Mysteries Of Science, "Virtual Wake"
Mysteries Of Science, "The Interweave Conundrum"
Mysteries Of Science, "Diffusion"
Mysteries Of Science, Mysteries Of Science
Since we are almost in danger of becoming contemporary and of-the-moment, it seemed like a good time to dig back into the archives and highlight a (possibly forgotten) classics. We're going to try to weave a few different musical moments together over the next week or two in our effort to use the past and present to chart out the future, so wish us luck. Naturally, one of those past moments is one of our favorite periods, that glorious early 1990s era when ambient ruled the club or, at least, was given a small room off to the side. We'll take what we can get!
This one, in a convoluted way, is another path out of the Freezone, that SSR Records compilation that we looked at weeks ago and have imagined as an actual physical space subsequently. I had initially planned to discuss Moby's Ambient, the album from which "Myopia," his contribution to Freezone 1 - The Phenomenology Of Ambient, came from. That one was released on Instinct Records in 1994, one of a trio of records that helped take the dude from rave fixture to dance music star to insufferable celebrity. While I was listening to that one, I started to dig back into Instinct's discography, since it was one of the key labels from the 1990s that brought the ambient turn to life and lo and behold, we redisovered this cosmic acid classic. Seriously, my friends, skip reading the next few paragraphs and download this immediately; this is that grade A, steal your face cosmic shit that will reveal new worlds and galaxies.
Since I assume everyone listened and is skipping these paragraphs to dive in, I can just mail this description in. Mysteries Of Science is the alias of Dominic Woosey, strike that, this is one of more than 20 aliases that Woosey used over the course of a career that appears to span the first half of the 1990s. Woozy only released 2 LPs and one 12" as Mysteries Of Science; but if you nail it right away, no need to overdue it. And Woosey nailed it on his first try with this self-titled LP, Mysteries Of Science. If I were to try to categorize the album's sound, it would be something along the lines of cosmic acid ambient; those three terms capture the three general sonic movements that Woosey makes: soaring, Berlin School-y sequencer flights, creeping, winding bass, and the ethereal, almost-static pads. This is spacemusic in the best sense, providing a soundtrack to a journey into the desolate and unknown; this journey provides moments of both complete bliss and sublime tension.
Check out the phenomenal opener "Virtual Wake" to hear all three sounds/movements interact. It begins with about 30 seconds of swirling squeals. At this point, the synth bass comes through and your life will never be the same. Woosey creates this echo-y dub acid line that brilliantly gives the sense of vastness, of being dwarfed by an environment. It is both beautiful and anxious, perfectly sublime. That acid sound will come and go over the course of the next 9 minutes, dissipating into growling, droning bass or replaced by drifting, soaring string-like synths or lush, melodic keys. At more than 10 minutes long, the track has the room to breathe and lets the listener really drift off to explore inner and outer space. Phenomenal.
Another track has a heavier vibe, as those uplifting synths are replaced by marching band-like bass drum, wailing siren-like synths and deep bass. It's an interesting track, a nautical techno that gives all a real sense of rising and falling, both through those buoyant sirens and drum-only passages. Finally, the album's closer, "Diffusion," is a wonderful example of chill-out music at its finest, 12+ minutes of the most gentle, soft pads that you just float away into the clouds on. Around 5 minutes in, knocks of percussion emerge, like a reminder to not fall asleep, that you want to be present for all of this. The pace stays chill af throughout, making this the perfect ending to an essential ambient record. Enjoy, more chill af stuff on the way.