Biosphere / Deathprod


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Stator is the second split release between Norwegian ambient heavyweights Biosphere and Deathprod, coming 17 years after Nordheim Transformed, their reinterpretations of works by fellow Norwegian Arne Nordheim. While Biosphere has remained fairly prolific since the early '90s (his previous proper full-length being 2011's excellent N-Plants), Deathprod has mostly been active as an engineer and collaborator with other artists (including his unlikely collaboration with Led Zeppelin's John Paul Jones as Minibus Pimps), and as a member of Supersilent. The last Deathprod full-length was 2004's acclaimed Morals and Dogma, released concurrently with an astounding four CD box set compiling all three Deathprod albums plus a disc of rarities and previously unreleased material. Stator showcases both artists' styles of ambient, with Biosphere's typically being far more melodic and rhythmic, and showing traces of warmth and light. "Muses-C" has minimalist synthesizer sequences reminiscent of '70s/'80s sci-fi and horror soundtracks, and calm layers of gentle distortion. "Space Is Fizzy" lives up to its title, giving the impression that floating in space is as comforting and refreshing as a nice sparkling beverage. Deathprod's brand of ambient, however, is far more unsettling, utilizing rolling cymbals, cavernous echo, and homemade effects to create desolate landscapes. Shorter pieces "Polychromatic" and "Disc" are sparse and crackling, while "Optical" takes ten minutes to build its scenario of unrelenting dread. Stator is a fine entry into the discography of both artists, and a decent starting point for anyone not yet acquainted with either, but it's not as definitive of either artist's work as Substrata or Morals and Dogma.

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