CD, Cold Graey, 2007
The tracklisting on Algol’s “Deep thoughts about universe” reads like something approaching the catalogue of a surrealist art collection (exemplified by “Aware of universe’s inevitable collapse” and “The conversation of space to time”) but the lofty pretensions to high art end there, thankfully.
That’s not to say that there isn’t an element of the artistic about this selection of ambient electronica: indeed, it seems perfectly suited to studio mood music – unobtrusive and conducive to the creative impulse. It’s quite sad that this impulse didn’t seem to carry through to the physical creation of the music on the recording, though – where the title suggests epic, sweeping grandeur, soundscapes that carry one to unexplored vistas of the imagination, what you get instead is fairly run-of-the-mill, pedestrian background noise that leaves very little, if any, lasting impression. Although “Deep Thoughts About Universe” may be considered successful from a commercial viewpoint – it’s unlikely to offend, making it extremely accessible to a large audience, kind of like movie soundtrack composition – I find it falls a bit short of the mark in terms of originality.
Compared with other artists on the Cold Graey label, Algol have quite a tough act to follow: “Deep thoughts about universe” may be considered more traditionally musical than Indu Mezu or Stpocold’s recent releases, but it’s a far safer, less experimental outcome that results because of this simple, classical instrumentation. I think there’s great talent here, just the approach is too tentative and nervous, so a looser, more evocative sophomore album may well be on the cards.
— David vander Merwe