Area C - "Traffics + Discoveries"
(Last Visible Dog 2005, LVD 098)

From Aural Innovations #34 (August 2006)

Area C is E. Carlson with help from several collaborators, and Traffics + Discoveries is an ambient cocktail intended to slowly anesthetize the listener's central nervous system. Though no new ground is broken, Traffics + Discoveries is both well-conceived and deftly programmed. "Daymarks" and "Sheering out a Line" feature abrasive and disturbing electronics (ala early Kluster) that provide a bedrock for chiming guitars and hypnotic bass, while "In Channels" and "Dark Radio/Light Waves" seem more overtly Eno-esque: bleeping synths and Farfisa organ create wholly static sound environments for sleepwalkers and terminal narcoleptics. In fact, most of the pieces on Traffics + Discoveries are experiments in deep listening (in some ways similar to Future Sound of London's Life Forms and Robert Rich's brilliant A Troubled Resting Place) and provide the perfect accompaniment for evenings spent hallucinating in your isolation tank. Thus "Jinking & Tunneling" continues Carlson's fascination with the psychoacoustics of pure sound construction. Here, crescendos of icy electronic pads drift over a steady-state sequence of organ and synth. "Surface Volumes" stays the course, its gradually accumulating shards of sound coalescing into a citadel of oddly shifting harmonics that traverse wide spaces of non-equal tempered scales. Traffics + Discoveries is aptly titled: its 10 compositions all move - if somewhat languidly - toward the assignation of sound and space to create fleeting structures of time captured in geometrical form.

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Reviewed by Charles Van de Kree

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