Landing - "Oceanless"
(Strange Attractors Audio House 2001, saah003)
From Aural Innovations #17 (September 2001)
Landing is a very strange atmospheric quartet from Connecticut who explore the domains of mellow spaced out Guitar & Bass Scapes, enhanced with the textures and patterns of layered Synthesizers. They are Aaron Snow: Guitar, Synthesiser, Drums, and Vocals, Dick Baldwin: Bass Guitar, Daron Gardner: Drums, and Adrienne C. Snow: Synthesiser, Vocals. Together they delve into long mellow structured drones that produce excellent ambience especially when wearing headphones. The sounds that Landing creates here on this album to me sometimes paint pictures of a lonely desolate time, a one with elements of sadness entombed within. Oceanless is their second album and it is over an hour long and is full to the brim with spacey/trippy pieces that will prepare you for the Landing.
'How Do You Feel?' starts with some nice Synth modulation but soon progresses into a delayed Bass vibe that takes over and offers a direction of mystery to this 9.05-minute piece. Gradually the Bass becomes accompanied by a lonely almost ritualized Drumbeat that calls the time. It comes and goes building a sense of apparent doom. In ways the whole thing has an Amon Düül 2 sort of madness to it, and the effected voice that casts faint utterings has a 'Careful with that Axe Eugene' feel. Overall it produces a very haunting Intro piece which blends faultlessly into the next track 'Harmonies'. This track starts mellow & Synthy with a Delayed Guitar that takes the initiative for the rest of the band to enter with a very laid back groove that could be likened to Tortoise. 'Harmonies' is an interesting 3.53-minute journey through the gaps of the void. It has a similar feel to 'Rial Veed Fiir' and both have a very emotion filled sound to them.
'Are You Gone to Vast Arc Hues' and 'Structure vs. Chaos' are both 21 minutes plus pieces so you can guess the magnitude of the Synth work. They both have very weird auras to them and they plod along relentlessly, offering no hiding place from the assault of atmospheric sounds. Landing creates mellow haunting atmospheres ideal for sitting back and relaxing with a Jazz Woodbine if you know what I mean.
Although I thought that this was a cracking CD I did feel that parts of the pieces lacked and could have moved forward instead of standing still. I felt that you did get a good gist of what this band are about and to me they are very good at creating vibes that flow with a great mellow atmosphere. But I also thought that it should have offered more in the way of difference, more in the way of movements of tempo. It was all one paced, which does get a bit tiring when it is over long periods of time, especially without change. The album is a very relaxing mood enhancement album. Get hold of this CD if you're into well produced Synthy/Spacey sounds that have to be listened to with headphones to really appreciate the work that has went into them. Oceanless by Landing is one of these albums and is most definitely worth a listen.
For more information you can visit the Strange Attractors Audio House web site at: http://www.strange-attractors.com.
Visit Landing at their web site at: http://www.landingsite.net.
Contact via snail mail c/o Strange Attractors Audio House; PO Box 2827; Olympia, WA 98507.
Reviewed by Albert Pollard