Music Reviews

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Artist: Bruce Atchison (@)
Title: Shut Up & Talk 2 Me
Format: CD
The Canadian composer Bruce Atchison appears not as the creator, but rather as the delicate conductor of the three worlds - the world common to all mankind, the private inner world, and the no man's cosmic one. With an unexplainable, both alienating and magnetic spiral he screws the mind of a listener into the solid rock of infinity! He showers us with waves, not impulses that are ready to rise from just one half-sigh. The turning of head, the swallowing of saliva, the random playing of wind behind the windowpane, is about to tear the tight thread, meticulously tuned by Bruce's genius, about to break the unstable link between the planes of space, time, sensuous and visual memory. By moving the planes and facets, he builds the multilevel pyramid, matching the clearances with some linking diagonal that sets the trajectory for our purposeful journey.

Let's stretch the mental canvas to its full length, wipe off the dust, deleting all unnecessary details, smoothing out all wrinkles and washing out the spots. Remaining motionless, we find ourselves in the final point which is not identical to the beginning. Our medium does not deceive us with some serene hypnosis, but there's no other natural ways of listening to his music, which is not even so much of music, as it is the interdimensional speech, amplified in the light of microscopic magnification.

The dark, ominous and spiky sonic fragments make up the alluring and harmonic whole and the technicism of womb-like, edgy voice becomes the hook that firmly holds the uneasy, flowing beauty of electronic melodies within the limits of the river-bed. The painting of sound by Bruce Atchison is akin to the geometrical plastic of the art of Ancient Egypt, and its origin seems equally dubious at times - either human hands or extraterrestrial forces. The mystery of the sphinx, the pyramids, and the music of Atchison - even if the scale is different, the origins seem to be the same. The author's use of radio-wave aesthetics doesn't mean his longing for unnecessary complexity and excessive décor; it's the essential part of his universal thinking that covers all elements, distances and moods.

Some compositions are essentially just words submerged in ambient textures. The music has narrative character as well. It's neither the monolog of a bard nor lively hip-hop recital, nor fluffy opera lyricism. It's more like the distant observation, the statement of the endless wayfaring of a man in the most global and existential sense.

The compositions, full of diversity and expression, are hanging on the rope of single tempo. The insinuating sonic fog is ascending in serpentine movements like a snake. The proceedings are laid-back and calming and we find melancholy without sentimentality, modesty of colors without monotony. The landscapes are light and airy. They are almost imperceptible, so that only the well-cut structure reminds us of their presence, without which the sound would turn into formless and inert mass.

The seemingly faceless and cold music hides real strong charge that makes sure the generous message of the composer safely reaches the listener. This message is to embrace the whole world and to newly find your own self as part of it, and to do it in a way yet unthinkable.



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