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BASS COMMUNION

Progressive Electronic • United Kingdom


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Bass Communion biography
A lot of people know who Steven WILSON is, as a musician and personality, also knowing - always, actually - what's his pivotal band: PORCUPINE TREE, with its complexity of psychedelic, pop, metal and hard rock being remarkable at different times, over different periods. Steven Wilson has a number of side projects, that shine up his familiar face in the elite of rock contemporary musicians and his natural gift or interest in many projects and collaborations (approached, perhaps, from his multi-instrumental skills, though he doesn't vary the music much from one band to another, except when the concept is totally different and needs a really abstract approach): BLACKFIELD, NO-MAN or IEM ("Incredible Expanding Mindfuck") leading the way, with mainstream, different or interesting rock music. His strong ideas of hypnoses, trances, sequences and soundscapes, melded in a process and a healthy band called BASS COMMUNION, doesn't differ much from the above-mentioned main interest in building a great side project (out of scraps, most likely); it almost shows however a Steven Wilson like never before - not a rock musician, not a mainstream-hardstream magician, not a concept riddler, but an electronic phaser and a pretty distinguished electronic technician, leaning on music that makes the rest of the art.

Everything noted down until now should actually be of no surprise to a Steven Wilson fan, BASS COMMUNION's length of music and artistic endeavour being familiar and taken in account by many of those who plug heavily into PT, NO-MAN or IEM. The different tone comes not in how Wilson's independent work fine-tunes with the heavy stuff of his mega-bands, but in how his independent work has an independent vibration as well, without referencing back to the music of other projects. Nothing from the psychedelic long shot "Sky Moves Sideways", the trippy-abstract-electronic "Voyage 34" or the dark-rock instrumental jam "Metanoia" (all PT albums) indicates one bit what kind of electronic dreams is Steven Wilson creating through BASS COMMUNION. Maybe only IEM shares some psychedelic, "krautr0ck" ideas in a similar way, but the music up there is called "self-indulgent" by way too many voices.

More about how BASS COMMUNION shapes up can be read in reviews or important interviews Wilson gave. The interest for noise, electronic or krautrock experiments started through a serie of "cassette duets" with Simon Vocking, back in the 80s, the influences to these rudimentary b...
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Bass CommunionBass Communion
Import
Dark Matter Distribution 2007
Audio CD$12.97
$23.99 (used)
CenotaphCenotaph
Import
Tonefloat 2011
Audio CD$14.66
$16.59 (used)
Loss (CD w/DVD)Loss (CD w/DVD)
Soleilmoon 2006
Audio CD$30.00
$19.00 (used)
Bass CommunionBass Communion
Import
Imports 2014
Audio CD$70.72
Ghosts On Magnetic TapeGhosts On Magnetic Tape
Import
Headphone Dust
Audio CD$59.99 (used)
Bass Communion 2 & 3Bass Communion 2 & 3
Import
Imports 2013
Audio CD$41.34
$52.40 (used)
Pacific CodexPacific Codex
Box set
Equation Records 2008
DVD Audio$74.97 (used)
II/IIIII/III
Beta-Lactam Ring Records/Revol 2008
Audio CD$56.82 (used)
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USD $6.99 Buy It Now
4h 50m
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BASS COMMUNION discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

BASS COMMUNION top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.37 | 28 ratings
Bass Communion (I)
1998
3.51 | 25 ratings
Bass Communion (II)
1999
3.13 | 15 ratings
Bass Communion (III)
2001
3.81 | 8 ratings
Jonathan Coleclough/Bass Communion/Colin Potter
2003
3.51 | 45 ratings
Ghosts on Magnetic Tape
2004
3.47 | 18 ratings
Loss
2005
2.63 | 8 ratings
Indicates Void
2005
3.24 | 17 ratings
Continuum
2005
3.24 | 11 ratings
Loss
2005
2.67 | 12 ratings
Continuum 2
2007
3.36 | 14 ratings
Pacific Codex
2008
3.56 | 22 ratings
Molotov and Haze
2008
3.13 | 19 ratings
Cenotaph
2011

