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Organic Cloud - AW 030 (also PS 08/57)
Release Date: 30 October 2003
The Night in Goa 16.27
Journey to Ixtlan 12.54
Chill In Chill Out 12.56
Ring of Power 16.47
Bionic Commune 12.56
all tracks written by Tetsu Inoue
This is the 2nd solo release for Tetsu Inoue on Fax, and continues roughly where the previous solo disc, Ambiant Otaku, left off. Generally speaking there is some overlap between the two. Sonically, this disc is every bit as much the "holy grail" that Otaku is. Fortunately, it isn't nearly as hard to find. I am inclined to say that Organic Cloud tends to be more rhythmically active in terms of actual percussion and maybe a shade less abstract then Otaku. And unlike Otaku or Slow & Low, the songs of this album are mixed together, one smoothly flowing into the next which, to me, suggests a multistage journey. This journey is a spiritual one, and thus not without its moments of challenge and self-confrontation, but be assured that a listener's patience is greatly rewarded here. The overall scope of the album proceeds from dark to light, or if you like, from cold to warm. Each song becomes progressively more blissful and optimistic.
The Night in Goa. We begin in ominous territory. Monk-like oscillations surround you while misty waves of bass radiate tactile vibrations. The atmosphere is so thick as to elicit a sense of opacity. Pieces as powerful as this are ideally listened to in locations that inspire awe, such as the top of a high mountain or cliff or perhaps vast deep caverns. A far off sensation of electronics materializes from within the instinctive sound collage. Low-end bleeps and deconstructed cyclical sequences reminiscent of the 604 approach bind the monastic to the psychedelic without compromising the qualities of either environment. Whirlpool tones and unearthly grinding textures propel us into the final sections of this piece, and soon after new voices usher us off on a
Journey to Ixtlan. Heavy machinery is heard, again starting far off on the horizon and approaching steadily as the seconds go by. The song title is in reference to a Casteneda passage, wherein the allegedly hypothetical Don Juan introduces the "web of light" and the technique of "not-doing" to Carlos in a striking landscape of lava rock. Vulcan surroundings are an appropriate setting for the powerful sounds heard. Some sounds are metallic or hollow and rusty, like a structure that has stood through many ages. Two synth chirps compete for the leading note, while voices rise and fall to the beats. Most percussion here is doubled up, like sound between two walls. The outro is by comparison more peaceful and is merged with the intro of
Chill in Chill out. This was also on the Ambient Cookbook/Fax Compilation and is the main turning point on the album. The first rays of promise after a time of peril leak forward like sundogs through cloudbreaks. A ambiguous synth solo leads the way, while other textures emerge. Soon, morphing bass thumps establish a basic rhythm which most of the other elements begin to follow. The overall textural qualities of the instruments also seem to respond and bleed into each other. To me, this mood foreshadows the hi-res, sophisticated realtime approaches that some of the more recent ambient projects demonstrate. Deep pulsations combine with enhancing melodies which shimmer alongside the evolving choir-like streams of sound. Another cycle is at work here, a recurring emotion circles around, forming a
Ring of Power. Spinning astral floods of light emit glistening waves of static. The photon tide rises while a distant beacon beeps at regular intervals. This stage of the album is my personal favorite. Its spontaneous, positive vibrations are always appealing. It is the Akashic recording, a hyperlinked aural tradition which seems to extend infinitely outward. This definitely belongs on the list of beatless wonders Tetsu Inoue has laid down over the years. A melodic rhythm eventually fades in, sounding somewhat flexible, as if rapidly oscillating between concave and convex configurations and hitting different notes each time. The melody is repeated but somehow sounds different every time it plays. Toward the end, the tide rises once again in a mighty crescendo. After the ritual, we retire to the
Bionic Commune. A beat-oriented piece that performs well as a finishing track. Over the course of this one, we return once again to more terrestrial territory and the feeling of returning to a place of rest and recovery from a highly intense spiritual adventure in sound is felt. In general, this is an album you either own or should put on your "want-list," particularly if you are a fan of futuresque, abstract sound mosaics. Definitely something for the proverbial desert island. It still takes me to "another place" each time I listen to it. And for people just discovering Tetsu Inoue's talent, Organic Cloud is the perfect introduction to what he is capable of.
(review by [email protected])
Another gem from Mr Inoue, and perhaps his most complete solo work from a long-playing perspective.
There's a long introduction to get us in the mood, which indeed takes up most of the opening The Night In Goa, before a minimal bassline and snatch of tune arrive to lead us to Journey To Ixtlan...if there is a highlight on such a complete whole, this is surely it. A wonderfully emotive piece with a great build and a skilful balance between percussion, melody and atmospherics, this has it all.
