Exposé Online banner

Richard Bone — Ambiento
(Quirk 1, 1994, CD)

Richard Bone — X Considers Y
(Quirk 05, 1993, CD)

Richard Bone — Vox Orbita
(Quirk 06, 1995, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 1995-11-01

Ambiento Cover artX Considers Y Cover artVox Orbita Cover art

Although Richard Bone may be best known for his forays into the alternative techno-pop realms in the mid 80s, his work of late, while still being very electronic based and often poppy, has been far more experimental and explorative. These three represent the latest batch from his Quirkworks Laboratory label. With Ambiento, Bone presents eight pieces mostly in the four-to-seven minute range of – as the title would imply – an ambient nature. Free-flowing sound sculptures and repetitive electronic drones combine with odd rhythmic textures, frequently understated melodies, sampled and heavily treated voices, and other types of electronic creativity. Into it all, Bone injects a mild industrial edge that makes the entire project fairly satisfying on many different levels. Quite a bit of territory is covered herewithin, from those tracks that might recall mid-70s Eno to those with more rhythmic punch, recalling the second side of Kit Watkins' Frames of Mind.

X Considers Y is completely different, in fact if anything it's an album of purely electronic pop, catchy tunes with vocals, the music portion created entirely with programmed synths and drum machines. One might be reminded of late-seventies Kraftwerk or Gary Numan, or some of the early-80s techno-pop that was inspired by that scene. There are plenty of interesting tunes here, from the spooky, almost chilling "Where Dorian Plays" to the catchy and danceable "If Love Is Electric" to the mysteriously unlisted bonus track that wraps the album up nicely.

Vox Orbita is Bone's latest project, and is again an album of bizarre programmed electronic pop, seemingly devoid of any traditional musical instruments. Unlike X Considers Y, however, this one is infinitely stranger, and features three vocalists (usually heavily treated or sampled) in various combinations, delivering barely recognizable lyrics, repetitive sampled words, and so on. The sound is thin, skeletal, stark and cold – very alien and disturbing at times. In terms of accessibility, or lack thereof, this goes way out there beyond XCY. Probably the most interesting of the three, but Ambiento is probably a better place to get on board.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 8, 1994 releases, 1993 releases, 1995 releases

Related artist(s): Richard Bone

Latest news

2019-03-03
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more

2019-02-21
You Can Be Part of an Ambient Electronic Project – The Gesture of History is a new electronic project put together by Sam Rosenthal of Black Tape for a Blue Girl, Steve Roach, and violist Sam Shadow. The music started as an instrumental track Rosenthal was working on for a Black Tape album, but took on a life of its own and demanded further enhancements. The majority of the funds raised will go to manufacturing costs for LP and CD editions, as well as other items as detailed on the Kickstarter page. » Read more

2019-01-31
Keyboardist Ingo Bischof R.I.P. – Keyboard player Ingo Bischof, best known as the longtime keyboard player of German band Kraan, passed away on January 29th, 2019. Bischof was born January 2, 1951 in Berlin-Kreuzberg and joined Kraan in 1975. » Read more

2019-01-11
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more

2019-01-02
Chicago-Based Surabhi Ensemble Tours the World in January – Surabhi Ensemble was formed more than a decade ago in Chicago with the aim of bringing together musicians from varying traditions to make music. Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays veena, assembled a cast that includes Arabic oud, Spanish guitar, and percussion from Africa and India. This month, the group will be sharing their sounds with concert-goers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

The Yellow Balloon - The Yellow Balloon – The Yellow Balloon is basically the story of one producer & songwriter Gary Zekley who, disappointed with the results after having Jan and Dean record one of his songs, decided to record it again...  (2005) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues