Redshift VII - Oblivion
Stunned from the sheer power of 'Faultline', Redshift deliver the knock-out punch in the form of their latest studio outing 'Oblivion'. Wasting no time they get straight into the title track which opens with weird industrial style atmospheres. A deep bass throb starts to emanate subliminally from the speakers. Supplemental electronic pulsations start to adorn the vast bass valleys which are being scoured out in glacial fashion.
Variation is found largely by morphing the synth voices rather than mutating the patterns, and it's a hugely effective tactic. Synth lines build a massive wall of sound until a brief breather is taken at the five minute mark. The sequence is reigned in as more delicious effects are allowed to prosper. Then at just under the 7 minute mark the wall of sound appears again with renewed vigour, the sequence now regimented bringing to mind a huge behemoth pounding its way across a vast landscape. The track fades slowly at the 10 minute mark leaving electronic piano which segues into 'Leave the Light On'. Appropriately titled, track 2 is a scary atmospheric collage which builds tension and menace throughout its 5 minutes in the spotlight. We then get into the 12˝ minute 'Flow' and what an awesome track this is, supplemented by Ian Boddy who plays electric piano and polysynths. The sequences soon start to emerge, and what brilliant pulsations they are. More in the traditional Berlin style rather than Node, they build mesmerically using sonics ranging from the depths to the very highest registers. Again tremendous variation is obtained by morphing the voices rather than the patterns, and the trump card is played at the 6˝ mark as it all melts into a resonating morass leaving just a skeletal pattern. Totally mind blowing. The sequence elements then start to pull themselves together slowly accompanied by some superb synth work. Then at 9 minutes it's back into full flow. This track is an ace!
The short 'Under the Sun' is another suitably resonating bridge before we get into what is, for me, the feature track of the album. 'Runes' weighs in at just under 15 minutes and emanates from more deep bass pulsations. The oscillators spit venom with every convulsion. Grudgingly they start to adhere to the sequencer's increasingly complex signals. Amorphous synth lines pick out a deceptively infectious theme then the sequences really take off, squirming in ever more perverse mutations. Choral voices now underpin the soundstage as the sequences break forth in a torrential wall of raw energy. The ebb and flow is fascinating to behold, the way various elements are ripped apart, thrown into the mixer, then reformed in ever more complex manifestations. Eventually the electric piano picks out a simple but beautiful theme as the track gradually deconstructs into the final piece 'Small Bright Light: Gone Out', and what a beauty this is. A fantastic choral theme, bringing to mind something like Tomita's work on 'Snowflakes', blends an infectious melody with a subliminal sequence and sweeping atmospherics which weave a desolate, windswept spell before beautiful 'tron flutes create a pure TD style pastiche to close the album.
Genius, it's the only way to describe this album. Though it's less "in yer face" and overtly enjoyable than, say, 'Ether' and 'Siren' it has subtlety and detail which you could study for a lifetime. Every note, every layer, is a work of art. Totally unique, totally organic, constantly shifting. Sequencing and synthesis being taken to new levels.
Graham Getty - used with permissionwww.synthmusicdirect.com