Exit Terra - s/t
(Riverside Records 2002)
From Aural Innovations #22 (January 2003)
Hello. This is a swell and swelling debut from a trio of music veterans who have moved on from punk and into something a lot slower and more atmospheric - "two grandfathers and a capitalist". Actually, refering to this music as "ambient" is not too far off the mark as long as one keeps in mind that ambient domains can be a lot more dynamic and less static than the yawn-fests often stirred in people by this oft-used genre name.
The album begins with the beautiful "Return to Planet Slatus", an eleven-minute space excursion at first anchored by a slow foot-tapping electro-beat with Spacious Mind wailing guitars hovering over the top. Five minutes later the synthesizers are set on an intense machine-gun phaser attack while the guitar notes are sustained high above. This gradually melts into a smooth come-down jam with heavenly bass while distant-siren guitars and keys mimick each other. I detected no imperfections in this improvisation. The other jaw-dropper here is the 20-minute "Next Phase"... well, the build-up is on the lengthy side, but the tension is thoroughly released. You know something is happening when a gang of scampering weedling guitar weasels attack an already-established slow brooding beat. The mind is then shattered by metal-Hendrix lead-guitar and a clash of titanic 'tronics swelling against and blending with each other. A slow pure rush. Our minds are shattered. "Zero Hour (inspired at the end)" is another good bit, a slow full-band jam with guitars, bass, keys and thoughtful beats that are apparently programmed but just sound like a guy doing his own thing. There are guitars that trickle-plink into some dub horizon, flocks of ascendent keys.
The remaining pieces are mainly more song-based, "Morigi" being the best - guitar and synthesized vibes played against a casual beat, some great freakish vocals, some lovely guitar nostalgia fades it out. "Resistant and Rebellion" is not a violent piece, but has good wooshing-wind and treated guitar amidst a sky of spacey pin-drop sounds. These tunes also have some noticable tape-hiss, though this does not compromise the sound. Look out.
For more information you can visit: http://www.exploresound.com.
Contact via snail mail c/o Rob Dauphinais; 25 Riverside Rd; Simsbury, CT 06070.
Reviewed by Chuck Rosenberg