THE NORTH SEA & RAMESES III
Night of the Ankou

[Type Records, www.typerecords.com]

Fitting nicely in the atmospheric category, "Night of the Ankou" is a meeting of two key figures in the field. One is Rameses III [made up of Spencer Grady, Steve Lewis and Daniel Freeman - all playing various keyboards, processing, percussion] - a champion of the ambient genre, while The North Sea is actually Brad Rose, who for the past few years has heavily been dipping his fingers into the psychedelic, weird-folk movement. First things first, this is a re-issue of a long out of print CD-R release, though you must be really one of the lucky few if you actually got your hands on the original pressing. Now onto the music and I admit, this is one of those releases that makes it hard to appropriate sounds with simple words. Apparently the two parties have not met each other for the release but rather swapped tapes and re-shaped each others tracks. Having said that, it seems that Rose is pushing the drone category, while Rameses III is pulling back and softening the heavy drone fields. This does present a challenge. On the 18 minute opener "Death of the Ankou", you can clearly make out signs of opposition, signs the sounds were produced with some sort of duress. Perhaps Rose wanted to go all out and blare out a heavy drone, but just maybe in the final mix Rameses III pulled back and softened the effect. The highlight of the album is the second track, "Night Blossoms Written in Sanskrit". With shimmering percussion and something that resembles lightly paced sitars, it's around this point, the duo really take off. As the album comes to a close, I'm not exactly sure who won the race. Though the music is fine in itself - with its grandiose, laid back pacing - you wonder just what the effect would be had the bands actually met face to face.

-Tom Sekowski


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+ Underground Resistance - Interstellar Fugatives 2 - Destruction Of Order
+ James Figurine - Mistake Mistake Mistake Mistake
+ Eneidi / Kowald / Smith / Spirit - Ghetto Calypso
+ Steve Swell's Slammin' The Infinite - Remember Now
+ Digital Disco 3
+ Pablo Bolivar - Anjanas
+ William Parker - mały przewodnik na letnie lenistwo
+ No-Neck Blues Band - Letters from the Earth
+ Keiji Haino/Tatsuya Yoshida - New Rap
+ Masayuki Takayanagi - Action Direct: Live at Zojoji Hall 1985
+ Salamander - Bent Hemlock

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>> THE NORTH SEA & RAMESES III - Night of the Ankou
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