Noh Poetry Records, San Bruno, Ca, 2005
Audio CD, 15 tracks
Distributors website: http://www.nohpoetryrecords.com/.
Reviewed by Stefaan Van Ryssen
The Thessalonians, based in San Francisco
and featuring percussionist Larry Thrasher,
and keyboardists Kim Cascone, Don Falcone,
and Paul Neyrinck, performed live improvisations
for electronic and acoustic instruments,
that were the ultimate cybernetic-psychedelic
ragas. Solaristics was produced between
the springs of 1992 and 1996 in Berkeley
and San Francisco. (At that time, guitarist
David James was not a member of the group).
This is an early and typical example of
what is known as ambient music,
but what is basically highly produced,
slowly moving pop with a presumed spiritual,
metaphysical, or outerworldly inspiration.
Generally, audiences who prefer this type
of music would talk about it in terms
of chilling out and relaxingpossibly
combined with comments on the groove
or the deepness of the sound.
The CD consists of eight songs
turned into a suite by seven short tracks
composed to act as bridges from one piece
to the other. Each piece brings its own
atmosphere, ranging from pensive to thoughtful,
or from melancholy to gloomy. The bridges
are mostly short explorations of one or
the other electronic effect. The consistency
of the suite is kept by the presence of
waves of pink noise, overlaying patterns
of repeated chords that are following
simple progressions through a range of
Interesting release for historic reasons
but very dated for contemporary ears.
Thrasher and Cascone have done more interesting