Floating Spectrum - A Point Between - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Floating Spectrum - A Point Between

by Joseph Majsterski Rating:8 Release Date:2019-09-20
Floating Spectrum - A Point Between
Floating Spectrum - A Point Between

Floating Spectrum's debut album, A Point Between, is delightfully weird. It's deep space glaciers slowly crashing into each other in four dimensions, just an odd, non-Euclidian collapsing of sounds from every direction. This is drone ambient music in the spirit of Steve Roach and Biosphere, utterly alien, but with more personality and heart. It's the product of Taiwanese Berliner Mei-Fang Liau, and it's something to behold. Liau utilized software synthesizer called Polyphylla of her own design to replicate natural patterns, with slight variations to each repetition of sound. These permutations are what give the music a sense of progression and an almost hypnotic feel.

The lead-off track, 'The early green outburst', had a sort of dull machine creak to it, metal plates bending and twisting, in the neighbourhood of something Autechre may have released in the early 2000s. But it builds into a luminous, glowing song, opening like a portal to another world. And that other world is the rest of the album, a strange place full of dark mysteries. 'Rising tide, nourished soul' is by turns pensive, charming, and inscrutable, its synths sometimes clattering and even menacing, other times inviting and sweet. 'Inner island' sounds like a quiet scream. That is, it sounds like a scream you can tolerate listening to.

'Falling apart on the dreary field' is another remarkably intense song, rushing right up into your face and then pulsing with incredible immediacy, vibrating across untold spans of space and time but as intimate as a lover's kiss. It does pull back and allow breathing room eventually, revealing a vast desert plain full of whispering midnight winds and twinkling, distant stars. In other words, it's fucking epic, a swirling, majestic sea of drones, pads, and husking melodies. 'Obscured moon' feels like a continuation of that theme, but removes a few layers of sound and uses a more minimalistic approach; it's the night watchman at Area 51. Halfway through everything drops away, there's a pause, and then the mothership shows up on the horizon, a grand, floating shape drifting across the sky.

'Eruption' is the album's only misstep, as the grinding effect that warbles in and out of hearing grates on the ears and disrupts an otherwise fascinating experience of trembling chimes working against warped pads. Interestingly, it is the only track was created using a different process, converting visual information into sound. It's definitely less organic, and more machinelike. If only a few settings had been tweaked just a little here and there, it would have meshed better. Closer 'Descent to the hadal zone' does just that, using a similar, but far more harmonious warbler that moves through the space without damaging the mood.

If you've been looking for a new album that really takes you someplace bizarre, look no further. Listen to this and go on a journey.

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