Disorient by Richard Bone Quirkworks Laboratory Discs http://mkmk.com/bone P.O. Box 229, Greenville, R.I. 02828, USA Richard Bone has made his reputation in the ambient field as an ironic electronic guy. His work is understated, unpretentious, and often humorous. He likes to transform sounds and styles into his own dry rhythmic style, whether that be “lounge” music, bossa nova, spacey sproings, or, in this album, “Oriental” sounds. He uses samples or imitations of instruments from all over Asia, whether it be Indonesian gamelan or Indian sitar or Iranian strings or Chinese gongs. He has no concern for either history or authenticity; that’s not the important thing here. It’s just the sound and sometimes the Asian modes or pentatonics which give it that “orientalizing” flavor. It’s kind of like going to one of those “all-Asian” restaurants which can serve you sushi, Chinese food, Korean kimchee or Thai curry, none of which resembles anything that would be eaten in the original countries.
Bone stays within a limited range, both in rhythm, speed, volume, and instrumentation.. This gives the album consistency, but it also makes it somewhat forgettable. His rhythms are all electronically programmed, and sound mechanical. There are some pretty tracks, such as track 4, “The Inland Sea,” or track 5, “Intricate Autumn.” He can do synthesizer pop too, as in track 3, “Sudanaram,” or track 7, “Patterns of Motion.” But after listening to this, a few hours later you don’t remember much of what you heard.
Hannah M.G. Shapero 3/26/03
Richard Bone: Tales from the Incantina Indium/Quirkworks Laboratory, 2001 QRK0131 http://mkmk.com/bone Email: email@example.com If you enjoyed Bone's Etherdome CD then prepare to again enjoy Bone's creation of a liltingly lite massage of melodic ambience very much like Etherdome and it is filled with deep relaxations and swaying movements like a grand porch swing or a great vine each caught in slow-mo. "A Column of Glyphs" is my current fav, followed very closely by "Nine gods Nine", (Hear splendid glories of the keys! You will hear a Vangelis leaning as well), Bone composes all tracks, being inspired by the ancient Toltec philosophies of the soul. Prepare your head for a good deal of channel panning on several pieces, how very Eno! B one, (which is Eno b backwards), really went deeply Eno on "House of Elegant Idols" which is my 3rd fav. Outro track is an ambient chamber-orch-ish lullaby. As far as looking for the eerie and disturbed sounds, (which Richard Bone is WELL capable of doing), bespeaking fierce Toltec warrior castes, human sacrifice, severed-head wall hangings, and ball games where losers were put to death -- you won't find any of that in Bone's soft tread this go round. You should instead, listen for the craftsmanship, the artisan spirit, and the grandeur of their architecture . . . Toltecs at ease . . . perhaps light-headed after a therapeutic or ritualistically, recreational blood- letting. ~ John W. Patterson Personnel: Richard Bone does all keys, synths, and treatments Tracks: Eleven Eno-esque tracks of melodic trance bliss ambience await you. Richard Bone: The Spectral Ships (CD, 48:44); Hypnos, 1998 Hypnos Recordings P.O. Box 6868 Portland, OR 97228 USA E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com Cyberhome: http://www.hypnos.com/bone This is a class act of ultra-noir ambience yet divided into 9 unique compositions. One might think Eno listening to this but not quite, a sampled voice speaks causing Bill Nelson to come to mind yet again – not really. Next piece and I envision sonar blips, scuba divers, and an old submarine flick. Then schizo voices go abuzzing with assorted metallic titterings augmenting the spectrum. This is complex, somber, dark but curiously relaxing. The way Bone weaves so many akilter textures and shadings into a cohesive whole of H. R. Gigerian beauty is difficult to imagine even being possible. He does it over and over. Be it alien wind-storms or flocks of Lovecraftian night gaunts sailing overhead, their mournful cries drifting down from jet-black skies – Bone does it all. This is not dinner music nor is it recommended to anyone low on PROZAC. Darknesses ineffable and distorted despairs slither amongst ruins of soundworlds. Bleached Bone scatters the smoldering remains. Echoes of the Underworld? A Stygian muse? Yea verily, I pronounce this Goth-Ambience, an Enoesque Music for Films #666. Visit dead planets, forbidden realms of occultic tomes’ openings. On track 8, “astrea”, a slight bit of noir-space music bleeds through yet holds forth more complexity and denseness than any of Serrie’s works. “ephemera” wanders into the final void, voice samples for an OOBE and pathways into dark forests of mystery cult. A nod here to Nelson and Skinny Puppy? While Enoscapes of piano meander, loops, flanged and phased synths and echoes bring the end to this amazingly creepy journey. If you enjoyed David Storr’s Invaders from Mars soundtrack, this will feed your head much, much more. Bone has crafted a perfect descent into the Pit of Deep Nothingness; acrid, caustic, and deadly but tasting of honey and dizzying like a tainted wine. Highest recommendations! Spooky stuff. ~ John W. Patterson
Richard Bone: Etherdome (CD, 54:40); Hypnos, 1999 Hypnos Recordings P.O. Box 6868 Portland, OR 97228 USA E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com Cyberhome: http://www.hypnos.com/bone With the same strong composing and performance skills found his earlier release, The Spectral Ships, Bone offers yet another winner. Etherdome however takes the listener into calmer worlds, soothing and restful niches. Elegantly simple, vignettes echo the likes of Brian Eno, Time Story, Steve Halpern, Wally Badarou, and Kit Watkins. Supreme peacefulness oozes forth. Synth textures are breezes wafting an essence of drowsiness, an ambience of opiate dreaming. Voice samples dangle at an “edge-of-wakefulness” as Lethean forgetfulness encroaches outer realities. Soon, find yourself adrift, on melody and mind-massaging synths. Bone’s Etherdome is purposefully unadorned, airy, and feather- light. Density, complexity, and tension tools are cast aside. For an odd example, hear “The Incubus Wave” using chordal passages and keys solos that are Dick Hyman pop-jazzy! Wait a minute now. Bone is on an elevator-music groove now! Thankfully that is over, soon vanishing like your parents’ radio station just left the receiver’s range. Bone’s work is very much his own tho’ influences of the cream of the genre filter through clearly. It is his treatments and overall song-smithing that keep listener interest high. Continuity of Etherdome from track to track is overtly rigid to the point of nearing “sameness”. This is barely noticed as Etherdome is more a thematic release versus a song-based release. I believe Bone intended each part as a facet of a cut stone or puzzle pieces. It works. Etherdome is recommended to Eno-heads and to society’s stressed souls. Sit down, close your eyes, kick back, and press PLAY. ~ John W. Patterson
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