BASS COMMUNION Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.79 | 5 ratings
Bass Communion/Pig - Live In Mexico City
2008
3.89 | 9 ratings
Chiaroscuro
2009

BASS COMMUNION Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

BASS COMMUNION Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.33 | 3 ratings
Bass Communion V Muslimgauze
1999
3.00 | 3 ratings
Reconstructions and Recycling
2003
2.83 | 3 ratings
BCVSMGCD
2006

BASS COMMUNION Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.83 | 10 ratings
Atmospherics
1999
2.75 | 3 ratings
Bass Communion v Muslim Gauze
2000
2.30 | 11 ratings
Vajrayana
2004
3.25 | 4 ratings
Dronework
2004
3.00 | 2 ratings
Bass Communion / Fear Falls Burning
2008
2.75 | 4 ratings
Haze Shrapnel (with Freiband)
2008
4.00 | 5 ratings
Litany
2009
1.00 | 2 ratings
Headwind/Tailwind (with Freiband)
2009

BASS COMMUNION Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Continuum 2 by BASS COMMUNION album cover Studio Album, 2007
2.67 | 12 ratings

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Continuum 2
Bass Communion Progressive Electronic

Review by TCat

3 stars This is volume 2 in the collaboration between Steven Wilson's experimental minimalistic project Bass Communion and Vidna Obmana. The tracks are titled "Construct" like the previous volume and numbered IV, V and VI this time. This starts out just like the previous volume with electronic ambience and starts right away painting the picture of isolation that was obvious all the way through the first volume. Once again, the music melds to your mind, even if you are playing as background and it seems you are once again travelling nowhere. But just as the numbness starts to settle in for another long hour, a guitar comes along and smashes the ambience after the first few minutes. After the mind numbing tracks that have gone before in the last volume, this is totally unexpected and if you aren't aware of this, it can scare the heebie jeebies right out of you.

The guitar remains through the track after this and plays a repeating slow hook with very little variation while underneath, the electronics continue to swirl, cascade and grow. On the 5th construct, the electronic ambience seems to have grown some and is a little more bold. Nothing much happens throughout this track, returning a little to the previous album, but towards the last 1/2 of the track, a droning guitar creeps up from under the sound and crescendos until it has almost completely taken over the track. The last Construct is similar, but the guitar gets louder quicker as the electronics play more sustained sounds and tones that are maybe a little brighter. The guitar plays a slowly descending pattern as it gets louder for the duration of the track.

So, where the 1st volume was an album with electronic ambience that for the most part did not go anywhere, the 2nd volume has a little more character and movement where the loud guitar churns and plods around the synthesized sounds. A little more interesting this time, but still not the best available Bass Communion album out there. It's still all about atmosphere, but the loneliness that was the feeling for the 1st volume is gone because of the guitar becoming a constant companion. But, is having this companion turning out to be better or worse than the loneliness? It sounds like the story here wants to suggest no, but as for the music, it does help make the slow, long tracks a little easier to digest. I would consider this a little better than the 1st, but it is a weak 3 stars.

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 Continuum by BASS COMMUNION album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.24 | 17 ratings

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Continuum
Bass Communion Progressive Electronic

Review by TCat

2 stars This is a collaboration between Steven Wilson's Bass Communion and Vidna Obmana. This is all very electronic sounding. It is ambient and tuneless. There is no percussion. There are a lot of electronic sounds and droning throughout. It is spacious, dark and leaves you feeling very abandoned. It is the sound of utter loneliness. Don't expect any movement in this music except for the last half of the last track, which could either mean a light at the end of the tunnel that you are hoping you can reach, or, most likely, just a mirage and when you get there, you realize it wasn't really there. That's the feeling you get when the last track builds your hope with movement in the music, not necessarily from percussion even though there is some non-rhythmic percussive sounds here (and only here), but then it just passes quietly away to leave you with an electronic drone, signifying nothing has changed.

