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.


Title: Ambient Origins | Year Released: 2000 | Record Label: MIRAGE


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read The Study of Touch CD/LP/Track Review The Study of Touch
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 20, 2017
Read Another North CD/LP/Track Review Another North
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 19, 2017
Read Gledalec CD/LP/Track Review Gledalec
by John Sharpe
Published: October 19, 2017
Read Flux Reflux CD/LP/Track Review Flux Reflux
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 19, 2017
Read Christmas With Champian CD/LP/Track Review Christmas With Champian
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 19, 2017
Read Harmony of Difference CD/LP/Track Review Harmony of Difference
by Phil Barnes
Published: October 18, 2017
Read "Beloved" CD/LP/Track Review Beloved
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: October 10, 2017
Read "WAHOO!" CD/LP/Track Review WAHOO!
by Greg Simmons
Published: February 13, 2017
Read "Escape  from The Unhappy Society" CD/LP/Track Review Escape from The Unhappy Society
by Anthony Shaw
Published: February 1, 2017
Read "Eos" CD/LP/Track Review Eos
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 28, 2017
Read "Cornua Copiae" CD/LP/Track Review Cornua Copiae
by John Sharpe
Published: December 15, 2016
Read "Media vita" CD/LP/Track Review Media vita
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 10, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.