125

Stephen Bacchus: Ambient Origins

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
Ambient Origins is a collection of "early works" (from the '80s) by Canadian electronic musician Stephen Bacchus. His work has recently been heard on compilation albums like The Ambient Expanse , which repeats a piece heard on this album, and The Ambient Eclipse. He doesn't belong to the "school of Steve Roach," and you won't find pseudo-tribal percussion, tooting flutes, or rattles in these pieces. His textures are more simple, much like his fellow Canadians Mychael Danna and Tim Clement, but his harmonic choices are more dissonant and less popular-sounding than either Roach, Danna, or Clement. Only on the first piece of this album, "The Returning," do you get a more "sunny" quality. In the album notes he rightly admits that in this piece, and in some others on this album, he is strongly influenced by ambient originator Brian Eno.

His pacing is very slow, which can either be considered sleep-inducing or contemplative, depending on your mood. He doesn't rely on spectacular special effects like endless reverb or "wall of sound" buildups. To appreciate this music, you must watch for small changes in the sameness, just as you would with any "minimalist" composer. Most of the music has a wintry, "interior" feeling, evoking long grey afternoons in a chilly Northern city (Toronto), though in two pieces ("Subterrania", cut 5, "From the Ashes," cut 8) he does add some "industrial" clanking and grinding noises to his mix.

Bacchus' sonorities are consistently austere and restrained. This is somber, serious music; if it is used for the mood-setting purpose that ambient is supposed to fulfill, you will find yourself wondering why your room is so cold and dark.

| Record Label: MIRAGE | Style: Ambient


Shop

More Articles

Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by Mark F. Turner
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Before The Silence CD/LP/Track Review Before The Silence
by John Sharpe
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Process And Reality CD/LP/Track Review Process And Reality
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1 CD/LP/Track Review Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 24, 2017
Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read "Arc" CD/LP/Track Review Arc
by Mark Corroto
Published: April 13, 2016
Read "Rehab Reunion" CD/LP/Track Review Rehab Reunion
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 11, 2016
Read "Love Song" CD/LP/Track Review Love Song
by Tyran Grillo
Published: September 19, 2016
Read "Beekman Vol. 02" CD/LP/Track Review Beekman Vol. 02
by Budd Kopman
Published: November 23, 2016
Read "Michael Gamble and The Rhythm Serenaders" CD/LP/Track Review Michael Gamble and The Rhythm Serenaders
by Mark Sullivan
Published: August 19, 2016
Read "Desire & Freedom" CD/LP/Track Review Desire & Freedom
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 19, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!