The atmosphere is what this is all about. Unfortunately, it doesn't hold much to keep you interested, so it might work best as background music unless you want to just close your eyes and float. I have heard some Bass Communion which, even though it is beautifully sparse, it still has something to offer in the way of substance, though little. This usually works to the BC advantage, but not here. All three tracks (except for the end) don't really change much. I can only rate this as a collectors/fans album because it doesn't really seem to accomplish much, but what little does get accomplished has been done more effectively on other BC albums. 2 stars.

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 Cenotaph by BASS COMMUNION album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.13 | 19 ratings

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Cenotaph
Bass Communion Progressive Electronic

Review by TCat

4 stars "A painter paints pictures on canvass, but musicians paint their pictures on silence." - Leopold Stokowski

When you look at paintings, your sense of vision is used. Steven Wilson performing as Bass Communion paints with sound. Your sense of hearing is used. These are soundscapes. The music is ambient, very minimal. It is not music for entertainment in the way that we are used to using music for entertainment, that is why it is so hard for people to understand this music.

Paintings are enjoyed by looking at them, there is no time, no rhythm, no sound. They are a still portrait and we as humans can take as long as we want to look at them, but in the world of the actual painting, time means nothing. Music, however, lives more in the constraint of time. We use rhythm to help break up the timing so that we notice even more the movement of time as a song or a composition plays itself out.

These "songs" on this album and most of the Bass Communion recordings can be thought of almost like paintings, at least that's how I consider them. In actuality, it is all art. The songs have rhythm, but it's not the typical rhythm as drums, but more like percussive electronic sounds. Other sounds and textures weave in and out, flow around each other. Each sound could be considered brushstrokes for the painting. There is no picture other than what we visualize in our own mind. The picture we conjure up is what is painted on the silence, however, musicians and artists both, whether they know it or not, not only use silence or canvass, they use our memories. In music, especially this kind of minimalism, we have a lot more freedom to let ourselves be touched in a wider variety of ways than we do for standard art. We have a lot more freedom of interpretation through music. As in painting though, the more abstract the music or the painting, the more freedom we have.

I find this music very inspiring when I really sit down and listen to it, either really concentrating, or even as background music. If I listen to it like I would any other kind of music, I don't find it enjoyable, but if I listen to it by losing myself in it, or as background music, then I find I enjoy it more. However, to paint a picture that the music makes in my mind, I have to concentrate on it. This is so different from what we as humans are used to when listening to music, so it only makes sense that if we really want to enjoy it, we must find a different way to listen to it. There are no melodies, no choruses, no verses, no structure really. It is abstract. It is there for our own interpretation and it is a little harder to understand because it transcends traditional form. So, it takes more effort to understand. This is why I love progressive music so much. And this is really prevalent in this album and this type of music. Bravo Steven Wilson!

By the way, he CD version of this album uses rhythm to mark the passage of time. But the vinyl version does not rely on rhythm so much, the percussive sounds are not there or at least not as prevalent.

I'm not really sure how to rate this or anything by Bass Communion. I think there are other Bass Communion albums that would merit a 5 star rating because of the ingenuity. This one is excellent for this type of music, I guess not really essential, so I will give it 4 stars.

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 Bass Communion (II) by BASS COMMUNION album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.51 | 25 ratings

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Bass Communion (II)
Bass Communion Progressive Electronic

Review by admireArt

4 stars Bass Communion one of Steven Wilson's electronic music projects, which is more focused on sonic atmospheres, as such, therefore it is closer to the (unexistent) Electronic/Ambient tagging . No PT, or SW, electric guitar solos or vocals, (that explains the crowd). Anyway, BC's, second, two cd, album, holds the best part of this kind of intention. Imagine the atmospheres that his other bands visit, enhanced and bared-naked. Calm intensity, without detours. To get there he uses all his compositional talents, some parts of his darker past knowledge, his electric guitar simplified with a wah-wah pedal, and very creative, wind, synth and piano atmospheres, and in some tracks ("16 Second Swarm", "Drugged III" and "A Grapefruit in the World of Park"), the unmistakable presence of Robert Fripps "soundscapes". But basically, this second project is Steven Wilson (all instruments) accompanied only by Theo Travis flute and sax, as such. A real treat , if you like the genre. The kind of work which by rule (in my book, of course) will be a part of my collection, therefore the kind of record, I will recommend in this PA page as a ****4 star "Flawless and mysterious, environmental electronic music" album. Enjoy!.

