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Doombience with 然amp & Stephen Parsick

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Years ago, German EM band 然amp vanguarded a different electronic sound which they labeled 電oombient, being extremely dark ambience. Since then, member Stephen Parsick has expanded that sonic template with a host of moody solo releases, all of which exemplify soundscapes of delightfully ominous disposition.

Here are their new batch of releases...

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然AMP: Kalte Sterne (Doombient 3) (limited edition CD available from Doombient)

This release from 2008 offers 72 minutes of dire electronic ambience recorded live at Bochum Planetarium in Germany, on February 24, 2007.

然amp is: Stephen Parsick and Frank Makowski.

Sparse atmospherics gather into a tense density that excellently approximates the vacuum of outer space. Additional tonalities, somber and seething, evoke the roiling radiation waves that populate the interstellar void.

The electronics are generally textural, fashioning billows of austere sound which cascade across vast expanses of sterile emptiness. These rumbling tones pulsate with severe puissance, colliding and meshing into clouds of grim proportion. Notes are lovingly elongated to excruciating duration, establishing a sense of constancy unperturbed by mortal standards.

Striking oscillations of grating characteristics embellish this dire soundscape, injecting a quantum mien that exceeds prosaic reality. Meanwhile, keyboard washes of lavish mettle instill the tuneage with a divine prestige, softening the impersonal demeanor of cold hard space. As these sustained keyboard chords rise and ebb, a connotation of gradual evolution is implied, revealing the cosmic grandeur inherent in such incredible affairs.

This music burgeons with enigmatic harmonic flows, stimulating the audience痴 consciousness from within and coaxing psychic expansion.

These compositions superbly capture the eons-spanning evolution of the void during post-big-bang conditions, chronicling the accretion of subatomic particles into matter and their ultimate fall to the inescapable influence of entropy.

This CD comes in an embossed metal can instead of a conventional jewel case.

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STEPHEN PARSICK: Cryotainer (Music for Gasometers) (limited edition CD available from Parsick Music)

This CD from 2008 features 64 minutes of pensive electronic ambience recorded live at Oberhausen Gasometer in Germany, on November 10, 2007.

The Oberhausen Gasometer is an abandoned industrial gas tank belonging to a long-gone steel plant. Measuring approximately 120 meters high and roughly 70 meters in diameter, this huge container has a natural reverb ratio of several seconds, making it an awe-inspiring location for an ambient electronic performance...as Parsick discovered while recording this album.

As with the Doombient release, this music is an example of intensely dark ambience. The electronics are severely harmonic, consisting of tonalities that surge with commanding density and recede like the breathing of some enormous mechanical beast. The electronic textures possess a distinct metallic flavor that is guaranteed to haunt your dreams. One passage features notes generated by a lapsteel guitar which retain their vivid resonance amid the horde of synthetic sounds.

Vast sweeps of moody growls are stretched to the point where they lose their guttural disposition and adopt a purely cosmic proportion. Auxiliary tones enter the mix, some generated by Parsick, others spawned by the resonating echoes of already extent noises. He effectively uses the structure as an additional instrument, a gigantic filter that enhances the ethereal quality of the music.

While featuring neither rhythms nor any blithe melodic presence, this atmospheric tuneage is far from a dreary and uneventful experience. The mood it inspires is vibrant and passionate, albeit cold and open to personal interpretation. But that痴 often the point with ambient music: to allow the audience the freedom to attach their own meaning to the wafting tones. Here, though, the music goads the listeners in the direction of a dark abyss, rich with ominous portends and twilight implications.

These compositions exhibit a sighing character as tonal waves expand and intersect to create new sonic patterns of their own devising. Parsick utilizes his synthesizers (and an assortment of processed sound sources, including pedaled tubular chimes, an orchestral bass drum, and a lapsteel guitar with a Tesla device) to craft a wondrously brooding soundscape of eerie and alluring personality.

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STEPHEN PARSICK: Fuzzstars (Music for Planetariums, Volume 2) (limited edition CD available from Parsick Music)

This CD from 2008 offers 72 minutes of cosmic electronic ambience.

This trip to the stars begins with an environmental recording of nocturnal insects. Once this passage has established a launch site, the listeners begin their gradual ascent. Pulsating textures generate a relaxed elevation, transforming cellular structures into ether. Softly ringing tones enter the mix, lending hints of substance to the harmonic buoyancy. Density starts to accrue as the sounds coalesce into a pensive presence, but a sense of pleasant sedation is craftily retained.

A ponderous stretch of bass tonalities approximates the voyage痴 intersection with a region of dark matter. This gentle rumbling delivers the audience into a zone of ethereal chimes immersed in frangible oscillations. Periodic cosmic incidents induce an air of spacey character as the journey reenters the conventional void.

Bells of remote clarity mark the proximity of enormous stellar masses. A majestic mood permeates the flow, a homage to the stellar furnaces that gave birth to all matter. Caught in this gravity well, the music lingers for a while, contemplating the grandeur of slow-churning fission.

A languid intensity invokes a transition into uncharted territory. Fragile punctuations and swellings of puissance season the progression, carrying the listeners through a threshold and depositing them into a realm of astral mystery. Enigmatic effects pierce the temperate flow, heightening a demeanor of magnificent awe.

Deeper tones creep into the mix, communicating the impending propinquity of something magnanimous and extraordinary, a force beyond the ken of mortal comprehension. Distant heavenly chords (with just a trace of choral definition) suggest a divinity lurking in this field of spiritual purity.

Beyond this region of revelation lies a passage of lavish vacuum, in which emptiness is enriched with a sonic fortification that radiates peace and equanimity. This mood magnifies a promise of greater mysteries that lie ahead.

A portal is passed through, delivering the audience to an vast expanse of limitless potential. The tenuous soundscape achieves a euphoric significance. Rising tones chronicle instances of celestial monument, imprinting serene epiphanies on the interstellar travelers. Some of these epiphanies are distinguished by moments of sonic intensity.

All journeys must end, but this one does not loop back to return the audience to its homeworld. Instead, a galactic boundary is reached, implying the limitations of human scope. More exists beyond this point, but those mysteries are left to future exposition.

While being a studio recording (in contrast to the live venue favored by Parsick), a lot of this music owes its existence to improvisation during rehearsals for 2008 planetarium concerts. At other times, Parsick allowed his machinery to do their own thing with loops he created and fed into the gear. And of course, there are passages that display his cerebral interference--or 田omposition, as we mortals call it. The results are satisfyingly cohesive and engaging.

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