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Jet Chamber

 Jet Chamber - PK 08/102
  Release Date: 7 July 1995
  Limitation: 1000

   Split Wide                30.51
   Rotor Cabinet             12.25
   Chaos Impuls               4.08
   Feedback Fluctuation      10.13
   Streamline                11.12

  all tracks written by Pete Namlook & Atom Heart

Beat-oriented freestylism with Namlook mostly in charge of melodies (some dark some light) while Atom Heart pounds out some morphing drum tracks through various alienating filters. All the Jet Chamber releases demonstrate some interesting live-sounding interaction: drums react to melodies and vice versa. JC1 ranges from being quite musical to more abstract wind-tunnel howlings with reverb the size of airplane hangers.

(review by no@h)

Due to the lengths of the songs in the Jet Chamber series, as well as the music itself, I must assume that, for the most part, the series is recorded live in the studio. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that this method of musicking will produce uniformly interesting moments. Of course, there is never really a guarantee whichever method is employed, but certainly variance of quality in music is greater when the ensemble is improvising. That should make sense: control reduces variability. With this in mind, then, we as listeners must approach the subject with expectations other than that which we might have with music that is more composed (e.g. most of Spyra's output).

1. Split Wide - 31 minutes, around 21 of which is pure bliss. For the first 14:30 I am extremely impressed with the beauty of this piece. After that it begins to fall apart. I think this is because I don't usually like random noise outbursts that much, and that is what happens here. At about 17:45 it starts to get interesting again, but Pete and Atom hold that theme for only a few minutes. For the last 10 minutes, we are subjected to a very minimal/environmental cloudscape. Fans of endless soundscapes that go nowhere will hate me for saying so, but I got the point long before the 30-minute mark. So, with the appropriate cuts, a 21-22 minute version of Split Wide ("Split Not So Wide"?) would get a perfect 10. As is: 9.0 - Still very good.

Fades into. . . 2. Rotor Cabinet - Very otherworldly, with beats. Goes very nearly nowhere, but still good for studying / reading / working. 7.5

Fades into . . . 3. Chaos Impuls - 4 minutes of deep and beatless environmental improv. Still doesn't feel like it goes anywhere. 6.5

Fades into . . . 4. Feedback Fluctuation - Something is happening again . . . still a lot of otherworldly ambience, but with a few light beats and occasional melody. 8.0

Fades into . . . 5. Streamline - A nice groove . . . sort of an electronic and possibly doped-up variation on the rhythm from Paul Simon's "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover". 8.5

Average score, weighted by track time: 8.35 (still not bad, could be better. Still counts as >4 out of 5 stars.)

If Pete and Atom had spent a bit more time editing some of the recordings down to the great ideas, then threw around a few more - say, maybe a few more hours in the studio - Jet Chamber 1 might have been a 10. I can certainly still recommend the album, since the moments that are there are quite excellent. It's just not *entirely* interesting.

(review by Damon Capehart)

Better still [than Fanger & Siebert] are Modula Green's _Shellground_ and Jet Chamber by Namlook and Atom Heart. Jet Chamber sets up an icy, beautiful landscape reminiscent of Harold Budd's _The White Arcades_ and then grooves with it, Atom's cool as fuck clicking drum tracks throwing things into motion and becoming more intense as Namlook's filter wanking sweeps in and steals the show, and the icy kingdom becomes a wide countryside, a long journey under the sun. Killer driving music, this, and then it breaks down to its basic elements, whooshing around through the depths until almost nothing of it is left, where finally it breaks into another clickfest and more sweeps, and we go on from there. Really a wonderful ambient trip, almost pure but for some titles that are taken from machine parts when they should have told minute hints of great silent stories.

(review by einexile)

First collaboration between Namlook and Uwe Schmidt in about two years, this release finds them producing very different sounds than their earlier output on FAX (file most of that in under German hard trance), This CD reveals two professionals getting together for an interesting and very dark space jam. Some of this sounds quite live, but I sense a larger compositional structure. Atom Heart weaves odd and interesting rhythms (did someone say Flextone?) around Pete's trademark analogue deepness, much like a strong wind (AH) whipping a sheet (PN) on a clothesline, except it's been hung out to dry on Venus. Go figure.

More spacebass heaviness from the FAX label. Put on the headphones and forget about getting *too* stoned -- you'll need plenty for this release. Very good stuff, has reaffirmed my (previously) teetering faith in space music, although it's not all space -- sometimes it's like Uwe giving Pete a lesson in weird funkiness. Very strange, and very good.

(review by Wallace Winfrey)


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