Music Reviews

Artist: Voice of Eye (@)
Title: The Portland Improvisations
Format: CD
Label: Conundrum
Rated: *****
In the last batch I received from ChainDLK, I reviewed Voice of Eye's collaboration with Nux Vomica. Seems like Voice of Eye has been busy, because here is another disc for your listening pleasure. According to their website, this recording took place in August of 2009 when Soriah invited Voice of Eye to play for his Atlan CD release party in Portland, Oregon. 'Scouring Soriah's house for instruments, they commandeered some unfamiliar and handmade devices to play with. The result is The Portland Improvisations, where Voice of Eye are at their most raw and unadorned.' There are three improvisations, although in practice, there are only two, since 'Improvisation II: Valles Marineris' is only 19 seconds long and seamlessly blends in to the third track. In short, this is over 42 minutes of improvisation that create a wonderful atmosphere. Most bands wish they could create something this complex after hours in the studio. According to the case, 'all sounds herein are acoustic in origin.' Of course that does not mean that they stay that way. Everything seems processed, giving the listener the effect of listening to everything in a cavern full of echoes and reverb. Chimes, strings, ethnic percussion, and who knows what are mixed together to create a cohesive, dreamlike whole. The bonus track, 'The End of All Things,' is a studio recording about the loss of a hard drive. Stylistically it is a bit different from the other tracks, with a bit harsher edge. If the preceding tracks can be thought of as the dream, then this is the nightmare, with its ominous sawtooth waves and dissonance. Not bad, but I really preferred the improvisations. This disc is limited to 500 copies, so you will want to pick this up before it is gone. This disc weighs in at around 55 minutes.

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