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Vrs-Mbnt-Pcs 9598 II

 Jochem Paap - Vrs-Mbnt-Pcs 9598 II - PS 08/96
  Release Date: 11 October 1999
  Limitation: 2000

   Dx-Snth         5.54
   Mrg-Rvx        28.05
   Jchm-2ngn      18.15

  all tracks written by Jochem Paap

Dx-Snth : The most uplifting and emotional track I have heard since I listened to the Aphex's Selected Works about five years ago. Piling on wave after wave of soft tones and sun-drenched ambience the track builds from nothing into a triumphal piece that disappears as quickly as it came. A wonderful wake-up call or an exultant and chilled end to an evening; I find it difficult to imagine I could ever tire of listening to this. I have become convinced that if I were to select a piece of music for my funeral this might well be it.

Mrg-Rvx : Moving into a slowed down piece reminiscent of a crossing of the more recent Autechre and a warmer version of Namlook's Autumn I find this a somewhat laborious track clocking in at just under half an hour. Jochem must really have found something fascinating in the sounds he was using here. Certainly the abstraction and melancholy that the track portrays might be a useful accompaniment to a thoughtful and caffeine-fuelled evening. The increasingly spatial and droning arrangement of the track does give it an added value for those with more patience and I would be loath to dismiss it after so few hearings.

Jchm-2ngn : Jochem's 2engine (?) makes at least some ground back towards Dx-Snth. A sombre almost ecclesiastical random set of warm notes is punctuated with the most room-filling bass sweeps imaginable, which run alongside the bell-like sounds before plunging down into a cavernous sub-bass. Like the last track on Vol. I this is just the most lush piece of electronica which is almost hypnotic, I found myself just placing myself right between the speakers and just drinking this one in.

I am still uncomfortable with giving this disc some kind of overall rating. I think I was certainly hoping to get more tracks and, certainly, Mrg-Rvx takes up too much time even if you find the sounds themselves intriguing you find yourself aching for something more up tempo or warmer. It is unlikely that Paap/Speedy J fans will think of this disc as anything less than essential but it certainly makes a more disparate follow-up to part one. All that said I would find it hard to resist another volume in the series and this is likely to be something of a grower.

(review by Rowland Atkinson)

Thought I'd submit a quick review of Mr Paap's latest which has been on heavy rotation this morning.

1. Dx-Snth (5.54) : No guessing what the title refers to here. A beautifully simple 3 chord progression played with a heavily reverbed DX-7 pad sound. Gradually minimal melodies are added in the upper registers and the whole piece just keeps gently building and building until a sublime crescendo of sorts is reached and then it just slowly fades back into the original 3 chords. I'll resist the obvious comparisons with SAW II as this easily betters anything on that album. Without a doubt one of the most emotionally charged pieces of music I've ever heard on FAX.

2. Mrg-Rvx (28.05) : Sparse Wintery ambience. A bleak mournful synth figure like something from Autechre's Amber but stripped of beats and slowed to a funeral pace is repeated endlessly. There are minor variations but surely even dedicated minimalists will have to agree that half an hour of this is stretching it a bit thin. Very atmospheric though.

3. Jchm-2ngn (18.15) : Has a sombre texture reminiscent of Eno's On Land. A simple note cluster that constantly evolves in very subtle directions. Slightly unsettling but deeply ambient.

All in all I'm pleased to report that the dream-like almost organic feel of the first disk is replicated here. It took me a long time to get into the original but it has proved to be my most played FAX disk of this year. Volume II is so ambient it makes volume I sound like an Oasis album... just a shame that at 53 minutes it's a little on the short side. Still, better to leave us wanting more and I can't wait to hear where Jochem takes us with volume III...

(review by John Hart)


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