Phosphene - "Long Meadow Felt Company"
(Oggum Records, oggum11cd)
From Aural Innovations #22 (January 2003)
The album starts with a soft pinging, like sonar. A high, delicate melody swirls through washes of gurgling space sounds and deep humming drones. The first track, Luminous Spots, reminded me a little of some of the works of the German space explorers like Klaus Schulze, or early Tangerine Dream. I sat back, ready for more of the same cosmic explorations, but Long Meadow Felt Company surprises with a far wider canvas than that.
Phosphene is John Cavanaugh, one half of the Scottish space rock duo Electroscope. His mostly instrumental debut solo effort is painted with an abundance of electronic colors, augmented occasionally by acoustic sounds. From the pastoral, impressionistic melodies of Chouchou (named after Claude Debussyís daughter) to the harsher, ringing drones and clicking glitches of Curve the Turbulence, there is a broad diversity of fascinating sonic textures to hear. One of the albumís real surprises is the brilliantly psychedelic At the End of the Day, with Cavanaughís subtle vocals almost whispering over gently hammering bass notes, echoing, early Dave Gilmour style guitar, droning organ, and space sounds.
Phosphenes are those multi-colored splotches and patterns of lines that appear when you close your eyes tightly. Itís the brain, deprived suddenly of light, trying to make sense of the darkness by creating its own light. And thatís a perfect description of Long Meadow Felt Company.
Visit the Phosphene web site at: http://www.phosphene.debrett.net.
Visit the Oggum Records web site at: http://www.oggum.co.uk.
Reviewed by Jeff Fitzgerald