The Silverman

Nature of Illusion

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Legendary Pink Dots keyboardist Phil Knight (aka the Silverman) is definitely not the solo album-churning machine that his bandmate Edward Ka-Spel is. This is only his fifth opus and his first since 2002's Requiem Settings. Nature of Illusion is a droning, slow-paced affair split into two 20-minute parts. Part one features synthesizer melodies, lush keyboard textures, and Ka-Spel's murmurs. The piece unfolds slowly but surely, and turns out to be quite eventful. Part two is much quieter: keyboard textures shimmer and ring with Indian overtones (a throaty flute adds to that feeling), while a delicate miniMoog-like melody is used as a mantra. Except for the occasional birds mixed in, this is all that happens in the course of the 22 minutes of "Pt. 2," which makes it nice music to meditate to, but might alienate a good segment of the Legendary Pink Dots' fan base. In fact, there is very little here that ties in with the group's output, and Nature of Illusion is even more ambient and experimental than Ka-Spel's most out-there solo records. Still, there is no denying Knight's mastery of the drone, and connoisseurs of the genre -- from new age electronic music to post-industrial droning -- will find in it something to bliss out to. The first 700 copies of the album came packaged with a bonus CD entitled Woodland Calling, which consists of a single 65-minute drone in the same vein as "Nature of Illusion, Pt. 2," although for the most part less dense.

Track Listing

Title/Composer Performer Time
1
22:46
2
21:50
blue highlight denotes track pick