The FREQUENCY-IRELAND Music Alternative

An independent voice on choice sounds from the alternative/underground music scene in Ireland.
- Get latest news, reviews & releases at the main label website: [FREQUENCY].

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Magnetize - Biome

Instrumental electronica is not a regular part of my diet, so when Magnetize's Biome CD arrived on my doorstep recently, it was going to be quite a challenging listen - or perhaps a tiring listen, depending on one's perspective. Released back in 2004 on Rimbaud Records, it is a collection of unedited drones, loops and soundscapes recorded live @ dron3 between 2000 and 2004. It could be described as eerie sci-fi space music, although on the down-side it can sound overtly sterile at times. It has its moments however, most notably in the monolithic 'Maximal', a long droned out soundscape of distorted noise that is quite a mind blowing experience, and not lightyears from what The Telescopes are at these days.

In essence though, Biome could be considered as a soundtrack to an old sci-fi movie. It's slow to start, but pays dividends to those who wait through for the plot to unfold. 'Daria' is a rather conventional dawning, and the following track, 'Free Running' hardly breaks the mould either, so by the time we reach an interlude in 'Icke Carumba', where we hear the voice of a scientist lecturing on such matters as metaphysics, one wonders where the album is headed. It finally awakens in 'Elsewhere Is Rubber', where one starts to feel that eerie space sci-fi draw, a sense of no turning back, a slow and methodical opening of valves that cannot be restored to a safe equilibrium if matters get out of hand, as so happens in 'Maximal', which follows. This one is a relentless assault on the senses, which resonates to alarming levels, and one can't help but get an overpowering sense that its source is about to blow at any moment. Ejecting from this situation in 'Vega Instrument', we reach the second heightened panic in 'Go For The Light'; this one has an atypical clanking rhythm which seems dangerously purposeful. Three minutes in and a coarse synth melody adds to its eeriness. It is in chase, sounding distinctly out-of-step with any natural sense, one could feel it is devoid of acknowledging the plight of those in its path, and a force which cannot be reasoned with. It’s quite brilliant, and works perfectly well as a pre-climactic track on an album which suffers from sterility at times, as this is a track which takes that weakness and makes it its strength. The album closes with a short reprise in 'Re-Sensifier', the sounds perhaps of an AI systems mainframe with draining cells playing out its own funeral procession, and herein the credits roll; the movie per se is over.

So a few immense tracks on Biome, but given the sterility of the album as a whole, it is probably best summed up with a number. 6/10.

Related Links: