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(61 min, 'Faith Strange')
TRACK LIST: 1. Clouds of Granite in a Clearing Sky 38:14 2. The Whole Electric City in Front of Us 2:08 3. Slick-o-phonic 10:24 4. The Sound You Make When You Reach for Tomorrow 3:40 5. Sundiving 6:40 LINEUP: Mike Fazio - guitars; synthesizers Thomas Hamlin - ethnic & electronic percussion
Prolusion. "Sundiving" is a debut outing by Mike Fazio and Thomas Hamlin as GODS OF ELECTRICITY, though in a general sense, both the musicians were active over the past 20 years. Mike Fazio's principal project is Orchestramaxfieldparrish, while Hamlin is a member of Black 47.
Analysis. It would be pointless to introduce such terms as chord structure, melody and tonality to the review while analyzing "Sundiving". All of them are useless here. The musicians' imagination is quite poor; the drum programming is primitive throughout the album, while the duration of some tracks is just enormously prolonged. Clouds of Granite in a Clearing Sky runs 38+ minutes! It is divided into three parts. The emotional atmosphere of the suite's beginning is calm; the palette of sounds isn't lavish but is more or less diverse. Then, as it progresses, anxiety and tension increase, becoming ever stronger, while the timbre colorations acquire an exceptional monotony. The uninteresting rhythmic line disappears periodically to continue later as boring claps. The piano-like passages destroy this monolith somewhere at the sixteenth minute, but they are negligible, soon giving way to another portion of chaotic noises. The second part of the composition consists literally of a single note that sounds in a lower register and has adorned by some additional ones with different timbres. Describing the final episode, I'd like only to note the absence of parts imitating the rhythm section and that the rest of it is just analogous to that of the previous piece. The Whole Electric City in Front of Us is a theme without a theme. The only virtue of this track is its diminished duration. Slick-o-phonic is musically the most saturated piece on the album, featuring some fragments that comprise a weak flavor of Ravel's "Bolero". Periodically, the composition reminds me of Peter Gabriel's soundtrack-album "Birdy" (1985). The essential bass part appears to be notable for the first time and once in the entire program. The Sound You Make When You Reach for Tomorrow and the title track are performed in the trend of the first track. The only difference between it and Sundiving lies in its less emotional, meditative-like atmosphere. The final part of the disc incorporates the set of chaotic sounds with an introduction of electronically rendered noises as an accompaniment.
Conclusion. It's difficult to listen to this album without interruptions, a very strong sedative effect coming quickly. Maybe for someone this program will seem to be an obvious achievement, which could help in getting some relaxation, as it is truly an audio sedative. In this case "Sundiving" might be in a certain demand. But true progressive lovers will hardly be satisfied with this release.
VF: February 7, 2006
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