MARK SPYBEY & AMBER, "SFUMATO"
This is the firstinstallment of Hushush Records' "Threesome" subscription seriesfeaturing collaborations between Mark Spybey (Dead Voices On Air,Download), Mick Harris (Scorn) and Ambre (John N Sellekaers, C-drik andOlivier Moreau of Snog, Imminent Starvation, etc).
Ambre and Spybeycollaborated via mail late last year, the latter sending the formertapes which they then used in the 2 week recording sessions. Sfumato isa painting technique of blurring or softening sharp outlines by subtleand gradual blending of one tone into another to create a vague senseof movement. A perfect title for this album. The bulk of the 14 Frenchtitled tracks are composed of deep drones, found sound samples andambient atmospheres. The music is primarily minimal, but not tediouslyso, melodic with gradual introductions and shifting of sounds. A fewtracks add subtle bass programming while a few others are simply brief,bizarre sample collages meant to break up the flow. Spybey's patentedreverb drenched environments are clearly evident on at least half thetracks. Although the album is best listened to start to finish, the 2lengthiest tracks are standouts. "L'horloge de Calcutta" ("The Clock ofCalcutta") is a mesmerizing pulsation that slowly builds up an intensetension for what seems like an eternity but is really only 9 minutes."Le Printemps des Abîmes" ("The Spring of the Abysses") is amasterpiece of deep drone that dissolves into a beautiful melody cloudin the final few of it's 8 and 1/2 minutes, bringing the album to agentle finale. Altogether, "Sfumato" is a very pleasant surprise sinceI had no idea what to expect from Ambre. They did a fantastic job ofusing Spybey's sounds with their own. Next up is Spybey & Harris"Bad Roads, Young Drivers" in July then Ambre & Harris in latesummer. As of May 31st there were 15 of the 100 subscriptions stillavailable, so if you're interested go to hushush.com immediately beforethey're gone ...