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 Loss by BASS COMMUNION album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.24 | 11 ratings

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Loss
Bass Communion Progressive Electronic

Review by Argonaught

1 stars Wicked tongue say that, like Apple addicts will buy anything with a the Apple logo on it, Steven Wilson's faithful would be just elated if their next Burning Shed package came with a blank CD and a weird picture in it.

Well, Loss is dangerously close to this hypothetical package. We bought it on a picture disc, purely as an act of idolatry. There is a depiction of what looks like an infant, lying in what looks like a casket, and there is a long-haired figure on another side. All tinted in tarnished bronze.

Unfortunately, music in the conventional sense of the word is completely amiss. There is a vague and amorphous sequence of "menacing" distorted sounds. Which is sounds, and not music. On Loss, Wilson isn't even bothering to create a semblance of a soundscape.

Yes, I know what minimalism is .. minimalism is putting more meaning into less talking. Minimalism is precise and not random. And Bass Commuion's Loss could have been a product of collaboration between a napping cat and a brick (the former lying across the keyboard of a synthesizer, and the latter holding the sustain pedal down.

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 Cenotaph by BASS COMMUNION album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.13 | 19 ratings

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Cenotaph
Bass Communion Progressive Electronic

Review by blueavenger

4 stars Bass Communion's virtues don't need to be extolled ad-infinitum by me here. People reading this review will already know that it is part of Steven Wilson's immense pantheon of work and that it is a departure from his other projects by way of its focus on ambient, electronic minimalism.

The key questions here about Cenotaph - Bass Communion's 11th studio album - are; is it any good; how does it stand up to the other Bass Communion albums and is it worthy of entry in the hallowed archives of great progressive music? Well there is a favorable answer to all three queries in my opinion and the founding argument for this stance can only relate to one element: the music.

Citadel (5/5) starts things off with the obligatory BC retro-crackle and then kicks into menacing brass that breathes in and out of the track like an outtake from the Alien / Outland- era sci-fi movies from the late 1970's and early 80's. This is soon accompanied by a blend of eerie ghost-movie strings, staccato electronic effects and an otherworldly choir of distant voices. The general essence is of a slowly descending swell towards something more sinister or visceral as the various elements oscillate in volume and presence. Sure enough, the tension moves to the next level five and a half minutes in as a regular heart- beat style pulse comes to the fore, as if perfect accompaniment to the intimated visual cues of a advancing into the darkest of chasms after a steady descent. In truth, not much else happens thereafter, but the music is pace and theme of the track remains relentless and is expertly mixed. Quieter moments emerge, strings swell and the brass exhales, while an odd -and perhaps slightly out of place ' stringed instrument (perhaps a Koto) is plucked in the background. The orchestra of dread, inevitably, gives way gradually towards the end as chords become notes and the string bass is sustained while the beat slowly sinks beneath the lingering chorus of the damned.

Citadel, for some, might be construed as a little tedious, but anyone that wants a truly dark ambient backdrop to their lives can surely not want for anything more and this sits nicely alongside tracks like Sleep, Vajrayana and Dwarf Gallery (and even No Man's Born Simple) at the gloomy end of SW's repertoire ' representative of the sequel to Ghosts on Magnetic Tape, as Steven Wilson had suggested this could be viewed as.

