Experimental Audio Research

Millennium Music

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    9
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Conceived as both a video and recording project, Millennium Music features a four-piece lineup of Sonic Boom, Prevost, Pete "Bassman" Bain, and Tom Prentice on three lengthy live improvisations recorded in studio. If the liner notes reflect reality, the goal was creating work that would "reflect time from pre-history and the dinosaur age through to modern digital communication," working with sounds and textures that would evoke everything from monster reptiles to computer whirs and back. The notes also describe Millennium Music as a specific contrast/polar opposite to The Koner Experiment, with its emphasis on briefer, relatively more stripped-down and focused pieces. Instead, all the songs here nearly breach the 20-minute barrier, exploring a variety of possibilities as they go. Prentice and Bassman concentrate on treated viola and bass, respectively, Prevost handles a variety of percussion and his expected bowed cymbal work, while Boom tackles theremin, animal and human voice synths, and other keyboards and noise-tweakers, including his familiar E.M.S. VCS3. "Delysid," the first track, sets the busy but extremely low-key mood, Bain's echoing bass work initially setting the slow tempo as swirling, effects-laden sounds fill out the mix all around it, accompanied more clearly at points by Prentice's own contributions. The even-subtler pace of the closing half is notable for the random series of glitches and gurgles Boom conjures up, a bubbling electric swamp of sound. "Digitana," which Bain sits out, brings up clearer work from Prevost on drums and cymbals amidst Boom's overall treatments, creating irregular beats and fills while Prentice conjures up some eerie work on his viola and climaxing in what for the album is a busy, almost noisy arrangement. "The Enigma Coda" wraps things up with all four members actively contributing, Prentice adding in some more direct violin parts and Prevost's quicker drumming while Boom infuses more cryptic vocal explosions throughout.

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