Not too long ago we reviewed “Music For The Patient” by a light beacon. If you haven't heard it I would suggest taking a listen before delving into his sophomore release “Music For A Sophomore Phase”. Its interesting to hear his progress, mutations and evolution after more than 10 years since his first release. After listening to both albums I have to say that the latter record improves upon his strengths and make for a more compelling as well as satisfying listen.
The record feels refined and compact. This is due to his sequencing as well as some solid contributions from other artists. He does a good job at creating experimental soundscapes that aren't simply being experimental because its cool but creating sounds that are interesting if not captivating to listen too .
The album opens with “Ten Years Later” which if I had too guess is in reference to the last time he released an album. This song sent a chill down my spine as the tones feels distant and eerie as a complimentary organic drum set lays down some jazzy cymbal work. Abrasive synth parts cut through each other shredding the soundscape. They are front and center in the mix as the drums lay distant in the background. The songs ends as a pulsating vortex of energy sways back forth.
The second song “Sinking Back” gives off a slow, dark vibe and gorgeous vocal performance by Elizabeth Smith. Sounds manifest and form pads that loom over the horizon as the song progresses. The sounds mutates slowly as if you were looking at a cloud change its shape in the sky. The longest track and also one of the highlights is called “The Mastering”. It starts with an almost divine sounding ambience that could be awe inspiring and used for a television show like “Cosmos”. What's interesting is that as it progress it slowly segues in a dark ambience that eventually gives way the fat lead bass, drums and an almost industrial type feel that Trent Reznor might be jealous of.
“Sounds about Right” is a concoction of binary synapses and feel as if you are listening to brain chemistry but nothing is certain here. The song changes a number of times as soon as you think you have it figured out. “A Hotel Lobby Woman” may not be the best track on the album but might be the most original. The way the vocals are implemented are intriguing as they almost feel disconnected from the music. Something you just have to hear. The album closes with the serene “ Do you remember that day”. The ethereal pads become encompassed by white noise before the album ends.
Overall, this is a great album that never feels stale and explores different ideas on each track. I have to say I don’t want to wait another 10 years for his next release
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