Divination

Distill

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Fourth in the series of recordings by this Laswell-overseen project, Distill resembles Akasha in that rather than being a collaboration between the participating artists, each contributes a separate track. Like its predecessor, a two-disc affair, Distill otherwise doesn't draw a distinction between the two discs regarding rhythm and ambience -- the results are presented for general appreciation, straight up. As a collection of highly regarded names exploring the possibilities of dark ambient music, which more than a few nods to the supposed isolationist scene of the mid-'90s, Distill fulfills its brief well and then some. Starting with Paul Schutze's contribution was a good move -- "Green Evil" steers away from his usual thick mix of cross-cutting world musics for a gentler but not quite calm approach, dark tones slipping under the brighter sounds of night animals in the jungle. The remainder of the first disc consists of striking though not unsurprising numbers from Pete Namlook, Haruomi Hasono, and Mick Harris, whose "There" is essentially a track in his beyond minimal Lull stage, as haunting and disturbing as the rest of his work under that name. On the second disc, Thomas Koner's contribution in his Async Sense guise, "Zone," is an attractive piece, exchanging his favored cymbal/gong-created drones for a more straightforwardly ethereal piece, with a watery, rushing rhythm wafting throughout. Anton Fier's "Blue Filter" is equally striking; with guest guitar from Knox Chandler, who creates soft, shimmering washes through the perhaps expected floating echo, Fier spikes the punch with extra electronic squiggles and other oddities in the course of the tune. Tetsu Inoue's "Interlink" is a lovely, strangely beautiful piece, with high melodies and beeps echoing in an artificial distance as the track begins, while Laswell's own "Black Dangers" closes the collection with a lengthy meditative float that's all right but not fantastic.

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 12:01
2
feat: Anton Fier
8:25
3
feat: Tetsu Inoue
10:28
4
feat: Bill Laswell
29:51
blue highlight denotes track pick