Elements 1 gathers two 20-minute pieces based on basic elements, in this case water and fire. Parts of "Surface Tension" (the water piece) were recorded at live shows in 1998 and 1999, but most of the material comes from studio sessions in 2000. With this CD, sound artist Michael Prime pushes his esthetics deeper into electro-acoustics. The whole Elements project brings to mind of course Annette Vande Gorne's Tao cycle. Here, Prime develops his compositional style to great results. On Domestic Science, the pieces, created with sounds from home appliances, tended to be linear. On Cellular Radar his collages were crude and the works suffered from a lack of cohesion. None of these problems alter the listening experience on this CD. The element occupying center stage is thoroughly exploited, its possibilities stretched to extremes, thanks to acousmatic treatments. It seems Prime likes to mess with our minds: Some parts of the water piece sound like fire, the reverse also being true. People used to Prime's work in Morphogenesis may find this CD a little dry; that is normal, the organic character of the group's live improvs has little to do with these studio constructions. Even though the "electro-acoustic elements cycle" has been done before, Elements 1 is worthy of your time. It may not have as wide a palette as Vande Gorne's CD but it is more dynamic. The first edition is limited to 500 copies.
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AllMusic Review by François Couture