Colourofmoney91 referenced Andy Stott in his review of this album and it was probably the 2nd track ' Carrion (3/5) ' that he/she was thinking about. At 21:24, Carrion is the longest track on the album by a couple of minutes and, whereas Citadel was a horror-movie soundtrack of a piece, with a considered intro, varying instruments and a distinctive essence, track 2 forgets the script and doesn't really deliver. Compared to the five-minute intro of the preceding track, Carrion gives us barely 30 seconds of industrial rumblings before the beat kicks in. Straight away, the electronic pulse of the track is quicker (109 bpm, versus 100), but less distinguishable from more conventional ambient dance (the aforementioned Mr. Stott). The accompaniment is also not as rich as is rather Spartan throughout with a groaning synthesizer in the background and various sci-fi samples alongside the primary instrument of distorted xylophone (or something similar) which itself, only offers 2 or 3 notes every 20-30 seconds. The brass motif from Citadel makes a welcome appearance every so often, as do some occasional guitar licks. Aside from that, Carrion is rather unremarkable and, whilst still a worthy piece of moody, minimalist trance, does not sustain the momentum of the opening track: rather than continue in our journey through the netherworld, we seem to have ended up back above ground, wandering through a misty woodland. If anything, this is the greatest departure from any Bass Communion music that has come before it, but it does at least serve to transit less contrastingly with track 3 than Citadel might have done.

Cenotaph (5/5) is possible both the title track and the center-piece of the album and also marks the turning point between darkness and light. Gone are the low-register brass rumblings, ghostly choirs and tense beats; what we are left with is a shimmering piece of classic Bass Communion electronica. It's almost as if this track ' being the only one without a 'pulse' ' symbolizes death or perhaps, a glance into what might be beyond that. Bearing some similarities to the untitled 20-minute coda to Queen's 1995 Made in Heaven album, (itself a celebration of somebody passing beyond), Cenotaph comes across like the logical evolution of the beautiful Litany EP and - echoing some of the tone and character of Drugged - Cenotaph raises Bass Communion's music to another level of sonic wonder. The crackle is front and centre, as always, but offers more halcyon warmth than usual. The opening tone rings of an old war-time radio transmission and gradually allows descending strings to creep in, as if to serve as a transition (or an ascent, if you will) from the depths traveled previously. An angelic, synthetic choir emerges ' the polar opposite to Citadel's hellish wail ' and merges cleverly with the strings to make harmonious chords as they make their way down the scale. It's such a good effect that it is repeated a couple of times for good measure. Heavenly synth notes register thereafter, as if glints of sunshine through clouds. Here, the listener is truly lifted to another plane of existence, bathed in a glorious golden light, and as the glow fades, we segue effortlessly into the album closer.

Conflux (4/5) serves to maintain the spirit of the album's centerpiece and could fancifully be interpreted as a return descent to the surface of our mortal world, post enlightenment or rebirth (possibly even in angelic form). Musically, Conflux could comfortably be summarized as 'Cenotaph with beats' and, whilst not as compelling as the two standout tracks on the album, it satisfies its brief of ending the record in a suitable fashion. Here, the 109 beat of Carrion returns ' echoing the reoccurring leitmotif of Pete Namlook's Outland IV - this time from the very first bar, accompanied by the swelling and surging motifs featured in Cenotaph. The groaning brass, sawing strings, electronic dabbles and futuristic samples all return and share equal staging as the track drones and pulsates incessantly and happily enough for nearly eighteen minutes ' which, at almost 4 minutes shorter than Carrion, shows better editorial judgement.

You could be forgiven for thinking that Steven Wilson wrote only 2 x tracks here, but made an albums-worth of content by placing a trance remix of each immediately following in the running order, such is the similarity between both the structure of Carrion and Conflux and also how they are symbiotically linked to the track that precedes them.

It's only in this facet where Bass Communion's eleventh studio album lets itself down. Musically, had Carrion been a stronger, tighter track with a little more variance (perhaps with 2 distinct halves like 16 Second Swarm or some changes in pace and tone like the aforementioned Vajrayana) and Conflux offered a greater distinction to Cenotaph, then there would have been few complaints and we could easily have been lauding a 5-star masterpiece in electronic wizardry.

