Twin Earth: Collected Ambient Works
-- 'Steve Rose's Twin Earth: Collected Ambient Works feels more like a fully developed thematic work than a collection of recordings over a 15 year period. I knew I would like this CD from the opening notes of "Guitar Abstraction #3: Cumulus", dreamy floating music. If you like ambient guitar treatments by the likes of Steve Roach, Robert Rich and Jeff Pearce, this disc is definitely for you. "Emergent Properties" is equally ethereal and a touch brighter if that's possible. Fans of sparser works by Brian Eno will find a lot to like on this 15-minute floater. Rose's music is, for the most part, the antithesis of dark ambient; although it has haunting qualities here and there, this is ambience that will lift your spirits. For example, "The Haunted" is darker, but has a cinematic almost majestic tone to it. The way this one combines drumming with atmospheric sounds reminds me somewhat of Thom Brennan's excellent "The Path Not Taken," one of my favorite ambient tracks. While I've listed several common points of reference, Rose's music is certainly solid enough to stand on it's own merits. The bubbly restless churning of "TMR-1C" and the sparse piano and synth textures of the title track take us into darker territory before returning to the light with the shimmering closing track, another ambient guitar piece that makes a perfect bookend to the opener.' (Phil Derby -- Electroambient Space: http://www.electroambientspace.com) -- STEVE ROSE: Twin Earth 'This release from 2009 features 62 minutes of harmonic ambience. On five of the seven tracks, Rose plays synthesizers; on the remaining two songs, he plays guitars. The first guitar piece is entirely atmospheric, featuring languid soundscapes of cloudlike fragility that sashay to and fro while subdued guitar notes pitter in the background, establishing the hint of a rhythmic presence. The second guitar piece acts as the album's finale, and here the guitar expressions are more conventional as moderate electrified strumming generates a heavenly rapture. The electronics are styled in similar textural fashion. Airy tonalities provide vaporous foundations for additional tones and gently sweeping pulsations. Harmonic flows muster to form billows of ephemeral consistency. Calming and shimmering in nature, the sounds are delicately crafted. This music exemplifies a balanced fusion of drifting harmonics and melodic layers. The overall gist is one of strictly ambient tranquillity. One piece features passive percussion relegated to a remote vantage where the faint beats serve as subliminal embellishment for the swaying tonalities. Another track establishes liquid tempos with a bubbling effect amid pleasantly shrill chords of crystalline demeanor. The compositions are serene and thoughtful, designed to instill a dreamy state of mind. This music expertly banishes tension, transporting the listener to environs of contagious relaxation.' (Matt Howarth -- Sonic Curiosity: http://www.soniccuriosity.com) -- 'Twin Earth: Collected Ambient Works' is a 62-minute compilation of lush ambient/space tracks by Canadian musician Steve (Austin) Rose, with pieces dating back to 1994. The release offers seven smooth, unhurried soundscape pieces made with synths and ambient guitar treatments. Melody plays a minor role, it's more about the imaginary power and the spacious realms what seems to count here. 'Guitar Abstraction 3 - Cumulus' kicks things off nicely with the expansive, immersive atmospheres, a gentle dweller into nothingness. There's an elevating effect present in the 15-minute smoothly meandering 'Emergent Properties' next to a certain dreamy element, which makes the outcome come close to Eno/Budd music. Darker textures and a repetitive rhythm dominate the cinematic 'The Haunted' to an almost hypnotizing effect, while things end up overall pastoral, melancholic and quietly yearning on 'What could be', which vaguely reminded me of TD's Exit. The bubbling sounds effect and fluid, velvet textures on 'TMR-1C' create a inner world of tranquility of it's own. This serene mind-set continues on the title track, which features some soft wavering soundscapes and piano, before the gentle, overall relaxing ambient guitar treatments of 'Guitar Abstraction 1 - Frozen' nicely round out the album. All in all, Mr Rose does a fine job on 'Twin Earth: Collected Ambient Works'. (Bert Strolenberg -- Sonic Immersion: http://www.sonicimmersion.org) --Steve Rose, Twin Earth: Collected Ambient Works 'I've kept Steve Rose's suite of gently flowing guitar-based ambient in my iPod rotation for a couple of months now. It lives there quietly, making itself known now and then. While it's not a groundbreaking or particularly innovative disk, it's a solid handful of very listenable pieces, and especially pleasant mixed in on shuffle mode. Rose plays with a calm, sure hand. He knows his way around guitar effects-very little here sounds like a guitar until he intends it to-and structure. His pieces move slowly, chords like soft pastel marks on his aural canvases. It's good background stuff that stands up to scrutiny and doesn't wear thin easily. Rose can also switch it up, as evidenced by the tribally tinged "The Haunted," with grim chords over a steady drum beat. Twin Earth is my first exposure to Steve Rose's music, and I'm looking forward to more. ' (John Shanahan / Hypnagogue: http://hypnagogue.net) ------- This collection of music is a representation of some of Steve's first forays into the ambient world with pieces dating back to 1994. While being abstract in nature, many of the pieces have an underlying melancholy, yearning, and dreaminess. ------- Twin Earth CD Notes. I would like to say a few things about the new CD: The pieces date from various periods with the oldest one having been recorded in 1994. The two guitar compositions, "Guitar Abstraction #3: Cumulus" and "Guitar Abstraction #1: Frozen (edit)," were recorded on a 4-track analog recorder. Meanwhile, "Emergent Properties" and "The Haunted" represent my first attempts at working with a computer Digital Audio Workstation. These aforementioned tunes may have very minor sound quality issues (e.g., perhaps a little bit of hiss) but I am reluctant to re-record them as they have taken on a life of their own and I have grown accustomed to their nuances - in essence, they are what they are and I feel it would be wrong to alter them. 1. "Guitar Abstraction #3: Cumulus": I guess I should first mention that the utilization of the term "abstraction" in the title represents a kind-of self-deceptive ploy. Using the term "abstraction" allows me to move away from my own guitar clichés and open up a new world of possibilities that I may have never considered otherwise. Conceptually, "Cumulus" is an attempt to bypass a standard time-signature (e.g., 4/4) and create a free-flowing environment. There are three guitars playing different chords in different time-signatures. Finally, a fourth guitar emerges with a more concrete time-signature and this somewhat 'grounds' the piece. The title is a reference to a certain type of cloud. 2. "Emergent Properties": The concept behind this composition is that as the piece evolves a separate part slowly emerges (becoming more lengthy as the piece progresses). Finally it overtakes the original part (i.e., the four chords) and gains a life of it's own. Keeping this in mind, the title is self-explanatory (it is also borrowed from the philosophical literature on the nature of Consciousness). 3. "The Haunted": Conceptually the piece becomes ever more complex rhythmically. The melody is altered continuously. It reaches it's apex at an higher octave. The title refers to people who are 'haunted' by sad and emotionally painful memories. 4. "What Could Be": This is perhaps my favorite composition. Much like the previous tune, sounds slowly emerge and gain volume with the melody returning to it's original configuration at an higher octave. The title is indicative of a future that can never be (e.g. an utopian society). 5. "TMR-1C": "TMR-1C" is the name of a planet (or star?) that lies in the constellation Taurus. I tried to create an otherworldly soundscape to represent this recent discovery. 6. "Twin Earth": This piece is a little deceptive in that while it may sound simplistic, it is theoretically more complex than what meets the ear. Multiple time-signatures create a sense of space and sparseness. "Twin Earth" is an interesting philosophical thought experiment concerning the nature of meaning. 7. "Guitar Abstraction #1: Frozen (edit)": This piece makes me think of a sparse and cold environment (hence the title). It's depth comes from the utilization of multiple tonalities (i.e., key signatures). There you have it... Enjoy the music! All the best... Steve.