CD, Topheth Prophet, 2006
Maurizio Bianchi is a name I have heard many times, considered legendary among noise musicians, he has been recording music since 1979 and has an impressive discography including over 50 releases. Maor Appelbaum is an Israeli who works as a musician/producer and sound engineer who has been involved in numerous releases of his own.
Enviromental Meditations may be a “noise” album for the most part it was a very “relaxing” experience for me (at least most of it). This is also one of those discs you want to devote your full attention to and not merely use as background noise, otherwise you won’t get anywhere near the full extent of it.
“Synapse” starts with noise joined by what sounds to me like a wall of reverb. With what I’m assuming is a much quieter synth played next to the noise which changes it from confrontational to ambient. Towards the end the noise starts to dwindle out and let the ambient bits soak in. When the twelve minute mark hits there is a perfect transition into the next piece.
“Thalamus” is less noisey and the electronics are far more sophisticated sounding. rather than two opposing walls of sound we have organic sounding electronics that transform as they go. The is a noise quality to some of the frequencies in this track, as well as some of the backing noises, it does however have the same “ambience” quality of the previous track, just with a lot more seeming to be going on.
The third track, entitled “Mesencephalon” is the longest piece on the disc (clocking in at nineteen minutes). Harsher noises return once more in a cycle similar to the first track but anything but the noise and reverb that might be there is subtle. One thing I do have to point out is that this track, at least to my ears is extremely repetitious and 19 minutes seems far too long for it to go on. If it were to develop out in different ways it might be alright but I found myself wondering if anything different was ever going to come about.
My personal favorite track would probably “Hypothalamus” the final one. The album’s theme continues with it but there are layers of harsh noise that come and go leaving it a bit unpredictable and I think the textures used in this composition are the most interesting of the disc. Saving the best for last apparently.
In the end we have 6 tracks of what can perhaps be described as “meditative noise”. There is a lot of good here in sound design and layering though some of the pieces seem a bit long and repetitious after awhile. Overall, I think it’s a fairly good effort from both contributors and I would not hesitate to say it is a lot more interesting than most the “noise” polluting CD and CD-R format these past few years…
— Charlie Martineau