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 Pete Namlook & Gaudi - Re:sonate - PW 49
  Release Date: 26 January 2006
  Limitation: 1000

   The 7th Spirit          17.50
   NAFK                    23.06
   The Sun Won't Set       15.59
  all tracks written by Pete Namlook and Gaudi

Re:sonate is a weird release, somewhat of a cross between Air and some of Spyra's releases. The track "The 7th Spirit" is the best one on the CD; funny that the title reference the movie "Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within" and there are some voice samples from the movie in the track, I think that Namlook has a thing for that movie (Syn II: Toulin-Spirit of the Earth).

(review by Maximilien Lincourt)

I just got re:sonate, and I have to admit it's not what I expected. I'm not familiar with Gaudi's work, so I was expecting something along the lines of traditional Fax dub outings a la Laswell. I'm still trying to figure out what has me liking this disc so much, because it's not my usual cup of tea (which is often darker and more complex/intense ambient releases).

The first track "The 7th Spirit", though not entirely unformulaic in composition, does, as Max mentioned, have an Air-like quality to it, which when mixed with dub is a really refreshing combination. Namlook noodling that I can finally get down with + echoing synth lines in the background + crisp percussion + thick and heavy bass + some nice samples & fx = a really solid chillout. I won't go as far as saying it's my favourite on the album, as I find it a fairly straightforward a-to-b track - that is, without much variation over a long stretch, but still a really nice dubby trip.

"NAFK" on the other hand is where I find this album really hitting it's stride. Opening with airy synths and echoes of vague percussion rolling through in the background, words in German, first from a woman, than a man, pitched down and sprayed out into wide space, this track is the odd recollection of a waking dream realized at sunrise overlooking a great expanse of desert, or perhaps what it would be like to be dreaming while you are in hibernation during space travel. Some of the best elements of Namlook's spacey synths, mixed with the ambience to be found at the beginning and through some parts of Silence IV. The percussion drifts closer, coming in and out of focus to the ears (ie. lots o' filtering and depth/panning movement), giving legs to the track, as it starts it's journey across the desert to an oasis of calm meditation. The sound of birds echoing, and a synth with a flute-like quality extend further into your inner space as small drops of electronic rain begin to spatter the dirt around you. And you're only halfway through the track! Some might compare this to aspects of Gate/Sol I think, but even as someone who liked that release, I think this has a lot more depth. As the track winds down, we get more German voice samples (though they have been popping up every once and a while anyhow), the beats begin very slowly to retreat towards the horizon. A great wind rushes up, and more birds, and then they too subside to syth. The final word goes to the German speaker as we move directly into the third & final track.

"The Sun Won't Set" starts off with the percussion building up - but wait - it's all reversed - has the dream gone wrong? No, it's just a precursor to a raft of shuffling upfront beats, with a round bass bottom accompanying it. A piano comes in and noodles about, alongside some airy and wandering synths, acting both as pads and noodling melody lines. The track evolves a little here and there, most notably as a result of a few clever variations in percussion. Other than that, the piano, synths and the odd effect take turns telling the story, and the track goes on, and on, and on - possibly even beyond the length it needed to - perhaps what Namlook meant by the sun not setting. ;)

I think I've now answered my question about why I like this release so much. The percussive elements, in variety and depth are excellent, and the combination of sounds, both familiar and distantly haunting, make this release one of the new greats in my mind. If I had to sum it up, I would have to say the most important aspect of this is that it takes some of the best aspects of classic Fax sounds, and marries them with some new concepts, sounds and emotions. I know I haven't had a lot of good things to say about many of the recent Fax releases (c'mon now, Koolfang III was at least somewhat justified!), but this, along with Wagons-Lits renews my faith in the Fax camp to the degree where I'm really looking foward to Let the Circle Not Be Broken.

(review by Christian von Ompteda)


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