As it is, this is probably still Bass Communion's best album, but there remains ample promise for even better to come should the supremely spread-thin Mr Wilson be able to devote a reasonable chunk of his precious time to a 12th record and aim for the focused, thematic brilliance of this and Ghosts on Magnetic tape, rather than the sprawling, experimental concepts of Loss and the ill-conceived Pacific Codex.

In terms of where Cenotaph stands in the great annals of Progressive music is another matter. What would true Prog-devotees find on this album to savor? Purists would argue that four tracks of 20 minute length is at least a good starting point, but that there isn't the range, depth and variety to compare with, say, Tangerine Dream: the yardstick of Progressive Electronica.

To summarize, I would probably have to say that people looking for a truly progressive experience ' like Phaedra for example ' might be better off elsewhere. For those of you looking to immerse the mind in a dark, absorbing, organic torrent of aural inspiration, then there can't be much out there more appropriate for you than Bass Communion's Cenotaph.

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 Bass Communion (I) by BASS COMMUNION album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.37 | 28 ratings

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Bass Communion (I)
Bass Communion Progressive Electronic

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

4 stars Without even realizing it at the time, Steven Wilson's debut `Bass Communion' album was my very first electronic album. I was right into my Porcupine Tree/Wilson love phase, eagerly snapping up anything the man put his name to, knowing that I would at least find something interesting with this release. Upon my initial listen almost 15 years ago, I had absolutely no idea what to make of it. I had never heard anything like it, and it barely even resembled music to my ears. It sounded like snippets of inane noise, throwaway scraps hurled together with no sense of direction. It took me some time before it all fell into place, at a very vulnerable time in my life where I seemed to suddenly relate to the cold, isolating and lonely introspection of the album.

Comprised of experimental short music samples, looped slight percussion, hypnotic drones and static, the pieces stretch into long, drifting and floating electronic soundscapes. Some reference points might be Tangerine Dream and Klaus Schulze, but where those artists frequently make you think of deep space and alien worlds, Wilson's work is far more personal and human. This worryingly makes the album much easier to relate to, even if that means confronting feelings and emotions you'd rather push aside or avoid altogether.

After `Shopping's brief introductory crackle of static, `Drugged' has cut up pieces of Theo Travis' sax blowing in the distance, tormenting and howling in it's sadness. It frequently sounds quite flat and tuneless, giving the piece an uneasy sound. Wilson's somber organ slowly enters and wraps around the piece, Theo's sax becomes more reflective and mournful. Both slowly unwind and drift along for several minutes, heightening the sense of solitude and loneliness. Eventually a slowly strummed guitar enters, backed with an icy veil of ghostly synths. This track is later reprised at the end of the album in a longer 25 minute haunting ambient piece more along the lines of the above mentioned Klaus Schulze and Tangerine Dream.

Cold glistening electronic fingerprints dance like raindrops around the spooky `Sleep, etc'. With it's unsettling mix of running water, thunderstorms, static and occasional harsh electronics, it makes your mind feel like it's moving in slow motion. Relentlessly predatory and threatening, definite horror movie soundtrack work here.

`Orphan Coal' has strangely wooden percussion, some seemingly comprised of voice samples, that blur into a hypnotic maze of maddening alarm-like loops, electronic washes that phase in and out, and brief heavy bass lines. Deeply fascinating and, although still uneasy, it's a little bit of a respite from the gloom of the rest of the album.

It's easy to understand the wildly varying opinions and reviews for this album. As much as it's made a huge impression on me over the years for it's emotion and depth, I also understand those who would find it inane, tedious and devoid of musical value altogether. I can listen to it one time and not connect with it at all, then the next be completely overwhelmed. It's the sort of album that guarantees you wont ever listen to it the same way twice.

The CD comes with five alternate covers, each with a very different abstract or surreal image associated with the five pieces on the album. I've always used the fourth one - `Orphan Coal', which has a photo of a deserted bridge and lonely city streets at night. This striking image perfectly captures the isolation and sadness of the album, and it compliments this emotional work for me perfectly.

