malignants other essentially mind melting releases to pulse your neurons out of commission, and also the artwork as that is always one of the ebst parts and this album is no exception.


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