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Electro Harmonix - PS 08/51
Release Date: 28 November 1994
Morphing Cloud 47.14
Floating Sync. 11.11
all tracks written by Tetsu Inoue & Jonah Sharp
Looking for some down-home drifty ambience? Check out Electro Harmonix, the collaborative efforts of Tetsu Inoue and Jonah Sharp on the Fax label. The disc was initially released in November of 1994, a very memorable year for ambient heads worldwide. On this release we witness the unlikely fusion of drifting spacescape-melodies mixed with moody, percolating percussion sequences. The individual styles of both musicians are immediately recognizable. As on other releases like Reagenz and Alien Community, Sharp again demonstrates his dazzling and particularly effective stroboscopically gated synth chord harmonies, but this time in a vast and beautiful Tetsuan environment. The first piece, the 47-minute space-monger "Morphing Cloud," includes all the aforementioned technical details somehow bound together into one vast, coherent track. Low vibrations melt away to prosaic melodies punctuated with random computer bleeps. All the while a thorough wash of whooshy radiance gradually fades in and out. "Replay," the second track, is an aggressive 6-minute novelty mixing creepy voices, jellylike chirps, and an almost Autechre-ish (hah...say THAT out loud) mechanical loop. The final track, "Floating Sync," was included on the Ambient Cookbook/FaxCompilation and places us in an oriental atmosphere with breezy hints of human voice, rotating propeller-like warbles, and a nice descending Bass pulse that adds the rhythmic structure. And of course the gated chords get a reprise. Highly recommended toany Tetsu fan looking to fill out hir collection. And what exactly *is* that thing on the cover? A VR helmet? A headphonauts headgear eliciting pleasurable mental eruptions??
Interesting or Boring side notes: Electro Harmonix is volume 2 in the misprinted Inoue trilogy. The first was Zenith, which correctly credits both Tetsu and Carlos on the back and inside covers, but gives only Tetsu's name on the disc itself. Electro Harmonix misspells Tetsu's name on the inside cover as "Tesu," as does Organic Cloud.
(review by no@h)
Another great release from the consistently excellent Tetsu Inoue, this time in collaboration with Jonah Sharp, whose influence can be clearly discerned. The centrepiece is the mammoth 47 minute opener "Morphing Cloud", a delicately crafted floating soundscape, with a central section of disjointed rhythm interrupting the otherwise smooth, beatless waves of ambience, complemented by a smattering of spacy sounds.
The other two tracks are of a similar vein, "Replay" being the livelier of the two, and "Floating Sync" much more minimal. The emphasis is certainly once again on texture and tone, rather than rhythm, and none do it finer than these two.
(review by Martin Jones)
I actually didn't like Sea Biscuit that much or the two Alien Communities so I thought the Jonah Sharp collaboration with Tetsu (Electro Harmonix) was going to be weak but there are some very nice sounds in there. It seems to go through a range of very interesting and unique sounding ambient soundscapes. That's just my first impression anyway.
(review by Will-E)
I bought this at the same time as _Cymatic Scan_, and like it much, much better. The more I listen, in fact, the more I like. Inoue's chill has been tempered to a lighter feel with Sharp's "California" influence (if that makes sense). The first cut is a 47 minute jam that is one of the better improvisational ambient pieces I've heard so far. Starts out with lighter Inoue floating tones and breathy drones (they come in pairs...), with some Sharp bleeps and bloops dropped on top. This leads to an interlude with metallic percussion/bleepsnbloops -- the drum programming recalls some Autechre on Valium-- in the middle that is a nice contrast to the airy intro. The two elements interplay for the rest of the cut. I'm not sure what Replay is doing on here. Floating Sync is a more polished piece that really shows off a good collaboration. Even some spaced-funky (!) bass buried in the mix that I like quite a bit.
(review by Steve Boyer)
Whatever people say about EH is true, Morphing Cloud is really beautiful and yummy... almost dark, eerie... spacey, after the first 25 minutes, the building ambience transform into this moving drum texture, which harmonizes with a nice spacey melody. Great stuff.
(review by Aaron Michelson)