A lonely, haunting and thoroughly immersive album I can relate to and connect with from time to time, sadly during my unhappier and lonelier moments. But it's albums like this that can make you truly feel human, that in moments of personal reflection force you to confront yourself. I hope more adventurous listeners might take the time to see how they respond to this powerful work.

Four stars.

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 Loss by BASS COMMUNION album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.24 | 11 ratings

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Loss
Bass Communion Progressive Electronic

Review by ole-the-first

5 stars A fairly intriguing dark ambient experience. I'd say this album is much more interesting than anything else Bass Communion and Continuum ever did.

Though the album ain't that long (less than 40 minutes), it worths ten 80-min long minimaist ambient pieces. Throughout the album we can hear disturbing pianos and electric noise. Together they're creating excellent dark atmosphere.

When I was listening to the first part, I constantly thought of those old abandoned houses, photos of which you may find in the booklets from Opeth releases. Needling high-pitched pianos are really chilling here. This music is really spooky and dark, and at the same time it's excellently sad. It really might make you feel like you've just lost someone dear and beloved.

In the second part piano sounds like thunder or very big brass bells. It creates even more suspense that you may find in the first part. Anyway, listening to this I felt like a character from Hitchcock's "Vertigo"!

Those parts altogether, as I said before, are falling into one essential ambient experience. I said, essential. So I can't give it less than five stars. Excellent work.

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 Ghosts on Magnetic Tape by BASS COMMUNION album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.51 | 45 ratings

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Ghosts on Magnetic Tape
Bass Communion Progressive Electronic

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Steven Wilson comes over all Brian Eno on his Bass Communion projects, and Ghosts On Magnetic Tape is no exception. Actually, I'd be inclined to say a better comparison this time around is Tangerine Dream's Zeit, since the compositions here have the same slow, glacial, drone-like quality to them. With crackling and spitting tape noises emerging here and there, the impression that we are listening to an impossible transmission from the netherworld is expertly evoked, creating a haunting and sombre experience for the listener. Not a place to go if you're after more lively psychedelic fun in the vein of Porcupine Tree, but if your musical tastes tend towards the minimalistic ambient there's a lot of joy to be found with these ghosts.

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 Continuum 2 by BASS COMMUNION album cover Studio Album, 2007
2.67 | 12 ratings

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Continuum 2
Bass Communion Progressive Electronic

Review by colorofmoney91
Prog Reviewer

2 stars For every good horror film experience there is a much less enjoyable sequel. This apparently holds true with music as well.

Steven Wilson and Vidna Obmana did such a wonderful job on their previous collaborative release that they decided to release a second part, Continuum 2. Any music fan can tell you that news of a "part 2" to a highly enjoyable album often creates both excitement and worry, and for good reason. The previous installment of this series is a terrific, terrifying ambient industrial soundscape exploration that is sure to incite at least a small instance of panic for the listener, especially when paired with an appropriate physical setting such as a dark room or, ideally, a cave or abandoned factory. This continuation of the series is a bit overdone and comes off of a kind of ridiculous at times.

In the same way as the previous album, the tracks here are simply labelled as numbered constructs starting with IV, and the music begins in the familiar uneasy ambient drone - so far so good. But suddenly a heavily distorted doom metal guitar chord and steady hi-hat tapping breaks the ambience with severe gusto, entirely ruining the atmosphere. On the first track, the doom guitar is ever present, completely dissipating the effect of the shifting industrial dronescape that faintly looms in the background, which is upsetting considering that the track is almost 23 minutes long. Subsequent tracks follow suit, using varying degrees of emotionless doom metal and drowned industrial audio scenery, creating an hour of disappointment.

Continuum 2 is essentially a copy of Lustmord's work on Juggernaut, being primarily dark ambient with disruptive and distracting doom/sludge metal guitar. While I do find doom metal in general to be enjoyable, it does not work well with what would otherwise be a beautifully disconcerting dark ambient soundscape. I'm sure this album provides a good crossover opportunity for fans of doom metal into ambient electronic territory, but as someone who already enjoys both genres individually, I'd say this execution is unfortunately mediocre.

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