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Bass Communion - Continuum 2 CD (album) cover

CONTINUUM 2

Bass Communion

 

Progressive Electronic

2.59 | 11 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Shakespeare
3 stars Please disregard the rating attached to this review. My rating for this album is completely blank.

There's something divinely odd about Steven Wilson's music. It seems he has a musical Midas touch, on production, and all around quality, on any release he is involved in. But here, in one of his more independent side projects, there's absolutely no connection to the work he's done with Porcupine Tree, No-man, Blackfield. The bond between this and I.E.M. (an entirely solo project) is minimal, and even the comparisons between the Continuum projects and the rest of Bass Communion's catalog are transparent.

Unfortunately, I've not heard much of Bass Communion's other outputs, nor the now out-of-print (but legally downloadable) Continuum 1. My comparisons would be superficial and unfair, so I will not do so. Continuum 2 is packaged marvelously. Limited to a mere two-thousand copies, is comes in a DVD-sized, slick black case. Its covers are marked by haunting, subtlety grotesque images, which also appear in the interior on inserts. The packaging alone makes its holder feel as though he has a priceless treasure in his hands, and must handle it with delicacy and secrecy.

Musically, however, it is brilliantly unique. It brings extreme minimalism into an electronic environment, as is the charge of ambient music, however, also applies new aspects. It employs the destructive power of heavy electric guitars, and a sinister atmosphere. I was frustrated with this release for a long while. It's not soft enough for a night listening, nor is it exciting enough to listen when fully awake. Some sections grow so loud I thought damage was being done to my speakers! Simultaneously, the vast majority of people will whine with boredom over its extending repetition of simple phrases. It exists in a half world, and most definitely requires a special mood to be enjoyed. This makes it extremely unaccessible, and many listeners might find it doesn't fit their tastes.

However, this unique innovation, this startling originality, proves this a piece of true art. As I mentioned, sections are so incredibly noisy, I had to lower the volume from fear of waking neighbors, knocking over furniture, or damaging my speakers. What's odd about this is that all songs begin with silence and a whisper, and rarely plays host to anything remotely sudden. It all grows progressively. As for its progressiveness, in the sense of progginess: it is extremely so. Many will beg to differ, as it encloses no complexity compositionally whatsoever. However, it is prog in the sense that it progresses away; ahead of the current. That is the true spirit of prog.

In the online announcement made to advertise the release of this album, Continuum 2 is described as this, "Is it ambient? Is it metal? It is neither, and yet, it is both. But it's so much more. Think of a Sci-Fi horror film shot on the surface of an abandoned, ghost-ridden planet, or the soundtrack to a slow motion apocalypse in which all life is extinguished beneath rock, dust and convulsing earth." This is the vivid reality of these atmospheric drones.

Shakespeare | 3/5 |

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