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Ascoil Sun - Emergence  CD (album) cover

EMERGENCE

Ascoil Sun

Progressive Electronic


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colorofmoney91
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Improving on the sound of their debut album with clearer melodies and a dub influence.

Emergence keeps many of the elements intact from Ascoil Sun's debut album -- the thick psychedelic rock atmosphere, shiny synth effects, song-oriented composition structure, bass grooves of the gods -- but everything sounds more professional. The recording itself has less open space, being now more densely packed and unrelentingly psychedelic. The melodies, carried by either the guitar or synth, are better and more easily recognizable to the point where the music is actually accessible in a way that I've only heard Shpongle pull off so far. The most recognizable alteration to Ascoil Sun's sound is the strong Jamaican dub influence (not dubstep; dub, like Scientist). The dubbiest track on this album, and one of my favorites, is "Mermaid's Hypothesis" which is entirely based around the dub-style bass groove laced with staccato guitar that is bound to get your head bobbing, all the while Ozric Tentacles style psychedelic fill the empty spaces with smokey synth melodies.

Something Emergence has that Pinnacle of Coil does not is memorable tunes. Each track on this album is very individual in its own way, but similar enough to the others that they don't compile into an inconsistent collection. "Ocean That You Hold In Your Hands" is another chill dub track with a stronger oceanic atmosphere and soulful wordless female vocals that add a much needed emotional quality. "Entaglementary" starts with summery acoustic guitar strumming and percussion that sounds like one of the better Acoustic Alchemy songs until a striking string section leads into another thick bass groove and druggy electronics with intermittent saxophone wonks. "Feel the Flow" is exceptionally darker than the rest of the songs and the dub style used is of the 21st century variety that Skream often uses, but is just as slow and infectiously groove as all the tracks before it.

This entire album is such an extreme increase in quality compared to Pinnacle of Coil that it's kind of hard to even compare them at all. What Ascoil Sun have managed to do on Emergence is create a very modern sounding dub-influenced album that is also sufficiently psychedelic and progressive while also being very unique.

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Send comments to colorofmoney91 (BETA) | Report this review (#644880)
Posted Saturday, March 03, 2012 | Review Permalink
admireArt
COLLABORATOR
PSIKE Team
3 stars Electronics visiting a Prog Rock band.

Once you assume that Ascoil Sunīs "Emergence", 2012, is showered with glitchy bubble like retro electronics that will grace or disgrace every song, you will be able to enjoy a very inspired Prog Rock band that otherwise could have fitted in the eclectic category.

So do not get me wrong, most of the electronic sounds are great but swirling triggered retro-electronic bubbles will overshadow or suffocate most of them. Therefore if you kind of survive this constant nuisance, Ascoil Sun aka Matti Mikkola on electronics + Pasi Salo on guitar, have great ideas and are above average creative.

Playing in a very progressive manner they turn otherwise non related to prog styles (reggae, blues, synth-pop, jazz, folk, rock) into this kind of eclectic/electronic Prog/Rock.

Their riffs are catchy, their melodies attractive and intelligent BUT the abuse of uni-sound triggered-waves are more than once if not silly, repetitive and overall unsurprising. I who have owned synths most of my life can certainly understand the thrill of listening to all their possibilities for the first time but once you move to these electronic/music lands, it always turns wise to think in bigger and more ambitious terms, synth sound and chronological/time wise.

Anyway enjoyable as an experiment that hopefully will be polished to paint and present a more balanced and BIGGER picture in the future. They in fact have a lot of talent in composition to move forward to come up with an "essential" album, but this one is for now just very good.

***3.5 PA stars

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Send comments to admireArt (BETA) | Report this review (#1438051)
Posted Wednesday, July 08, 2015 | Review Permalink

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