Psychic Space Invasion - "Book of Dreams" (Elvis Coffee Records 2003, ECR 05)
Jebus - "The Ants Are Eating My Head" (Elvis Coffee Records 2004, ECR 09)
From Aural Innovations #30 (February 2005)
Both of these projects involve Ian Holloway, the first being a solo effort, the latter being collaborations with other artists on the Elvis Coffee label.
As Psychic Space Invasion, Holloway creates ambient music that is deep, spacey, complex, and exceedingly dark. He fills his sonic space with mysterious drones, some of them deep and oceanic, others thin and shrill. Through the drones, gurgling electronics, twitching, twittering glitches, space moans, bell-like chimes and distant voices echo and melt. And even though this music can be categorized as ambient, it never completely drifts into the background. Sometimes the sounds are so arresting that it is impossible to divert your attention away from them. One of the weaknesses of ambient music in general is that often a lot of the pieces tend to sound the same, but Holloway manages to infuse each piece on Book of Dreams with its own unique character.
With Jebus, Holloway and his collaborators take it one step further. Ranging in length from 14 to 36 minutes, these are long, exploratory pieces that shift and change through numerous dimensions. Whilst it retains the spacey textures and shivering glitches of what Holloway does in Psychic Space Invasion, added into the mix are occasional minimalist rhythms fading in and out, and often much harsher textures, even parts where the sound shrieks out of the speakers like some kind of demon orgy. This is definitely music for adventurous listeners. A deep, dark journey through both inner and outerspace, The Ants Are Eating My Head hints at the madness its title suggests. But the origins of the madness are left for the listener to explore.
If you're in the mood for some profound ambience to float through that still remains edgy and dark, Book of Dreams is your disc of choice. On the other hand, if exploring the distant fringes of mind and universe is your thing, try out The Ants Are Eating My Head, then just lay back in a dark room with the headphones on and fade to black.
For more info on Psychic Space Invasion, visit: http://www.psychicspaceinvasion.co.uk.
Email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Info on both Jebus and Psychic Space Invasion can be found at the Elvis Coffee Records web site at: http://ecr.homestead.com.
Email at: email@example.com.
Contact via snail mail c/o ECRecords, PO Box 160, Swansea, SA1 6WB, Wales, UK.
Reviewed by Jeff Fitzgerald