CONTEMPLATRON: ANTARABHÄVA / SIX REALMS
CD: Wrotycz WRT002 [2005]
Ltd x 500


Antarbhäva:
1. Mantra
2. Innerscapes
3. Molecular Mandala
4. Horizon Of Perceptions
5. Vast Subdimensions
6. Shape Recycling
Six Realms:
7. Paranoic Hatred
8. Insatiable Greed
9. Permanent Ignorance
10. Enslaving Desire
11. Wrathful Jealousy
12. Lazy Pride

Representing an album from both an artist and label I have not come across before, Contemplatron are promoted as being a product of the dark ambient genre. As for the album’s concept, it is broken up into two parts, where the first section was inspired by the Tibetan Book of the Dead, whilst the second half relates to the six realms of Buddhist Tradition that symbolises the destructive emotions of ignorance, hatred, enslaving desire, jealousy, pride & greed. Despite drawing on quite reasonable topics, what is musically achieved is a rather standard dark ambient album that would sit comfortably alongside many artists’ of the early 1990’s.

There is in essence nothing wrong with this album given it does what it does quite well. However with selected dark ambient artists in recent years really pushing the envelope of what can be achieved with such a genre and style (Inade and Herbst9 are two which come to mind), this comes across as rather mediocre in comparison. For my ear this perception really comes down to the tempo of material which meanders along at a catatonic pace with chanting choirs, cyclic drones, cavernous shafts of sound, muted percussion, minor key melodies etc. Primarily the problem is with a lack of overall dynamics, yet despite its subdued qualities there is just a touch too much going on to qualify for the isolationist/ minimalist tag.

As such, I doubt that anyone would be severely disappointed by Contemplatron’s offering (that spans 12 tracks over 70 minutes), yet this does not negate the fact that many other artists have previously covered similar territory.

RJS

[Wrotycz]

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