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the resonance association - failure of the grand design (cd)
'Failure Of The Grand Design' is The Resonance Association's debut album for Burning Shed.
Consisting of nine dark and ambitious instrumentals (described by the band as being an 'ambient-techno-goth-prog crossover') and clocking in at just under 55 minutes, the album was recorded and produced during the first half of 2007 at the band's studio in South London.
From the deep ambience of 'Magnetophon' and 'The Darkening Storm' to the electronic glitchtronica of 'God Is In Tiny Boxes' and the melodic guitar battering of 'I Have Seen The Future, And I Am Not In It', echoes of Porcupine Tree, Coil, Kraftwerk, Pink Floyd, King Crimson, Sunn O))) and Neu! grace The Resonance Association's powerful mixture of electronic atmospherics, soaring guitar solos and fractured motorik rhythms.
1. The Darkening Storm (4:49)
2. Left Hemisphere (9:41)
3. God Is In Tiny Boxes (9:12)
4. Magnetophon (2:23)
5. I Have Seen The Future, And I Am Not In It (9:57)
6. Right Hemisphere (3:12)
7. Three Hundred And Sixty Degree View (5:01)
8. Electrolyte (5:04)
9. Disintegration Of The Grand Design (4:36)
All tracks written and performed by The Resonance Association:
Daniel Vincent: acoustic, electric and bass guitars, synthesisers, piano, programming, sound manipulation
Dominic Hemy: electric and bass guitars, theremin, synthesisers, field recordings
Recorded January - August 2007
Produced and mixed by Daniel Vincent and Dominic Hemy
Mastered August 2007 by Christopher Hemy
Available at a special price and presented in a gatefold sleeve designed by Carl Glover and Lisa Vincent.
Daniel Vincent (who I know well from Karma Pilot and Onion Jack) joins forces with Dominic Hemy in a venture called The Resonance Association. They have already produced about 6 free EPs (most are the length of an album). Their first official release is a 55 minute album called Failure Of The Grand Design. This is an instrumental album, with distorted guitars, drum machines, synthsisers, and any other object that can squeak or squelch.
I seem to have narrowed my musical taste over the years and devoted myself to the guitars and voice type of band. Back in the 70ís and 80ís I liked a lot of instrumental music such as Stockhausen, Xenakis, Berio, Faust, and This Heat. Over time I think instrumental music lost its ability to draw out an emotional response from me - unlike the song which has the luxury of lyrics. But now I have found an album without words that speaks to me. It is darkly atmospheric and moves between sparse electronics to driving guitars. But this is no traditional Post Rock build to crescendo - instead it is a development of earlier Psychedelia and Krautrock.
In the introductory stasis of The Darkening Storm, you understand you are in for a nerve-wrenching next 50 minutes. On Left Hemisphere The Resonance Association introduce the guitars and begin to ramp up the noise. I canít believe this is a nine minute track because there is not a note or sound wasted. On it goes, dragging you down into into its own paranoia and throwing you out into moments like Electrolyte that are like injections of Adrenalin. The final resolution proclaims the Disintegration Of The Grand Design but this is no failure - it is as perfect an exposition of music to evoke your imagination as you could ever hope to hear.
The music is both unsettling and inspiring in turn. One thing Iíve found is that it should be played late at night as the final album to finish off the day. Quite honestly there is nothing that can follow it, even if it threatens to produce a night of twisted dreams. This is the best and most intense album released in 2007.
Winter. Cold this time of year. Apparently The Resonance Association passed on the hot cocoa when they recorded their icy debut full length release on Burning Shed, Failure Of The Grand Design.
The CD comes after five download EPs from the Resonance Association, comprised of Daniel Vincent (Karma Pilot, Onion Jack) and Dominic Hemy (The 3rd Fire). Vincent plays acoustic, electric and bass guitars; synthesizers, programming, piano, and sound manipulation. Hemy plays electric and bass guitars, theremin, synthesizers, and field recordings.
The duo plays dark, cold instrumental music veering between several various genres including, but not limited to, noise core, metal, Kraut rock, house, and industrial. The track Left Hemisphere features Vincentís frigid, windswept electronics including his ticking metronome sound reminiscent of Time by Pink Floyd. Painfully wailing guitars freeze into an industrial sound design that recalls some of the grooves heard in Goth clubs in the cold industrial late Eighties. An acid house beat propels the song into modern times, before it trails into a subzero ambience, delicately as the last autumn leaves tossed in a December wind.
The coldness returns on Three Hundred And Sixty Degree View, a drone piece featuring some ambient guitar noise similar to the sound of Fear Falls Burning (Vidna Obmana, who has collaborated with Burning Shed labelmate Steve Wilson).
The meandering guitar is also found on opening track The Darkening Storm, with thunderstorm field recordings from Hemy, who mixes in the natural thunderstorm sounds with just the right amount of restraint, not overdoing it. The drone guitar is also found on I Have Seen The Future And I am Not in It, starting off darkly before it hardens into a frigid cry and a long cavernous section of sonic black ice. A dangerous song.
The aforementioned guitar is played well across the CD. Both talented musicians are credited with guitar as well as synthesizers, but it is not distinguished as to who plays on what track. The songs are composed and produced well and create a unique sound devoid, for the most part, of any similarity to other bands.
One way for The Resonance association to improve with future releases would be to compose more songs in the vein of the newly recorded industrial-house fusion track Electrolyte, previously known by hard core fans as a live staple. More dance-oriented tunes such as this could give the band some crossover appeal in the modern Goth/industrial club scene.
I very much enjoyed this CD when I heard it and I know I will be giving it future listens. Hot cocoa, hot shmocoa- revel in the coldness with The Resonance Association!
Jim Corcoran, DRPP
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