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Bass Communion - Jonathan Coleclough/Bass Communion/Colin Potter CD (album) cover


Bass Communion


Progressive Electronic

3.76 | 12 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars This is quite the study in ambience and minimalism. Jonathan Coleclough is a electronic drone master and minimalist with several recordings and collaborations, Bass Communion is, like many here already know, Steven Wilson's very experimental, electronic project and Colin Potter who has done a lot of work with Nurse With Wound. This is an album (a very lengthy one at that, over 2 hours) with a collection of the three artist's collaborations. Those familiar with Bass Communion will understand what the music is all about, especially for the 2nd track, which is the best one in my opinion, not just because it is mixed by Wilson, but because it has the most movement and activity.

For those that love the minimalist/ambient sound, this album is one of the best. It requires a lot of patience, of course, but if you are just sitting there listening and drifting with the music, it is very sublime. The first track is "Passed" which is based on source material from Bass Communion and is mixed by Potter. This one is based on a drone sound with movement and sounds flowing in and out around the established ground. There is some interesting things going on here, but it mostly sets the mood for whats coming. The 2nd track ("Yossaira")is based on source material from both Potter and Coleclough and mixed by Bass Communion. This one is the most interesting, but if you are using this CD to get a quiet atmosphere, this one (and the next track) probably have more involvement and movement than the rest of the album. This is more industrial sounding ambience, quite metallic and spooky, a lot like BC's earlier material. Those familiar with BC's style will recognize it as Steven Wilson's involvement. The main sound here is a constant descending drone which recharges itself and then descends again with a lot of variation in the sound. Other noises weave around the drones and at times, the drones disappear completely and we're left with natural sounds as birds, water, etc before it returns in another variance. This lasts for a very sublime 24 minutes which sails right on by as if time is not involved. Simply amazing and worth 5 stars in and of itself.

The 3rd track is another Potter mix from Bass communion source material called "Raiser". This one is the only track with some semblance of quite percussive rhythm, but you will notice early on that the rhythm only has trivial impact on the sounds going on around it. Probably the brightest of the tracks, though still ambient. This is also the shortest at 8 1/2 minutes. The next track is from source material from both Bass Communion and Coleclough and is mixed by Coleclough. This is a 27 minute drone which doesn't seem to change much except for cycles and dynamics. This was a hard one to concentrate on, but would be a great atmospheric piece that would induce calm.

The last track is source material from Bass Communion again with Coleclough as the mix master. So many reviews (at various sites throughout the internet) praise this track. At over 70 minutes in length, Coleclough takes two sources from BC's excellent "Drugged" track and slows it way down to where it's unfamiliar, and turns it into a drone with varying tones, dynamics, and feelings. It has been said that this track will definitely influence the room wherever it is played. It is calming, peaceful, and a perfect example of space minimalism with a slow, slow melody. The sudden changes in tone that take place after 12 minutes have elapsed will pull you in to a different state of mind. This music is trippy, to say the least, but the music is the only drug you need here. Simple and beautiful, harsh and calming, those are the best words to describe this. When the 49 minute mark is passed, you will hear a sudden change where the processing layers are taken away and the tones are bright and not so layered. At this point, it is like you have emerged into lightness. This is something that must be experienced by those with patience and an open ear for beauty.

This is not music in any traditional sense, these are soundscapes, so be ready for that going in to this. The music needs to be listened to through headphones, or in a place where there are no outside influences to disrupt you. That will give you the best results and you will find yourself taken away into deep realms in your mind. I know, sounds corny, but music as a drug is a lot safer than the alternative.

This is not the best collection or album that BC has been involved with, but it is still excellent. I prefer the sounds of BC as far as ambience and minimalism is concerned because the music has more of a feeling of passage and movement. However, I enjoy this one on occasion and it is a great example of music that is influenced by the sonic pictures of Tangerine Dream. This is where that style has progressed to and lovers of that era of TD will enjoy this immensely.

TCat | 4/5 |


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