with a slowly pulsing C major third, setting the ambience for quiet,
positive meditation. It is music to breathe by. Bona fide new-age medicine
music. Singular string notes and synths begin to accent and swirl around
the primary pulse, like stray thoughts, until the first appearance of our
vocal guide at 0:09:00. Accompanied by occasional washes of rain and
panned piano notes, we begin the mantra:
You are right
I am beautiful
And all is beautiful around
You bring life
The heartbeat of life
We are all part of the Universe
Seasons will come and go
The silence of the universe
The track develops at 0:17:00 with a sneaky little drum accent, fading forward and back, propelling the track with a light insistence towards its close.
Garden of Dreams layers digital bell tones, flutes and an female voice in an exotic, eastern setting. This is the journey that Omid/Hope has prepared our minds for. It is a still place, accented by occasional synth burbles. A heavily reverbed kick drum leads us into a new territory halfway through--a slow, melancholy gamelan of cymbals and sticks. It is as if we are being shown the laborers whose toil provides the beautiful garden we've just experienced.
Santur invites us to astrally project ourselves through the cosmos, arriving in mythic north Africa. A dance is performed, a cultural exchange takes place, some smoke is shared.
Trip is a bright, pan-global ecstatic trance. The simple pulse sets up a framework for high flutes, synthesized birdsong, and long washes of sound/surf. It is clearly mystic and optimistic. Aromatherapy for your ears.
Overall, Silence I is a strong release hearkening back to ambient music's roots. Its structure is deliberate, and it holds together very well as an album. That being said, it does feel somewhat dated and self-conscious in its spiritual zeal, marginally better than most of the New Age spiritual audio aids so prevalent in the nineties.
(review by Ian Malbon)
There can't be many long term fax afficionados who haven't encountered the sound of Silence. One of the very first discs to appear on the label, this was issued way back when ambient music was all the rage, being a genre defining piece. And it still is. The classic pairing of Namlook and Dr Atmo delivered four slowly evolving pieces of chilled minimalistic ambience. Omid/Hope opens the scoring with slow strings welling up, interrupted by Namlooks analogue squeals and the famous Silence voice adding some affirmative soundbites, before chilled piano loops and beats are introduced. Next up is my all time favourite FAX track, the superb Garden of Dreams. The track lives up to its name, transporting the listener to a far out world of lush atmospherics built around the familiar Namlook vocal pad sound. This is haunting gothic-style ambience, describing a deep and exotic place. In contrast the next track, Santur, is more Atmo than Namlook. Atmo takes us back to his roots with a Middle Eastern-influenced piece, complete with guitar, vocal and rhythm parts. Finally its left to the shimmering Trip to take us some place else. A cyclic track that builds and builds with its hypnotic groove. Like a vast black hole this track pulls the listener in with its repetitive spirals (or er, something like that!).
If you only ever buy one Fax album, this should be it (provided you can find it - although it has been issued on a few different labels). A timeless and consistent release that proves that less really is more, and far superior to the follow up volumes.
(review by unknown)