Imagined Compositions for Water

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Although produced around the same time as 1999's Field Notes, Imagined Compositions for Water came out only three years later. The third installment in Lilith's Elementals series, it adds water to the already covered stones (Stone, 1992) and air (Redwing, 1995). All the material used in the music of this CD has been obtained from field recordings of oceans, rivers, and waterfalls across America. Yet, actual water sounds appear only sporadically, mostly at the beginning and end of the album. Through the use of simple filters (computer treatment is kept to a minimum), Scott Gibbons obtains a wide array of tones and noises, enough to create a whole disc of pulsating minimal electro and sweeping dark ambient with a nice analog feel and completely remote from its source. If it weren't for the descriptive track titles (like "Mission Bay Recorded at San Diego, California"), you could forget about the concept and just dive (no pun intended) into this creative platter of post-industrial electronica. The best feature of Imagined Compositions for Water is the use of a very wide stereo field. Gibbons combines different left and right tracks to add depth to his sonic constructions. The album is actually a collage of excerpts from two live performances and unfolds in one continuous (although not linear) gesture. It should have created an impressive journey, but the album lacks the warmth needed to be truly engaging.

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