248

Jeff Greinke: Lost Terrain

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
Seattle-based ambient composer Jeff Greinke has a varied output, which ranges from rock to jazz to experimental noise, but he is perhaps best known for his ambient work. This 1992 album, Lost Terrain , is some of his finest ambient work, characterized by a slow-paced, chill melancholy. Not for Greinke are the pseudo-"tribal" drumbeats of other ambient artists, nor the ecstatic swell of overrich synthesizer chords. This is an austere music of grey skies and long, dim winter afternoons (Seattle weather?).

This is not to say that Greinke does not use rhythm or international influences. Two pieces on this album, "The Cry," and "River of Wood," have a distinct Indonesian sound, though this is inventively melded with a weird electronic cyberpunk noisescape. The pieces on this album often have a wry, bitter humor added to avant-garde electronica, a proper soundtrack for that ideal world of future present that we dream of, where everyone chain-smokes, dresses all in black, wears sunglasses at night, and carries concealed weapons. Nevertheless, Greinke's portrait inside the album cover looks suspiciously clean and fresh-faced.

Greinke displays a good range of sounds on this album; unlike some other somnolent "dark ambient" albums, the pieces on this one sound different from each other. He can move from the ultrablack horror-movie sound of "The Moor," which is reminiscent of his terrifying "Cities in Fog" set, to something which is almost (but not quite) melodic, such as "Rendered Motionless." In this track, clear, unnaturally bright electronic tones ring out, in harmonies that are almost major. On the sixth track, "Precipice," and the last track, "Confluences," a soupy reverbed piano line meanders through a similar electronic scene.

This album could be said to epitomize many trends in ambient music which spun their way through the '90s; Jeff Greinke seems to have had quite an influence on other composers. In a musical atmosphere characterized by a cold and cloudy sameness, creative invention, such as can be heard on Lost Terrain , shows up like a moment of wan sunlight.

| Record Label: Hypnos Recordings | Style: Ambient


Shop

More Articles

Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read The Invariant CD/LP/Track Review The Invariant
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read "High Noon" CD/LP/Track Review High Noon
by Anthony Shaw
Published: September 10, 2016
Read "Work" CD/LP/Track Review Work
by Mark Corroto
Published: March 13, 2016
Read "The Big Shake-Up" CD/LP/Track Review The Big Shake-Up
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 21, 2016
Read "The Coyote" CD/LP/Track Review The Coyote
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 5, 2016
Read "Discoveries on Tracker Action Organs" CD/LP/Track Review Discoveries on Tracker Action Organs
by John Eyles
Published: January 21, 2017
Read "Arrhythmia" CD/LP/Track Review Arrhythmia
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 25, 2016

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!