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Bass Communion - Box Set CD (album) cover


Bass Communion


Progressive Electronic

4.00 | 1 ratings

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4 stars By now, most people know this is Steven Wilson's experimental/ambient/minimal/electronica/avant-garde project. I always find this music somewhat soothing when it isn't too abrasive, beautiful at times and other times too minimal. It is nothing like Porcupine Tree, Blackfield or SW's solo albums. It is not accessible at all. These are soundscapes, however, of the highest caliber, sound paintings.

There have been many albums and EP's released under the moniker of Bass Communion. This collection is simply known as 'Box Set', but it contains 4 CDs, most of it is rare material that has only been available on vinyl, or unreleased material. If you are a Bass Communion fan, then this collection is a must have. I'm going to do this review a little differently however. BC fans will want to know if they have already got this material on other albums, so that is the basis for this review, to let you know the other ways that these tracks are available. If you want information on the actual makeup of the tracks, then check out the reviews (many of them I have already done, or will be doing soon) on each specific album.

Disc One of this collection is called 'Vajrayana/Indicates Void'. The first two tracks (Vajrayana and Aum Shinrikyo) are previously available on a 7' vinyl released in 2004, however they are in edited form. On this collection, they are released for the first time in unedited form. 'Ghosts on Magnetic Tape - Outtake' was previously only available on the 2006 2LP vinyl version of the 'Ghosts on Magnetic Tape' album. 'Indicates Void I-IV' were all previously released on a limited edition (300 copies) vinyl LP in 2005.

Disc Two is named 'Pacific Codex' and is only made up of one 40 minute track. This is taken from source material recorded by Theo Travis and Steven Wilson with the instruments being metallic statues only. This was released in a limited edition (1,000 copies) CD/DVDA box set in 2008.

Disc Three is named 'Reconstructions'. These are all remixes of previously released BC tracks and most of them have been made available on other vinyl releases. The first one is 'After Dark' which is a remix of 'Darkroom' from 2003 previously released on a CD-R as the 'DAC Remixes' in 2004. 'Mousehill' is a remix of 'Use of Ashes' which was released on a 10' vinyl in 2008. 'Behind These Silent Eyes' is originally from Theo Travis' album 'Slow Life' released as a 2 LP vinyl in 2007, however, the version on this collection is an alternate version not available anywhere else. '537171NR848492C' is a reconstruction of 'Andrew Liles' released in 2007 on the CD 'Black Sheep'. 'Wvndrkmmer' is a reconstruction of 'Pyramids' and was originally available on the 'Wvnderkmmer' 5 cassette box set.

Disc Four is called 'Litany/Temporal'. The first two tracks are 'Litany 1 and 2'. They were previously released on the 'Litany' 12 inch vinyl single in 2009. 'The Flight of Song' is a reconstruction of '3 Seconds of Air' released on the 'Flight of Song' vinyl LP in 2009. 'Temporal A and B', the last two tracks, are previously unreleased tracks. These tracks are inspired by Harrison Birtwistle's piece 'Chronometer'. The tracks consist of sounds derived by clocks and other time keeping devices.

This collection definitely has some atmospheric material on it that works well for chilling out, relaxing, meditation or background noise. Unless you are already a BC fan, I would recommend you start with one of the other BC recordings to see if this is something you would be interested in. The music/soundscapes won't make much sense unless you already understand what this type of music is. If you are just starting out with Bass Communion, I would recommend getting Bass Communion I, II, or III before venturing beyond. As far as this collection goes, however, if you are a fan then you can decide for yourself if it is worth it to you or not, but since the original editions are mostly hard to find if you don't already have them, then it is definitely a valuable collection worth the price.

TCat | 4/5 |


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