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Various Artists — A Sombient Collection: The Throne of Drones
(Asphodel ASP 0952, 1995, CD)

Various Artists — A Sombient Continuum: A Swarm of Drones
(Asphodel ASP 0953, 1995, 2CD)

by Mike McLatchey, Published 1996-08-01

A Sombient Collection: The Throne of Drones Cover artA Sombient Continuum: A Swarm of Drones Cover art

Asphodel's sombient collections are amongst the finest in the field today. Compiling both distinguished synthesists and relative unknowns, it's a surprise how coherent and homogeneous the final products are. Those familiar with the genre will find on each album a total of at least 30 minutes of ambient music by Steve Roach, Robert Rich, Jeff Greinke, and Vidna Obmana; all amongst the cream of the crop for this type of music. What's even more surprising is the rest of the music, 13 tracks on Throne and 30 on the two CDs of Swarm is of equal quality. On Throne there's Maryanne Amacher's intensely cybertropic "Sound Characters" and Xopher Davidson's bizarre metallic "Pool of Mercury," amongst a diverse variety of synthetic impressions. On Swarm a mammoth two CDs of countinuing elemental ambiance music, a host of musicians I am less than familiar with grace the flow. Besides Robert Fripp's "2000 II" who shows he's more than adept with ambience, there's a number of great pieces by Rhythm & Noise, Insect Funeral, Iso Ambient Orchestra, and many others. The results here are quite diverse ranging from slow ambience to industrial droning to Parmegiani like experimentation and beyond. The tonal variety of these CDs is virtually astonishing, especially in headphones making them quite indispensable for the sonic explorer. Both are highly recommended and act as ideal introductions to a severely underrated genre of music.


Filed under: New releases, Archives, Issue 10, 1995 releases

Related artist(s): Robert Rich, Steve Roach, Dirk Serries / Vidna Obmana / Fear Falls Burning, Jeff Greinke, Various Artists

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