Ampbuzz - "This Is My Ampbuzz"
(Strange Attractors Audio House 2002, SAAH009)
From Aural Innovations #21 (October 2002)
Solo project from Chris Martin, guitarist from the great Seattle space rock band Kinski (I highly recommend checking out their most recent CD, Be Gentle with the Warm Turtle). Here Chris moves away from rock entirely, heading out into deep space. The majority of sounds seem to be generated by analog synthesizers, and it's very spacey for the most part. What really separates it from much of the current crop of releases that have made it to my doorstep is a definite focus on creating a balance between drone/ambience and intricate structures. It is a definite contrast to the collective mind droning away on a chord which is so popular these days - well, at least it is around my house. In this respect Ampbuzz brings to mind the early wave of composed electronic krautrock, such as Cluster, Harmonia, or even early Tangerine Dream. Favorite tracks are the dark dronescapes that come in the last half of the record - "Diving Instructions" and the awesomely dense and claustrophobic "Welcome to the Ocean Floor". "Underwater Bomb", which finishes the CD is also a standout, a very beautiful piece of ambient bliss-out, with warmer tones and some gently stroked guitar. Another winner from the Kinski camp and from the Strange Attractors Audio House label, which with each new release is cementing it's position as one of the best underground labels around.
For more information you can visit the Strange Attractors Audio House web site at: http://www.strange-attractors.com.
Contact via snail mail c/o Strange Attractors Audio House; PO Box 13007; Portland, OR 97213.
Reviewed by Brian Faulkner