Tone Science sub-label, from DiN records, continues to explore the world of modular synth music.
Following the success and critical acclaim of the first six Tone Science compilation albums,
DiN label boss Ian Boddy has collated another nine tracks from musicians of varying backgrounds working in the realms of modular synthesis.
One of the things that is so delightful about artists working with modular synthesisers is the sheer variety of styles on show. These instruments more than any other can be personalised for each musician who can then express themselves within their own sonic world.
This volume starts with a pair of beautiful, texturally detailed sequenced tracks “Abalone Vortex”
by Andrea Cichecki and “Tempestarius” by Chris Meyer which form a natural pairing that create a melodic, calm opening.
“Dim Rill” by Rodent enters a more mysterious zone with mesmerising bell like tones that bounce around in the stereo field before yielding to the rising harmonic motif of “Flutter” from Dark Sparkler that promises resolution but ultimately falls back into mystery.
The mid-point of this volume sees Blakmoth take the music sonically into a very deep, dark place with a huge slab of dread that is “Of Ash And Sorrow”. Counterbalancing the first four tracks it sets up the audio space for the remainder of the album.
The next three pieces see a more heavily sequenced space emerge with definite echoes of the Berlin School ethos that was instrumental in inspiring so many modular synth artists. No more so than on “Pareidolia” by Brendan Pollard with its groaning, spring reverb clatter in its opening that gradually coalesces into a throbbing analogue bass line. “Hecataea” by Andrew Ostler and
“A Hopeless Momentum” by James Cigler complete this trio of sequenced tracks with varying layers of complexity and harmonic exploration.
The album floats away into space as it closes with the track “Near Earth” by Jon Palmer. Inspired by the weird and wonderful abstract sounds on the long wave radio band this impressionistic soundscape fades to an eerie signal mournfully calling in the void.
“Tone Science Module No.7 Cause and Effect” continues the journey down the rabbit hole of possibilities and sound worlds inhabited by artists and musicians working in this ever fascinating and varied musical field.
released April 21, 2023
Andrea Cichecki - Abalone Vortex - 7:39
The Abalone gemstone is said to be healing, have soothing powers and to relieve anxiety or stress. It promotes compassion, love and can help in emotional times.
2) Chris Meyer - Tempestarius - 7:30
The Tempestarii were magicians who could summon storms at will. This track gave me the opportunity to blend my Berlin School roots with my current Tribal Ambient pursuits.
3) Rodent - Dim Rill - 5:15
In the woods of the Pisgah, moving in and upstream, only the last lights of the day are with me. My wet steps drown out the thoughts of home.
4) Dark Sparkler - Flutter - 6:45
This is a stormy shipwreck of a patch, with siren calls and turbulent water. It eventually gets washed ashore.
5) Blakmoth - Of Ash And Sorrow - 6:30
A strain about pain, a constant like darkness that consumes everything. Hope is a flame pushing back at the darkness. It burns until only soot remains.
6) Brendan Pollard - Pareidolia - 8:23
A Berlin School inspired study in perception of cyclical variation utilising a large 5U modular system and sequencer units.
7) Andrew Ostler - Hecataea - 7:23
Three aspects of modular - drones, sequences, and audio processing - all wrapped around a bespoke tuning (7/6, 6/5, 4/3, 3/2, 9/5, 20/11, 2/1).
8) James Cigler - A Hopeless Momentum - 8:30
A relentless chain of days, always evolving, yet, always feeling the same. A treadmill instead of untrodden land. But look back. We have traveled a long way.
9) Jon Palmer - Near Earth - 6:40
Until recently, the bottom end of the longwave radio band was full of beacons and other signals producing a weird, slightly melancholy soundscape. The unspoken voices of the Earth.