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From Within - PW 11 (also AW 005)
Release Date: 12 February 1994
Snake Charmer 13.25
Sad Alliance 12.25
A Million Miles to Earth 29.18
Homeward Bound 12.20
all tracks written by Pete Namlook & Richie Hawtin
The first CD I bought on the World label, and still one of my all-time Fax top 10. Volumes 2 and 3 are great as well, but the original is still the best in my view.
"Snake Charmer" builds wonderfully well, Richie Hawtin's techno influence clearly discernible in what is a very enjoyable track. Somehow it doesn't seem to be as long as it is, always a good sign in my book.
"Sad Alliance" sounds absolutely brilliant on good equipment, a melancholy, soulful number, where the bassline takes centre stage, complented by jittering mechanical rhythms.
"A Million Miles to Earth" is nearly half an hour of synth and piano-based ambience, nothing more, nothing less, and very pleasant it is too. :-)
"Homeward Bound" is a return to beats and things, with perhaps the most raucous tune on the disc to boot. Sometimes I think of this as my favourite track, but then at different times I think of all four of them this way, and to me, that's often the mark of a classic disc...
"Lost" = Coda.
Verdict - 9/10, deserving if its "Fax classic" status.
(review by Martin Jones)
Good Ambient techno, maybe closer to the dance floor than to CDs so far discussed, From Within is more like earlier trance-oriented FAX than more recent offerings. It's tempered with Namlook's distinctive sweeping synths and modulated sounds - I will say, however, it is a more mature offering than some (say Escape or Syn) while remaining upbeat at times and slow in others. Truly, the triumph of this CD over it's contemporaries is a smooth transition between fast and slow styles which makes the CD enjoyable as a whole. An enjoyable CD overall, but typical of offerings on other labels which might not make it a "unique FAX" selection. That said, "A Million Miles to Earth" is one of my favorite tracks anywhere on FAX. rating: 9/10 (dropped one point for a lack of originality)
(review by Michael Lekas)
They certainly put the best tracks on the +8 record. If you're in the US, definitely save your money and go for the domestic record. A Million Miles to Earth builds slowly (with what I think is a 303) and at times washes you over yet manages to still sound intelligent. Then it gently drops you off somewhere spacey for several minutes until it builds back up again. This goes on for close to half an hour! Homeward Bound is thee intelligent dance record for 1994 so far for me. I'm not so fond of the sample but at least it's not that frequent - perhaps because it's probably German which I can't understand - but it's that woman's voice I've heard so many times on FAX records. This has got a nice shuffley beat, and every time it breaks, it'll come back stronger with more and different sound additions. The production sounds great. The extra tracks on the CD: Lost sounds A LOT like something off Aphex Twin's Selected Ambient Works II; very minimal & dark. Snake Charmer is a pretty good IDM tune - again that shuffley ambient feel to it while Sad Alliance is an OK ambient track.
I was kind of worried about this CD. I was never really crazy about Pete Namlook on his own. His style is rather minimal and spacey. I like simplicity but I also like variety. With Ritchie Hawtin, I dig his tranced out dance music. However, if you listen to some of the ambient tracks on the FUSE album, they just don't seem that interesting to me, especially "theychx" which goes on for over 13 minutes. On the Plastikman album, only a couple of the songs that lean towards the ambient side seem like filler material to me. The good thing though is that my roommate took the risk of buying it and it turns out to be much better than I expected. I think this was a really good collaboration for the two of them. It seems like it brought out the best of both. I hope they work together again.
(review by Will-E)
From Within Our Minds... To Yours. The long-awaited collaboration between the ambient hero Pete Namlook, who churns out a new album in a time it takes from us mere mortals to make ourselves a cup of tea, and the wunderkind Richie Hawtin, the unofficial crown prince of acid and specialist of sparse minimalist rhythms. A combination like this will undoubtedly make every obsessive's mouth to water, and may even spark interest in those who think both of these artists are hugely overrated among the IDM/ambient circles... Windsor, Ontario via a quantum leap to Cologne, Germany. And you guessed it: Namlook droning with the sparse Hawtin drums in the background, but all in all very tasty with it its out-of-body-experience anaesthetic chemical landscapes not unfamiliar to any FAX loyalist. Hypnotic, melancholic, a little sad - the rhythmic Detroit techno roots are apparent, although somewhat subdued (Snake Charmer). Simple pulsing bassline throbbing among the almost invisible hi-hats slowly accelerating with the lonely synth droning making electronic waves (Sad Alliance). Tiny Satie piano licks dropping like water from the melting ice turning to a brooklet turning to a stream turning to a flood in the most classic minimalist sense. (A stupid notion occurred to me: maybe the original Chicago acid might have sounded something like this if those early DJ's and party people had dropped ketamine instead of LSD, but let's not be that silly...) I heard Pete Namlook called this song one of his best? (A Million Miles To Earth). A woman tells us to take out our identification in German or something like that, that clattering Hawtin snare/hi-hat and Floyd TangDream synths singing in unison (credits thank Ludwig Rehberg of the legendary EMS synth fame, who supplied the gear) - silent dramatic wham bam thank you ma'am i'm in Ekstasis bursting song of Joy (Homeward Bound). Dissonant electronic wind outro, your captains thank you for the pleasant trip, please come again (Lost).
(review by Erkki)