Oftentimes, the Press Release that arrives accompanying a new release can contain enough hyperbole and overwrought allusion as to make a reviewer want to gouge out her/ his eyes with a hot spoon. Then there are times when one arrives with exactly the right summary. Accompanying this beguiling collection of soundscapes comes this description of the CD as…
“… a compelling exploration of unseen biospheres and hidden lifeforms. Inspired by astrobiology, quantum theory, eastern travels, William Blake, Alan Watts, improbability, the interplay of science and art, the multiverse and ‘a world in a grain of sand’, Shadow Biosphere’s atmospheric conceptual soundscapes connect the eerie whirl of planetary forcefields in the solar system’s outer reaches with dark deep terrestrial worlds and the lifeforms that inhabit earth’s uninhabitable places”.
Yep, that really does quite accurately sum up the “otherness” of this collection. This is a trip that starts on earth then takes us away to distant stars. They start their musical journey on this doomed Eden that we inhabit with the title track then “Desert Varnish” and “Bylakupee”. These latter two pieces immerse themselves respectively in the Serengeti and the community of Tibetan exiles and musical ritual in Southern India. Heady stuff.
Then the view shifts away to other worlds. Whilst a fair few ambient releases stay true to their genre, ploughing a relentlessly bleak furrow, this is music as microbiology. There’s no sense of Shadow Biosphere looking outwards to the Kosmische as an unknowable, cold environment. They are drawn to the emerging lifeforms of distant planets (“Interstellar Endoliths” / “Second Genesis”). If ever a newly terraformed environment needed soundtracking than this CD should do the trick. Nothing threatens or intrudes upon the meditative pace of tracks such as “Magnetospheric” or “Mycelium Dreaming” and one is pulled in to the listening experience as if watching a biology lesson on another world. It has to be absorbed in one sitting and preferably with some bloody good headphones.
I’ve been asked by the band that if anyone’s interested in buying this release that they contact them through their Facebook page as they can ship cheaper than US sites. Please do. I can only recommend this release wholeheartedly.
Shadow Biosphere firstname.lastname@example.org | facebook.com/ShadowBiosphere
Nine Gates Records ninegatesrecords.com/contact | facebook.com/NineGatesLabel