The mid-point of the disc, Chill In Chill Out, is another understated yet brilliantly realised piece of Inoue ambience. You almost don't notice the journey it takes you on, even as it's actually doing so.
Ring Of Power is all about melody married to shimmering beauty, extremely intricately woven and a joy to experience, while the closing Bionic Commune takes us on a positively upbeat journey to the end, why, there's even a bass drum to speak of once more! Watch out for the classical influence too...
Well, again I've failed to do justice to a Fax disc in a review, I'd strongly recommend you track this down and experience it for yourself.
Verdict - Beautifully well-rounded, one of his best. 9/10.
(review by Martin Jones)
This is incredible. I've had a strong affinity for Tetsu Inoue's music ever since hearing Ambiant Otaku for the first time. This new release is no exception. We open with "The Night in Goa"- a dark mysterious track that is *very* deep and very dark. Similar to many of his other tracks, this song has tremendous atmosphere, deep bass and a haunting quality very much like the title track of Ambiant Otaku. This is definitely a night piece- brilliant in how it can take you places. It has remarkable substance- a definite mood, a definite feel. Journey to Ixtlan blends right in on the same theme. A slow build of atmospheres, hidden voices and machinery clanging away in the distance, then a break to a deep beat with an excellent flanged cymbal which lays right over a somber melody. Wicked. I'm chilled. Then out of the dark comes Chill in Chill out. Starting slow a subtle chorus of voices comes in. Beautiful and flowing- swelling. Again, a slow beat surfaces towards the end. What amazes me about this and the next track is the almost spiritual quality of this music. The calm found in Ambiant Otaku is very apparent in these tracks- perhaps a bit more dynamic though. I remember stopping everything I was doing to sit and listen- completely captivated. Ring of Power is my favorite track on these first listens. This is the Inoue I love most. The shimmering melodies, the subtlety. It glows. Too much to describe in all honesty. Truly and completely beautiful. Bionic Commune closes with a hovering chorus fading to a brief scratchy pulse to more deep bass and watery melodies. Wicked again. Perfect. ***** all the way. Buy this.
(review by rdudley)
Intelligent haunting ambient, but with a positive side that's a bit different than the "typical" Tetsu Inoue. It starts out with the darker Inoue we know and love, but more melodic and active already than some of his collaborative efforts on FAX. It grows into an atmospheric, ethereal second track with some wonderful layered effects. Track 4, Ring of Power, is perhaps the most accessible track - warm and emotive, active yet subtle. The more I listen to this CD, the more I enjoy it, like Modula Green but on a more feel-good (as opposed to introspective with Modula Green) level. I could go on and on. Rating: 10/10.
(review by Michael Lekas)
I picked this up on the strength of the last track on the Axiom Ambient compilation (where Laswell "reconstructs" Inoue). I was not disappointed. Where _Alien Community_ was improvisational, _Organic Cloud_ is five, polished tracks. The feel here is deep chill -- like the -20 freezer that lies beyond the cold room in your local university. Oscillating tones that shift on top of each other (sometimes reminds me of the approach taken on some seefeel records), deep, breathy drones. The beats are infrequent, and used to extremely good effect. Specifically, Journey to Ixtlan sounds like trash cans being beaten in a sewer pipe ten miles away from the studio -- and I mean that as a compliment. Nice watery feel to Bionic Commune rounds out the collection. Overall, this is better produced and more listenable than a lot of ambient industrial (I'll stick by that terminology before dark ambient any day of the week) I own, but puts me in a similar frame of mind. If it's still available, get it. If not, try the cut on Instinct's _Compilation II_.
(review by Steve Boyer)
I'm the proud new owner of _Organic Cloud_ through one of Dave EAR/Rational's frequent "Old School" air drops and I'm listening to it for the third time right now. The first time was with good headphones while working in my drawing studio, the second time was very very quietly in tandem with the drone of my computer while in bed making out, and the third time is while typing this turned up just loud enough that my neighbors will refrain from calling the cops with a noise complaint. I'm amazed at how good this is. I have Fax Compilation I and II and Masters of Psychedelic Ambience, but I don't like any of the Tetsuo Inoue tracks on those nearly as much as the stuff on _Organic Cloud_. This record has a breathy, vocal, bassy, spacious, deep (although not "deep ambient" I suppose) and very _organic_ quality to it that I really like a lot. It's pretty incredible to sit here without moving and listen to these killer beats assemble themselves inside a deep mist of synthsounds and distant voices, then to hear them slowly lumber off into that fog like robotic dinosaurs, leaving me to look timourously over my shoulder and wonder what's going to emerge next.
(review by Chris Schachte)