Various Artists: Weightless, Effortless (CD, 70:47); Hypnos, 1999 Hypnos Recordings P.O. Box 6868 Portland, OR 97228 USA E-mail: email@example.com Cyberhome: http://www.hypnos.com This is one of the better collections of electronic ambient, atmospherica, and mood-altering pieces. Nine morphs offer glimpses into the creative woodshedding by the likes of Keller, Johnson, DeBenedictus, Ma Ja Le, Modell, Fulton, Nerell, Fraser, and Steve ‘the legend” Roach. (Roach is everywhere anything ambient goes down! Ever notice that?) Ambience tripping herein doth vary from bizarre excursions into unsettling dimensions next door to peaceful drool-worthy dronings that decimate all conscious thought. Otherworldly, manipulated noise, wordless digital vox, cutting-edge goodies await the listener. Many the indescribably eclectic waveforms are mapped inside. Hypnos is one of the best sources for consistently innovative and strong ambient releases. No “puff job” here, folks and no, Mr. Griffin sends EER no payment for saying so – it’s just a fact to be stated. Weightless, Effortless is just one more great Hypnos release. Enough variation and theme permutations occur in some pieces that it’s like having 15 or 16 artists represented. I kept having to check track numbers to be sure another artist’s work was playing. Now that’s a bonus for staying aurally attuned to Weightless, Effortless. Winner of the most consistent drone yet most mutated yet most smoothly morphed time after time and done all along one core tone goes to Scott Fraser and his “Straight Lines” piece. James Johnson’s “Closure” gets four stars for the most effectively soothing and transcendental. But every track wins the “must-hear” award. This has been your ambient-head and void-dweller guide . . . ~ John W. Patterson
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