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.


Title: Lost Terrain | Year Released: 2000 | Record Label: Hypnos Recordings


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren CD/LP/Track Review The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 16, 2017
Read Any Other Way CD/LP/Track Review Any Other Way
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 16, 2017
Read The Chase CD/LP/Track Review The Chase
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 16, 2017
Read Paint CD/LP/Track Review Paint
by Jerome Wilson
Published: October 16, 2017
Read A Pouting Grimace CD/LP/Track Review A Pouting Grimace
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 15, 2017
Read Witches Stew: A Tribute to Miles Davis CD/LP/Track Review Witches Stew: A Tribute to Miles Davis
by Doug Collette
Published: October 15, 2017
Read "Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1" CD/LP/Track Review Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "Slade Alive!" CD/LP/Track Review Slade Alive!
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 21, 2017
Read "Burn The Boat" CD/LP/Track Review Burn The Boat
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: May 18, 2017
Read "What Time Is It?" CD/LP/Track Review What Time Is It?
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 6, 2017
Read "Directions" CD/LP/Track Review Directions
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: September 15, 2017
Read "Paint" CD/LP/Track Review Paint
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 7, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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